Dear Mr. Zimmern,
Congratulations...ya blew it. Gary Kroeger, tell him what he's won!
Three months ago or thereabouts my wife, Angie, and I noticed on TV Guide Network the words "Bizarre Foods" one night listed as next on the Travel Channel, 'bout 9-ish, Central Standard. Hmm, wonder how 'bizarre' he's talking, we ruminated. Yeah, we'd been heavy mackin' on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Guy's Big Bite and Paula Deen's Home Cooking months longer before our new discovery. Fieri pops nations hard with the Bloody Mary Flank Steaks and Paula is, without the slightest equivocation, on a solar system-wide mission to make sure every man, woman, child and extraterrestrial on God's green earth and the planets surrounding it is administered at least a quintuple bypass. If it kills her, we'll all cross that bridge together having pounded down the fruit (pies) of a bountiful (Southern fried chicken) harvest. Paula Deen got game, y'aw.
But, like curious little sculps, Angie and I just had to peek behind the Bizarre Foods curtain and see what all the carrying on was about. OK, a guy willingly chews then swallows whole balut, goose intestines on bean sprouts and nutria? This we have to see.
It was perfect. A perfect show for this obsessed fan of the extremely maladjusted and strange in most categories (food very much included), even if the closest I've ever come to "thoroughly disgusting" or eating outside what is raised on a farm is unagi sushi and shark. Angie, on the other hand, would rather have given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a shark. You champion the lost (if not entirely unchartered) art of culinary masochism as well as travel the earth to further champion gastronomic awareness. It's perfect American voyeurism for Americans who believe voyeurism is a grave and unforgivable sin or otherwise. Short of interspersing the bull decapitation archival scenes from Mondo Cane throughout for comic relief, Bizarre Foods is (I should say was) cool and just over the top enough.
Until I read your blog. You went too far. You went way over the top. Would over the top two layers of the Earth's crust just about do it? You went further over the top than you would have if you'd eaten tempura-style fresh warthog feces. You went further past it than I would ever dreamt of having gone if the two people you targeted had actually deserved it. They didn't. Paula Deen and Guy Fieri are two of the most genuinely cool and hilarious people on television. Aside from that, they are courteous and respectful; if they can't be courteous and respectful, at least tactfully civil. They are no doubt tactfully civil enough to stop and realize when they've said too much. Mr. Zimmern, I believe this is your stop.
Guy Fieri "coming off like an overly rehearsed hack...", huh? Okay, if the narration over this part of the Vietnam episode where you're attempting to goad your host into eating a snake's gall bladder isn't "overly rehearsed", I'm the current Dalai Lama. That's not polished, Andrew...that's shining the shoe until the damn scuff comes OFF. Those four words in parentheses about Paula Deen? You don't even want to know what I think of you now. Got a pencil, a brand new notebook and a couple hours to spare?
How does it feel to lose a viewer and a fan? Your comments themselves may have been as long as it takes you to chew and swallow a maggot, but they said more than every word in my post put together.