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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Pizza Story

My son is hysterically funny. I asked God before he was born for him to have a sense of humor, as I was convinced that with a mom like me, he would need one.

Last week, after fifty years (yes! from 1965 on), I ordered the worst pizza I had ever paid for in my life. I could not get out as I had no car and it was way too cold to walk to the McDonald's. I had no food in the house

Not only was the order one and a half-hours late, but the crust was greasy, the sausage all clumped up on two slices only, and the entire thing was cold, stone cold.

I phoned and ordered an immediate replacement, as I had paid for this, plus a delivery fee, plus a nice tip for the young driver.

The manager told me the replacement would be out to me in thirty-five minutes.

Another hour and ten minutes passed and I phoned, cancelled this replacement, and demanded the money for the pizza back.

No apologies from either manager or sullen driver. I got the pizza money back, not the delivery charge or the tip.

This was a mid-week delivery, not a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Four days later, the owner of the store phoned me and said he had trouble getting adequate help, and that he had told his pizza makers about the clumping sausage before this. "Inadequate help"?

The owner said that if I ever ordered a pizza from them again, I would get a discount. He also said the normal time for delivery was an hour and a half. No way will I order from them again. This was an Italian family place as well, and not a chain. One cannot support Pizza Hut anymore as they support P.P.

From ordering time until the pizza refund was made, three hours had passed. My son commented later that maybe, me with a slight English accent, they thought I was European and wanted me to feel at home giving me bad pizza and bad service.

Well, my pizza ordering days are over.

Customer service in America has tanked.

Now, my lovely son said, "Mum, this seems to be a defining moment in your life.?

After getting off the floor, ROFL, I thought of this and realized that, indeed, America has changed for the worse. This little episode encapsulates, sloth, greed, and the lack of the good, old-fashioned work ethic.

My first pizza outside of mom's Chef Boyardee in the 1960s, was bought by my boyfriend on my very first date in my life. It was New Year's Eve,1965, and this nice young man, a Lutheran, with whom I had many discussions and learned apologetics mid-stream, and his friend took me out. I had to ask my dad's permission, as I was not allowed to date until I was sixteen, two days later. Dad, who had known this family (our neighbors) for over twenty years, said yes, and we three went to the "new" Pizza Hut. I  remember that I was wearing a white with giant black polka-dot turtle neck, a black pleated skirt and had the latest Soho-look hair cut, long, but straight and "going under", but that night I had my hair up in a pony tail. I must have weighed about ninety-six pounds and ate like a pig, having very high metabolism and being a workaholic already at almost sixteen. The pizza was great!

Great pizzas and I grew up together in the Midwest, with Chicago-style pizzas and various new and even Catholic pizza places opening up for the Boomers. In college, pizza deliveries were regular things for us all in study groups. And, as a single mom, the pizza delivery was a treat for son and me.

When we had seminarians in for movie night, pizzas became almost a sacred occurrence for these "starving boys" along with chicken wings, bread sticks, cheese bread, beer and soda.

No more...

I guess I am now out of my pizza delivery stage. A "defining moment"? I am even more grown-up than before and sometimes the little things tell us more about life in a culture than the big ones.

Sad, the America of the past is gone...and the pizza symbolizes the story.