‘The Best Thing is All the Free Schmaunt Fat’: 5 Questions With Andrew J. Bergman

Andrew J. Bergman is writer and editor from Steinbach, Manitoba. In 2016, he launched the Mennonite satire website the Daily Bonnet.

  1. What is your favourite place to get Mennonite cuisine?
    • East India Company in downtown Winnipeg. Their butter chicken is to die for….oh, you mean, like formavorscht and stuff? Well, I do frequent MJ’s Kafe in Steinbach a lot. They’ve also got killer rice pudding. And the restaurant at the Mennonite Heritage Village is fantastic, too, though it’s only open seasonly.
  2. Why “Bonnet”?
    • It’s an easily recognized symbol of Mennonitism (is that a word?). “The Daily Suspender” just didn’t have the same ring to it.
  3. What is the best and worst thing about writing the Daily Bonnet?
    • The best thing is all the free schmaunt fat. Everywhere I go people are just offering me schmaunt fat. It’s too much. The worst thing is also all the schmaunt fat.
  4. What has surprised you most about the success of the Daily Bonnet?
    • I’m not surprised that Mennonites have a sense of humour. I mean, we’re not actually as stoic and serious as the stereotype suggests. Perhaps I’m surprised about the range of people who read the page. Although a lot of the humour tends to be Russian Mennonite, the readership seems to be pretty diverse…and not just Mennonite. One person actually asked me if it was okay if they “liked” a Daily Bonnet post because they were not Mennonite themselves. Of course, it’s okay. You can laugh with us!
  5. When I read the comments, I sometimes wonder if you ever wish more people knew the
       difference between “jokes” and “satire.” 

    • Yeah, there’s always new people discovering the site and some people who don’t get that it’s satire. There are also some people who don’t get what satire is. They might understand that it’s fake or that it’s intended to be funny, but they might not see that there’s more to it than that. I just hope they have a kind and patient grand-daughter who can explain it all to them.