Oysters. ARE YOU HAPPY??!?!?!?
You guys.... we hit the $2,500 mark (and it happened pretty damn quickly after that cilantro video went up, you sadists), so, as promised, below is a video of me downing a half-dozen oysters. You'll notice I'm squicking and squirming and doing that annoying fanning-of-the-face thing at certain points. Let me be clear: the oysters were not bad. In fact, and quite surprisingly, what I allowed myself to taste was actually really good (a little mignonette certainly helps). It's a texture thing, far and away, and I wish I could love these guys, I really do. But alas, I'm not sure it's meant to be. And it's a good thing we got a decent video in just one take, because what if something had happened and I had to do this all over again? Straightjacket City is what.
No more stalling. Here's me. Eating oysters. Really quickly and sloppily. And trying not to cry.
Thanks to Bob for filming. Thanks to Chris and Brandon for snerking in the background. And thanks to the fabulous folks at Central Michel Richard for not just letting me shoot this video in their restaurant, but also donating two $50 gift certificates to two lucky winners-to-be.
So, where are we now? Well, I heard from the folks at Share Our Strength yesterday afternoon. Seems we're just shy of $5,000, and you know what the $5,000 mark buys you? Me eating tripe soup. I may need to be drunk to do this, and boy wouldn't THAT be a fun video?
Let's do a quick recap of where we are and what's coming up:
- When we reach $1,000 in donations, I'll eat a handful of cilantro.
- At the $2,500 mark, I'll eat 6 raw oysters. [we're really close, and I'm really afraid]
- At the $5,000 milestone, I'll eat tripe soup. [click here for how awful this is gonna be]
- At the $6,500 milestone, I'll eat some celery. WITH NOTHING ELSE ON IT.
- Raise $8,000 (meeting last year's donations) and I'll tap dance in front of the White House. Yes, I own tap shoes, and no, I haven't used them since 1986.
- Think we can get to $10,000? If so, I'll eat a softshell crab with a side of durian.
- At $12,500, I'll videotape myself singing some really awful song at karaoke -- New Kids on the Block, Milli Vanilli, Celine Dion, Tone Loc...
- Reach $15,000, and I'll go work the line in a restaurant.
- If we go above $30,000, I'll sweeten the giveaway pot and take one lucky donor to Alinea for dinner sometime in 2010.
- And, if we reach $100,000 in donations to Share Our Strength, I'll not just change my name to Alinea Blymire, I'll take it one step further: I'll legally change my name to the different sized circles on the Alinea menu. Don't believe I'll do it? TRY ME. Prince ain't got nothin' on me.
Again, we're just shy of $5,000, so if you wanna see me eat tripe, make it happen. Head on over to Share Our Strength and help them do their great work.
Oh, and hey: If your employer does matching donations and you need forms signed or things authenticated, email me, and I'll put you in touch with the person at SOS who can help.
One more thing: we've got a new prize to add to the list -- a two-night stay and a fine, fine dinner for two at the Sheppard Mansion. My good friend, Andy Little, is the chef at the restaurant, and he's been touted in the food press as a hot, young chef to watch (and I agree; he's a damn fine cook who sources well and has great relationships with his farmers and producers in the area). The inn is beautiful (and its owner and staff are so gracious and funny), and I may be biased, but south central PA is a gorgeous part of the country. So, if you donate $100+, you'll be entered into a drawing to win this prize (valued at $500). Thank you, Kathy, and the whole Sheppard Mansion team for donating this great prize!
Speaking of prizes, Thomas Keller's NYT bestseller Ad Hoc At Home is sold out on Amazon, sold out in bookstores, and is in its second print run with the next batch of books due out in February. So, if you want to try and win a copy before then, donating to Share Our Strength -- whether it's $5 or $5,000,000 -- will earn you a chance to win a signed first edition copy of the book.
And I can't say it enough, but THANK YOU -- all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your donations and for helping this incredible organization do their work in fighting childhood hunger. You guys are the best!