Cosmo Kramer is one of the zanier characters ever to appear on television. In one Seinfeld episode, “The Visa”, he attends a baseball fantasy camp, and ends up punching Mickey Mantle. George Costanza notes the hilarity of the situation:
His whole life is a fantasy camp. People should plunk down two thousand dollars to live like him for a week: do nothing, fall ass backwards into money, mooch food off your neighbors, and have sex without dating. That’s a fantasy camp.
I’ve always loved that quote. In particular, I love how the phrasing “fall ass-backwards” mirrors Kramer’s physical comedy with the behavior of his character.
Years ago, I fell ass-backwards into writing about fast food. At the time, I was dating one of the editors of SeriousEats.com, and she knew me to be a good writer. She also knew I had a soft-spot for fast food. One guest article turned into a few paid posts. Before long, the site’s founder offered me a weekly column.
So, without every trying to become a writer, once per week SeriousEats.com would pay me to write a short article on a new fast food offering. It wasn’t my full-time job; I earned my living through other means, including, ironically, a period at a health and fitness company. But, I enjoyed the satisfaction that came with positive comments on the posts and laughs from friends on social media.
All of those posts still exist on Serious Eats today. You can find many of them right here. Highlights include sampling all of the cheesecakes at the Cheesecake Factory and mixing all of the toppings at Coldstone. At one point, I compared KFC’s Double Down to Justin Bieber.
My favorite moment was the introduction to a post that appeared on Slice, their pizza blog. “Nothing makes you feel creepier than walking into a Chuck E. Cheese, as a single adult male, with an SLR camera.” Adam Kuban, who founded the pizza blog, wrote in the comments that it was the best lede in the history Slice. And a terrific lede it was.
I loved that gig. And I was good at it. Any trolling or negative criticism — of which there was little, because I wrote terrific, terrific pieces — could easily be ignored. (“Dude, it’s fast food.”) And the internet traffic! I generated such good traffic, let me tell you. The administrators told me I had some of the best traffic on the site. Bloggers today wish they could have traffic like mine. I had tremendous, tremendous traffic. Bigly traffic!
Self-aggrandizement and boasting aside, I missed writing. So I made a New Year’s resolution that I would do it again. I hope you’ll encourage me to continue, and I hope you’ll enjoy the words I put onto the digital page. To re-quote Costanza, “I’m back, baby. I’m back!”