Not only is Nick Offerman one of my favorite actors and television talk show guests. Now, it turns out he has become one of my favorite humorists. Some people are just good at everything. (Oh, how I hate people who are good at everything.)
His latest book, “Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers,” is part of my personal remedial summer reading program.
As its subtitle suggests, it is a collection of 21 short essays about bad asses, past and present, who Offerman considers to have moved the country in a positive direction with their lives and work, from George Washington to Conan O’Brien.
Another is Theodore Roosevelt, who North Dakota has adopted over the years as something of its historical father figure. With that in mind, I thought you might be interested, gentle reader, in what Offerman has to say about some of his summer plans this year, which include a trip to Medora, N.D.:
Among the many tributes to him in present-day North Dakota, including Theodore Roosevelt National Park, perhaps the most appropriate august recognition is to be found at the Pitchfork Steak Fondue, gleefully pointed out to me by that extremely well-traveled woman of letters, Sarah Vowell. Every evening’ ’round suppertime, the cowboy chefs load several raw steaks onto a pitchfork and fondue ’em, cowboy-style. This, of course, means they dip them in a barrel of hot cooking oil. Imagine my shame to have been caught unaware of this repast of glory sizzling in our midst. By the time you are reading this, I fully intend to have severally sampled this barrel-0fried beef in the town of Medora, North Dakota, especially after glimpsing this tantalizing morsel in a review on the computer web: “The Fondue is served before the musical.” Tickets booked.
“Gumption” is wildly funny, mildly profane and absolutely perfect for just about anyone’s summer remedial reading.