This Valentine’s Day Eve the Arnoldites and I rebelled. We’ve done the sonnet thang. We do the lover thang all day, everyday because we’re pretty friendly people over at Arnold. Surrounded with cupcakes, chocolate, and popcorn we spent the hour doing the unexpected--dissing people. We exercised our writing wit by roasting and slamming. That’s right. We did a mash-up, a roast / poetry slam. A roastery slam!
A roast is a public presentation of comedic insults, praise, outlandish anecdotes--true and untrue. At a roast, the roastee is expected to be a good sport by not taking any of the humor to heart. Actually being the subject of a roast is a great honor because the roastees are surrounded by well-respected colleagues, friends, family, and admirers. However at our roastery slam, we did not know the roastees, and they were not present. The roastees were anonymously picked by moi via phone book, closed eyes, and pointing. Nonetheless the roasters drew slips of paper and ended up with mysterious names full of possibility such as Norma Banton, Junior Webber, and Angel Sanchez. We found our muses: girls who stole our boyfriends, boys that think they’re the &*it, bullies that pulled our hair in sandboxes, bullies that sneezed on our Texas Toast just so they could eat it, and we projected everything we wish we could have said to those meanies, all our three snaps in a Z-formation steeped with time, onto those anonymous names.
For the poetry slam part of the roastery slam, we each read our piece. When we finished, our crowd (our fellow Arnoldites) rated us on a scale of 1 to 10. It was a Valentine’s Day Eve spent in tears--the good kind of tears, the laughing kind--as we saw sides of each other that we had never witnessed before.
A judge in response to a performance: “Nasty with class! I like it!”
The judges to a roaster: “EWWWW!” “Raunchy!” and awkward silence.
The roaster, in his defense (and blushing): “It’s a roast! They’re raunchy! You ever seen one? I thought everyone was gonna roll with it!”
You’re all waiting for a transcript from the actual roastery slam, aren’t you? Too bad. Our lips are sealed! But if you want to check out our fun, the next Bolton Workshop at Arnold Hall will be Monday, March 19 at 7:15PM. We hope to see you there! We promise we’ll play nice.