Are you a funny food writer? Let’s see your stuff.
And if you’re not, maybe these funny writing samples below will inspire you. Here are several that have tickled me lately:
1. David Lebovitz has been been honing his offbeat, irreverent humor for years on his blog and in books. A sample from The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious — And Perplexing — City shows his puzzlement of Parisian hot chocolate:
“Many visitors get a lost, misty-eyed look when describing the ultrathick, steamy chocolate chaud that glops and blurts as it’s poured into dainty white cups…
Me? I can barely swallow the sludge.
You need to clam my mouth closed and massage my neck to get that hyperthick stuff down the hatch– like forcing a dog to swallow a pill. That throat-clogging liquid hits my tummy with a thud and refuses to budge for the rest of the day. I just don’t get its appeal.”
I’d call this example curmudgeonly, in an adorable way. I love the image of someone massaging his neck, and I recognize that “thud” in the belly.
2. Comedian George Carlin, always a crack-up, wrote these gems about restaurant food and waffle irons in Brain Droppings:
“There are certain clues that tell you how much a restaurant will cost. If the word cuisine appears in the advertising, it will be expensive. If they use the word food, it will be moderately priced. However, if the sign says eats, even though you’ll save some money on food, your medical bills may be quite high.”
“I don’t like trendy food. When I hear, ‘sauteed boneless panda groin,’ I know I’m in the wrong place. There’s such a thing as pretentious food. Puree of woodchuck, marinated bat nipples, weasel chops, porcupine cacciatore. Or fried eagle. A guy said to me recently, ‘C’mon, we’ll go to Baxter’s, they have really great fried eagle.’ I’m thinkin’ to myself, “Do I really want to know this guy?”
On waffle irons:
“Why on earth would you want to iron a waffle? Wouldn’t that just flatten out all the little squares? No, I believe waffles should be dry cleaned. Pancakes, of course, should always be ironed.”
I find this stuff laugh-out-loud hilarious, especially the menu names. I crack up every time I read them. I’d be the perfect audience member if Carlin was still around to perform.
3. Consider the Onion, a parody news source with news features such as Doritos Celebrates 1 Millionth Ingredient. In a story about the burgeoning locavore movement, the punsters list suggestions on how to eat locally, such as:
- “Lucky Northfield, IL residents are in for a treat: They live practically next door to Kraft Foods headquarters, which means they can have all the Stove Top stuffing they want with no guilt.”
- “Tie one end of a 100-mile rope to your house and the other end to your waist to ensure that you only eat within that radius.”
I love the silly, giddiness of this writing, while it deftly skewers politically-correct thinking.
4. Sometimes a book that looks serious can give you a good belly laugh. That happened to me while reading Becky Selengut’s Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast. Here’s a headnote for a recipe for Mussels with Bacon and Israeli Couscous:
“Dear Grandma: I know when you see the ingredients in this dish, it might give you pause, as you raised me to be a good Jew, but I want to remind you that, above all else, you taught me to see the humor in life. Isn’t it funny how I combined bacon and Israeli couscous with shellfish? Love, Becky. P.S. I had originally called this recipe ‘Bad Jew Stew’ but my editor thought that wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had, so it could’ve been worse.”
She has more like this. Selengut’s goofy, happy headnotes make a serious book on sustainable seafood fun.
And finally, don’t forget last week’s post about the James Beard Foundation’s new humor award. It has generated tons of media attention due to the nomination of Ruth Bourdain’s tweets. The post includes links to the two other humor essays in the competition.
So, after reviewing these examples, do you have something funny to say about food? Give me a maximum of 250 words of original writing. Paste in something funny from a prior piece of writing or try something new, as an exercise.
If none of these examples have tickled your writing funny bone, give me a few lines of your favorite humorous food writing, and we’ll all have a good laugh, at the very least. Make sure to name the author. If none of the original entries make me laugh, maybe I’ll choose your post as the best overall entry.
Deadline is Sunday, April 17. The winner gets a copy of Lebovitz’s new paperback.