Post # 354 Pizza Pizza

March 25, 2015 at 2:04 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

It will come as no big surprise to anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time that I love pizza.  In fact, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like pizza.  There’s a wonderful cartoon strip called Baby Blues about a young family.  In one strip, they’re sitting at the dinner table with a gigantic pizza and the mom starts to hand the little girl a slice.  That won’t do; the little girl tells her mom to take some of the toppings off since she doesn’t like them.  By the time they’re done, the mom says, “That’s just wet triangular bread!”  The little girl replies, “Ah!  I love pizza!”

As much as I love pizza, I’ve had a few mishaps with the delicacy.  Once while in college, I went to a pizza parlor close to the University.  It was Saturday night, the place was loud and crowded.  When my group was finally shown to a table, we had to shout to make ourselves heard.  We ordered our drinks and two pizzas.  Nearly twenty minutes later, our drinks appeared.  A very long time after that, one pizza appeared, and not the type we had ordered.  It was a straight onion pizza, nothing else except sauce and cheese.  It was a very large pizza, readily able to feed everyone at our table so we just said we’d take it since the waitress didn’t seem to know what was going on.  We all tucked in and it wasn’t too bad.  On my second piece though, a single slimy sliver of onion slipped down my throat and lodged in my windpipe.  The gag reflex took over automatically, and suddenly, I couldn’t breathe.  It’s a scary moment, let me tell you.  The place was noisy and I couldn’t attract anyone’s attention.  I couldn’t talk to alert anyone to what was going on.  I stood, trying to control the panic response, and concentrated on getting even a little bit of air in my lungs.  Something shifted, I coughed, and the piece of onion came out my mouth on the floor.  I was able to breathe again and sat down at the table with no one the wiser.  Odd moment.

 

instrument of death

instrument of death

Another pizza mishap that was more on the funny side of things happened in Sri Lanka.  A colleague and I went to the food court in the shopping mall next to our hotel.  There was a pizza place there and he wanted a sausage pizza so bad he was ready to kill for it.  He actually came close to that.  The young man at the counter didn’t understand English very well.  We asked if he’d make a whole pizza for us, but, at first, wouldn’t do it because they only sold pizza by the slice.  We promised to buy every slice of the whole pie if he’d make it the way my colleague wanted it.  When he finally grasped that, the next challenge stood before us: making him understand the topping request, sausage.  I was pretty sure that was going to not only daunting, but unsuccessful.  My colleague talked until he was red in the face, and his temper and nerves were frayed.  Suddenly, the counterman’s face lit up.  “Sauce?” he asked.  “Yes!” my colleague answered.  And a terrible thought formed in my mind.  My colleague was so happy as we waited for his sausage pizza.  The kid brought it out to our table in the dining area with a large smile, happy to have made his customer happy.  He had sliced it and put it in individual boxes as per his corporate instructions.  We each opened one and took a healthy bite.  It was a pizza made with curry sauce.  On top of the tomato sauce.  And random vegetables.  And covered with cheese.  And the reason my colleague wanted pizza was because he was fed up to his back teeth with curry.  And it was a hot curry on the pizza.  I just laughed and silently planned what I’d be ordering from room service as my colleague moaned and whined and ate his way through six pieces of curry pizza.

My favorite funny pizza story took place a couple of decades ago.  I was still married, and my wife’s family were all getting together one night for a “special occasion.”  Her father was ordering a pizza for delivery for the first time.  He loved pizza, but always went to the restaurant to eat it.  He likes going out, to this day.  But this night, he was ordering delivery and wanted to mark the occasion by having everyone over to eat pizza.  This was in the days before online ordering so telephone orders were the norm.  When all was said and done, there 9 people gathered for the feast.  My father in law wanted to keep it simple so after a lot of discussion, it was decided to order pepperoni pizza and have done with it.  He disappeared into the den, then came out with a big grin.

“It’ll be here in thirty minutes,” he said with so much pride in his voice I almost laughed.

We all talked, joked, laughed, listened to music, until there was a knock at the door.  My father in law opened it and handed out the money with a tip, and accepted a boxed pizza.  With a flourish, he brought it over to the table and set it down.  I was already sensing trouble, but he opened the box to reveal:

One medium pizza cut into 8 slices for 9 people.

pepperoni pizza

My wife and I decided to share a piece while everyone else each had one.  Her father was so embarrassed he didn’t know what to do.  He apologized several times and offered to order two more, but we all took it with good humor.

“It’s all part of the learning curve,” someone said.

We hung out for another hour or so then made our way to our cars.  We stopped at a fast food chicken place on the way home.

Enjoy

 

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