Billy “Nose Picker” Dominguez, the 9-year old emcee, stood on a crate behind the cardboard podium with “I love mom” written in crayon on the front.
“Ladies and Germs. Welcome to our first annual Mother’s Day Roast of Mom. I’m your host, Billy. Just a little note here. Ticket sale proceeds for this Mother’s Day Roast of Mom will go to taking mom out for a decent breakfast Sunday morning at the Jerry Bob’s of her choice.”
Billy acknowledged the special guests in the audience with them today.
“Sanchez, our Chihuahua, and Gomez, the hamster. Also I want to thank our sponsor, Dad, for all his help with this Mother’s Day Roast. Before we get started, I just want you to know we have some silent auction items for you to bid on. Tell them what we have, Dad.”
“Well, Billy, we’ve got a report card from 1989 autographed by our guest of honor, a vintage box of macaroni and cheese, a Macayo’s sombrero mug, a Kachina that’s missing a head and a baby shower invitation from 1983. All priceless items!”
“Thank you, Dad! Hey, Pop, how is it you and Mom have stayed together all these years?”
“I haven’t been inside the house since 1963. I’m either changing cooler pads on the roof or raking gravel in the driveway. I’m heading for the roof now.”
“All right, Dad! To get things started, I’d like to welcome my big sister, Carmen, up to the podium. When she’s not dating felons, she’s writing her number on porta-potty walls at the Pima County Fair. Please welcome the only woman I know with her own historical marker at the end of Swan, my horrible sister, Carmen.”
“You are such a liar. I hate you. Stay out of my room.
“Mom, for all the times you nursed me, fed me and changed my diapers, I just want to say ‘thank you.’ And for all those nights I kept you up late, wondering where I was and making you sick with worry — I made this beer coaster for you, out of an actual beer coaster.”
Carmen hugged her mom. She was weeping like the Fountains of Bellagio. “Mija! Thank you, sweetheart. It’s wonderful.”
“I got to go now.”
“So soon? Can’t you stay for the rest of the banquet? I made macaroni and cheese burritos.”
“Thank you, sis. Next up is Mom’s mom. All the way from Three Points, it’s Grandma Higgins!”
“Thank you, Billy. I would like to say something about all of my kids. You never know how beautiful and amazing life can be until you have kids. And then it’s too damned late.”
“Who’d you steal that joke from, Grandma? Moses? And now it’s my turn to say a few words on this Mother’s Day about our guest of honor.
“Mom, thanks for nursing us through measles, chicken pox, runny noses, skinned knees and the occasional broken heart. You are so tough and tender, God must have crossed Delilah and Mrs. Doubtfire with Thelma and Louise. And thank you, Mom, for sparing my life on countless occasions that may have involved fire crackers, BB guns, slingshots, graffiti, plumbing issues, pack rats, wardrobe malfunctions, jalapeños, bows and arrows, pop flies, rubber cement, incontinence, ladder-related injuries, rattlers, water balloons, Tiki torches, bobcats, hot sauce or rabid skunks.
“You always taught us right from wrong, and you weren’t afraid to use unconventional methods. And last, but not least, thank you for all the amazing mac and cheese.
“Mom, you get the final word.”
Wiping the tears away with a beach towel, Mom took to the cardboard podium.
“Well, thank you for this. This is so much nicer than breakfast in bed or jewelry or flowers. When you and your sister would make breakfast I thought the cast of ‘Stomp’ was in my kitchen. You’d trigger the smoke alarm, a salmonella outbreak and a warning from the Pima County Health Department. But nothing says love like a barely thawed frozen burrito, cold coffee and a Dixie cup full of desert marigolds from Mr. Wong’s yard. Seriously, this is the best Mother’s Day Roast I have ever had. I can’t wait to see what you come up with tomorrow morning.
“Carmen, wherever you are, and Billy — and Sanchez and Gomez — this was a great roast. Now who’s going to clean up this mess? Who’s ready to help? Hey, where did everybody go? Hey! You know I can hear you on the roof with your father. ”