Dear Mr. Batali,
We’ve never met before. But I did eat at Babbo once (which was great, despite the fact that we were eating with a pair of d-bags), and I took my mom to Enoteca San Marco when we were in Vegas (which she liked okay, and she hates everything). Plus, I’ve seen you on television several times. Personally, I think we’d get along. We have a lot in common: we’re both Italian, we both have relatives in Seattle and Abruzzo, and, judging from photos, we both get a little red-nosed when we drink. Really, if you think about it, it’s surprising we haven’t met sooner.
I even share your affinity for the color orange.
But my intentions today are not to write about preferred colors or common backgrounds. I am writing because you and the good people of PBS need me.
No, seriously. Really.
Okay, fine. Maybe “need” is too strong a word. But still, I could be helpful. Here’s the deal: you seem to be fond of taking trips with other luminaries in the culinary world and filming your adventures. And I love to eat. I know – it seems like almost too much of a coincidence.
I realize that you already have established a winning group of travel companions, including Gwyneth Paltrow. And don’t get me wrong – she seems like a lovely girl (I friggin LOVED Shallow Hal. No, I am not being sarcastic) – but she’s a vegetarian. I, on the other hand, love animals. Because they are delicious. As such, traveling with me is awesome (if you are not a vegetarian, that is. If you are, you may weep). Since I realized you (and perhaps your legal team) might need a bit more persuading, I have created a list of 10 reasons why you should let me join you on your next trip.
- PBS don’t need sexy. And thankfully, I am not. The good viewers of public television voluntarily watch programs that feature Rick Steves and that monk who bakes. If they wanted to see attractive people, they’d STOP WATCHING PBS. And yet here you are, with the likes of Gwyneth and some beautiful Spanish girl. PBS viewers don’t want that. They want soft. They want squishy. They want occasionally sweat-stained. I am all of those things.
- Like you, I’m Italian. I even speak the language. Sort of. I mean, I do when I’m drunk. Which I am willing to be. So we could totally tour Italy. And talk to people. While drunk.
- I will try anything once. When it comes to food that is (I don’t know what else you’ve heard, but it’s probably not true). Seriously. Offal? Awesome. Feet? Neat. Tentacles? Tasty. I love it all, and I’m not freaked out by anything (except mayo. Mayo is nasty).
- I have absolutely nothing better to do. No kids. No job. Not even a newspaper subscription. Nothing. No one will even notice I’m gone, except for my oft-neglected houseplant (and possibly, after a few weeks, my husband).
- I smell good. Have you ever traveled with a stinky person? It sucks. This would not be the case with me. My hair usually smells nice, I don’t smoke, I love breath mints, and I wear perfume. Overall, I smell pretty awesome. Unless I’m gassy.
- You’ll be able to reach my entire audience. Both of them (hi, guys!).
- I’d totally appreciate it. Really. I wouldn’t be snobbish or ungrateful or rude. If you take a famous person with you, I bet they won’t enjoy it half as much as I would. Plus, I’ll send you a very nice thank-you card.
- I pack light. So you wouldn’t have to lug around my bag or anything. Not that I’d expect you to – I wouldn’t. But I’m just saying.
- I am great at car games. So you’d never get bored during the trip. I even make them up myself. My skills know no bounds.
- I’ll go halfsies on the gas.
See? It would be a perfect match. We’ll be like Starsky and Hutch, except platonic. And with food (also, I get to be Starsky). Please give it some thought.
P.S. – Does Bourdain need a sidekick? Just curious.