When I tell polite strangers, as we scrounge for small talk over free drinks at parties that neither of us wanted to attend, but had to, that I’m a food writer and a video producer, they tend to respond in a particular way. Here is how it goes:
Them: What do you do?
Me: I’m a writer. I cover food & drink across the country. Sometimes I get to make videos about it, too.
Them: That’s cool! Like Anthony Bourdain?
It’s easy to respond to the first bit. Food journalism is not unmitigated fun at all times, but it is indeed a cool job. Most people enjoy food; the same is rarely said of spreadsheets. The second part is trickier. But I usually respond with a sheepish smile and comic flourish.
“Yep, exactly like Anthony Bourdain,” I say. Then both of us laugh, because some things are both technically true and obviously false, and that is one of them. We usually find something else to talk about after that, strangers no more.