THE SONIC BOOMER
Here’s what I got for Mother’s Day: a chance to be on a TV game show with the word “worst” in the title. My daughter Jennifer nominated me, then told me about it just one day before the show’s casting agency called.
“What? But I’m good in the kitchen!” I protested.
“Not according to her,” countered the nice woman from the agency.
“Trust me, I am not the type of person you want on your show.”
“Why not prove her wrong then?”
Indeed. Why not?
There followed a 10-minute phone interview.
“I usually need to talk to a potential candidate for 30 minutes, but 10 will do in your case,” the interviewer said. “My associate, Dan, will Skype you at 7 p.m. tomorrow.”
“Wait! I don’t know how to Skype!” I protested, but she had hung up.
It’s 2019. Who doesn’t know how to Skype? And does this mean I have to take the masking tape off my computer’s camera? Should I even be doing that?
And just a minute here. What had she learned about me in 10 minutes that caused her to think I was a miserable failure? I told her I was young when that fireball came out of the oven. I told her my kid had recovered from the salmonella. Besides, almost everything I serve comes ready-made from Costco. What made her think I was a viable candidate for this show?
Nonetheless, Jen eagerly (a little too eagerly, if you ask me) was at my house the very next evening, gleefully tearing the tape off my computer’s camera and setting me up to Skype. Dan called promptly at 7 p.m.
I have never seen a cuter young man. His hair was all gelled up into a peak, and he had one of those smiles that just made you want to talk to him. I continued to protest that I was quite adept in the kitchen, and he continued to pry bits of information out of me that caused me to doubt myself. Half an hour later, he was asking me to send in a step-by-step video of myself making something and 15 photos of myself. I don’t have 15 photos of myself! I’m a grandma. All I have is photos of my adorable grandchildren. In fact, my phone’s photo storage isn’t even working anymore — it’s completely clogged up with photos of the kids. Dan had also asked if the kitchen was somewhat clean when I was done in there. I said, “Of course. I am a neat and organized person.”
Long story short, my attempt to show off to Dan was a complete disaster. The food was embarrassing. (Jen spit it out on camera). The oven was belching smoke, and every dish I own was stuck to the kitchen counter with egg whites.
Yet, I was not, in the end, chosen to be on the show.
“See?” I told Jen proudly. “I’m not the ‘worst’ anything!”
She wasn’t listening. She was wiping out the inside of her mouth with a napkin and mumbling something about having the “worst mother” and, “How did I survive childhood?”
Still, I felt vindicated. It took me two hours to clean the kitchen, but I was smiling all the time.