COMPLAINING ABOUT THE GOOD LIFE: Ignore Alan Richman's inarguably cushy life as a food writer on the mastheads of GQ, Condé Nast Traveler and Bon Appétit, his unending list of awards (12 James Beard awards among 22 nominations, plus a National Magazine Award, for which he was also a five-time finalist) and, once again, the fact that he gets paid to eat. He begs for sympathy in "My Days of Whine and Roses," an article in the May issue of Bon Appétit that seems to veer between tongue-in-cheek and genuinely plaintive.
"First of all, you try being full all the time. I spend most of my afternoons lying flat on a couch, wondering how I can summon the strength to go to dinner," Richman writes, adding, "If you think you would like my life, try coming home from a four-hour dinner, sitting down at your computer and composing deep thoughts."
There are other travails. "I also travel, but that's overrated. Not long ago I flew coach to three Asian destinations and the planes were full for 42 of the 45 hours. Another thing: after three or four visits, even Stonehenge and the Taj Mahal start to get old."
For anyone wondering why Richman doesn't leverage his status to demand first class, the article has a possible explanation: "A mitigating factor is mistreatment by editors....Editors run magazines, and like all supreme authorities, they take care of themselves first." Barbara Fairchild and Jim Nelson, take heed. — I.C.