The pizza fix is really a TLW (The Little Woman) tradition started about 44 years ago when she was home with the kids and to reward herself for not killing me for going to work while she stayed home to cook, clean and take care of two small children all week would order pizza on Friday nights.
This is an outgrowth of the meatless Friday’s that Catholics had to endure until they changed things when the Vatican cook was getting tired and didn’t want to cook fish anymore on Fridays.
So, one Friday a few years ago came around and I get the cue from TLW as the phone rings:
“Hi, I’m about to leave now, you can call for the pizza.”
I hang up and call the pizza place.
“Mt. Vesuvius Pizzeria, pick-up or delivery?”
“Mr. Del, how are you today? The usual?”
“Yes Rosie, and make it half pepperoni.”
“You got it, Mr. Del, twenty minutes.”
So far everything was running smoothly, everyone was doing his or her part and on cue, it was, as usual, coming together nicely to form a perfect pizza night. Except for one individual who will go nameless.
Sometime later about 45 minutes since TLW called, she walks in carrying the precious cargo. I have set up the TV to play a DVD of a Downton Abbey episode, the paper plates and napkins are out and the drinks set up with ice, I am ready to rock and roll, lay that pizza on me, baby!
We greet each other in a customary way, and after shaking hands, we sit down to eat. I select what looks like a nice cheesy and peppered pepperoni slice and bite into it.
Suddenly my life is rolling my eyes. Bad things are coming to mind, all the pain and suffering I have ever had is filtering through this one bite! Something is terribly wrong! The pizza, my slice of heaven, the thing of Friday night beauty is not right.
“What the (^%#?”
I look at the pizza as TLW watches and wonders what she had against being a single woman that could be so bad.
Looking at the pizza slice underneath, it is jet black! Jet Black! Someone wasn’t minding my pizza while cooking it and not checking their work!
Outraged I pick up the phone and call the pizza guy. This time I get one of the many guys that are too busy joking and talking instead of paying careful attention to my pizza!
“HELLO? This is Mr. Del, the Little Woman just picked up a pizza I ordered and it is not eatable. THE BOTTOM IS JET BLACK!”
“Oh! I’m sorry Mr. Del, can you come on back down in 20 minutes and I’ll make you another one?”
“OK, do you want me to bring the pizza with me?”
“Noooo, you have been coming here for years, we believe you.”
I figure, why not and hang up. Then it occurs to me, what to do with all that pepperoni that is sitting on the burnt pizza, that is still good? I decide.
“Toots, don’t throw out that pizza!”
I go back, pick up the new pie amid mass apologizing and walk out a little disappointed. I figured I’d get a bag of garlic knots for the inconvenience!
I get home and start loading the new pizza with the pepperoni from the old pizza: I have struck gold! Well, maybe I struck pepperoni.
I come from a long line of pizza makers, mavens, and experts. When I feed them a slice of pizza, it is like waiting for El Exigente to approve. The crust is critiqued first, then comes the sauce, it should never be acid tasting, then we pick apart the cheese, and finally the proper amount of spice, oil, and cheese. Then the verdict! Does Dad approve, is Mom thinking: They should have saved their money and made it themselves! Then we hear: Now THIS is a good pie!” or “PIE? You call this PIE!!!!? IT"S A SACRILEGE!"