*The following news probably means a bit more to me since I finished reading the novel American Gods by celebrated fantasy author Neil Gaiman only days ago. It is a story that had spent longer than it should have on my “To Read” list, one I only recently picked up because I’d heard that a television series based on the book was coming, and I wanted to have some source material knowledge well in hand before wading into what, from all accounts, promised to be a compelling ride.
About midway through the read, I would learn that the program airs on a channel that isn’t currently part of my cable package. It is to laugh…but I digress:
Award-winning fiction author Neil Gaiman has agreed to read the entire Cheesecake Factory menu on stage in public. He means it. This is happening, although there is a caveat.
Gaiman will perform the staged reading IF the internet will raise $500,000 in charitable donations for refugees by June 20th, which also happens to be World Refugee Day. The author stated as much in response to a spontaneous request from fellow author and insightful comedienne Sara Benincasa, who approached him via Twitter to request a dramatic reading of the inclusive-to-a-fault menu:
— Sara Benincasa (@SaraJBenincasa) May 19, 2017
A short time later, Gaiman responded with the following:
I have said Yes. If she makes it happen, for charity, I will do this thing. https://t.co/vkJWVDiYTJ
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) May 20, 2017
Some reading this might wonder “Why a restaurant menu, and more to the point, why the Cheesecake Factory menu?”, but anyone who’s been there knows the dual-focused answer to this. It is because:
- Neil Gaiman is a national treasure whose speaking voice would pack sold-out arenas even if all he was reading were the directions on the back of your shampoo bottle.
- The Cheesecake Factory’s menu is a beast. I’ve finished reading novellas in less time than it can take to slog through a list of restaurant offerings that crushes a double-digit page count like it ain’t no thang.
Surprising no one familiar with either said author or said restaurant, the possibility of hearing the famed Mister Gaiman utter words like “Glamburgers”, “Skinnylicious”, and other gems appearing on the book-length menu out aloud is garnering no small amount of excitement on the ‘net. As of this writing, donations to have him read the menu to benefit the US Association for UNHCR have topped $2K, with more coming in all the time.
Anyone interested in using the power of the internet to compel famous writers to do his or her bidding can donate to the cause at this page on CrowdRise.com.
This article first appeared on FlavorfulWorld.com.