This could take a while.
Neil Gaiman is an award-winning author with a mind-blowingly diverse bibliography featuring everything from novels to comics to children’s books to poetry, even film and television scripts. But now it’s possible he may embark on his most unusual project: performing a reading of the entire Cheesecake Factory menu.
Though Gaiman obviously has a limitless imagination, unsurprisingly, the idea to perform the entire Cheesecake Factory menu was not his own. Comedian and writer Sara Benincasa proposed the idea on Twitter this past Friday. “Dear @neilhimself,” she wrote, “for $500K to the charity of your choice would you read the Cheesecake Factory menu in its entirety onstage pls advise.”
After a bit of a back and forth, Gaiman took the bait and agreed. “I have said Yes,” he tweeted a few hours later. “If she makes it happen, for charity, I will do this thing.”
Since she’s a professional jokester, it’s not entirely clear to what extent Benincasa was serious with her original request. Clearly, the idea of having any acclaimed author do a staged reading of any menu is very tongue-in-cheek. (Unless Shakespeare published any menus; I haven’t made it through all of his works.) However, she has since specified that she is “not kidding.” Still, specifics are at this point hazy. “Details TBA by me w/in a few weeks. I believe as a nerd family we can make this happen,” she tweeted as a follow up on Saturday. “Watch @AmericanGodsSTZ & hang tight, cakebudz! xo.”
As The Daily Meal points out, reading the entire Cheesecake Factory menu out loud may be a bit more of a challenge than Gaiman realizes. The spirally-bound tome features over 250 dishes. And that’s just the main menu. The casual chain also has a “Skinnylicious” menu and a special menu, as well as drink menus. That added challenge might explain why Benincasa declared this is “It's probably the best idea I've had since honestly ever. All my ‘art’ is shit compared to this vision.” Ironically enough, though it may be her high point, you’d have to think it would rank more toward the bottom of Gaiman’s list.
Of course, all this assumes that Benincasa can raise half a million dollars… or that Gaiman would be willing to do it for less. For now, stay patient until @SaraJBenincasa tells us where to send our money. If Twitter can help that Wendy’s kid can get free nuggs, how hard can this be?
Update (5:00pm ET): According to Benincasa's Twitter account, the fundraising site is live here.