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Rockin’ the Region: A roast of me!

The Wobbly Barn's season-ending party is the Bartender's Ball. It was held last Thursday and this year the benefitting charity was Three Divas Dog Rescue. It is a night to honor the hard working service industry people of Killington. The Pickle Barrel swept the Male and Female Bartender of the Year titles with Brittany Schuessler and Aaron "Double A" Miele.

I have to say, the highlight of the evening, however, was the roast of me, DJ Dave. It was hosted by Roastmaster Mike Bishop and the roasters on the dais were Jeremy "Jackie Blue" Livesey, Justin "Koko" Restrepo, Heather Grev, Garren Poirier and John Durney. After the Roasters were introduced I made my grand entrance. I was carried in on a chair by the doorman, kind of like a Jewish chair dance at a wedding. Pictures from my childhood played on a screen in the background and my favorite snack, Bugles and Squirt Cheese, was waiting for me on the stage. My sister made the trip up from NYC and the room was packed with my friends. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside but those feelings quickly disappeared. I was wearing my "Don't Hassle the Hoff" shirt but, of course, I still got hassled...

Jackie Blue kicked off the evening with the dirtiest roast of the night. He was going for the late Greg Giraldo approach but others were calling him the female Lisa Lampanelli but that's probably just because of his size. Not much of his roast can be written here, but I'll entertain you with this bit: He called me a "self-proclaimed celebrity" and said the panel of roasters should be on the Jerry Springer show.

Koko delivered a gut-wrenching roast but that's because he "iced" me with a 24oz Smirnoff Ice, payback for when I did it to him two years ago. I wanted to do it to him again that night but could not find one in the state. Apparently, he couldn't either - he had one brought in from Pennsylvania. After I guzzled that down and sat there in pain, he bombarded me with insults.

Heather Grev started right in on the panel saying, "I think I'm the only one here to roast DJ Dave. Jack and Koko look like they're here for an all-you-can-eat buffet... To start, Durney thinks he's here for the first annual meeting of the Drunken Bar Owners Association and Garren or Gaven I don't even understand why you're here, and do you even know DJ Dave? Maybe you thought this was where dudes who date cats and wear stylish belts come to hang out? Either way I don't get why you're here?" They got it worse than me but she did point out, from our time working together at Jax, that I'm the worst bartender ever and it's ironic that I'm being roasted at the Bartender's Ball.

Garren Poirier started out by roasting himself and then put it to a heckler in the crowd, Stacie Fox, telling her to shut it (using slightly different words.) That got one of the biggest applause of the evening. He told Koko to get his life together and said that since he doesn't have a car, you'd think he'd be skinnier. Poirier noted that Heather was the "Champion of Day Drinking" and she had the most annoying laugh on the planet. "It's like Fran Drescher and a cackling hen combined." He called Jack the grumpiest person he ever met and definitely the grumpiest bartender in town. He then shifted his attention to another bartender, John Durney. He proceeded to rip John a new one concluding with "John is a living legend in this town, just ask him and he'll tell you."
His roasts of me were ongoing, I can't even begin to summarize… at one point he sais I was weird, fat-like-skinny with a balloon under my shirt, and I never shut up. But his best joke cannot be written here.

The last of the roasters was John "How's your day glowing" Durney, who came out in my infamous neon onesie which he stole from me earlier in the day. John's roast of me was a daylong event. After my suit was stolen, he was the first suspect I called. Not only did he lie to me then but he blamed a bunch of other people. He's got a great poker face but Mike Wilcox in the K1 base lodge didn't. Still, I was very much surprised to see John in my suit. That was the best prank of the evening!

For weeks leading up to the night, people constantly were asking me if I was ready for it. One can never be ready to endure a night of verbal abuse, but I did do my best to prepare for it. I knew that I was going to get the last say... and that scared my roasters.
Admittedly, I was a little scared myself, I actually thought it was going to be a surprise intervention.

I'd like to praise the roasters before I rip on them. They all did a good job, even John Durney. It was a lot of fun and it's an honor to be roasted even though you get your butt handed to you. I'd also like to thank the Wobbly Barn for recognizing my greatness even though they canned me years ago. (I thought I was getting a plaque on the wall with the other retired greats, but since that didn't happen I bought myself a Walk Of Fame star, signed it, and put it in the DJ booth where it belongs.)

More than half the roasters on the dais should be in the 'Who's Who of ex Wobbly Employees" book. First you have John: after management attended his wedding their gift to him was not hiring him back. Then you have Jack who takes grumpy to a new extreme and Koko who got cut after cutting into their food costs. Heather was there for moral support, because she knows what it's like to be fired from a bar.

To show my praise for Mike "White Knight" Bishop, I showed a YouTube video of him rapping one night at Jax. You can't really call it rapping though; he makes Vanilla Ice look great. I even surprised Mike by passing out DVD copies of his embarrassing night. Let me know and I'll get you one, too!

I even tried to help out Garren, or Gary as his friends call him (the 'R' is silent), by buying him a golf club so he can get better and the town can stop throwing benefits for him to go play golf on vacation. I also got him the Just for Men hair color because it's a shame that a guy way younger than me looks that much older.

Since I was in the gift giving mood, I got John's employees a gift of hemorrhoid cream because they all say what a big pain in the butt he is.

William Shatner said it best about being roasted, "It sounds like great fun, and ultimately it is, but unless you're set mentally and emotionally; it could have a nightmarish quality to it. It could be like a bad dream where people are poking fun at you in public. It's not different from being in a torrid love affair…. Just let yourself go."

And I did. Thanks.

Photo submitted
(L-R) Heather Grev, Koko, DJ Dave, John Durney, Garren Poirier and Jackie Blue at the Roast of DJ Dave Hoffenberg, held during the Bartenders' Ball at Wobbly Barn, on March 28.