From The Pizza Chronicles
"grras patchmuck vistrulator, formly fuzzy murk, mizzuz?" said a man in sweatpants
By no sin of my own, Marco's Pizza
has been designated the Mecca of fools, clowns, unmedicated mental patients
, assorted low-talker
s with speech impediments, miscellaneous incompetent fucks, and others who might be better living their lives under a tarp. Everyone who can't interact with normal humans or otherwise function without close supervision or professional assistance must make the pilgrimage.
cocked her head and stepped closer. "What?" she asked.
"gerz rachlatck chrislemator, fermly fuzzy lark, missus?"
What the hell? Erica leaned over the counter and smiled --like this was a joke-- at the man. "Say that one more time," she pleaded.
The man in sweatpants
stared at her through unfashionable eye wear. "gorz pachlurk lizmurator, farmly fuzzy smirk, misses!"
Erica's smile drained. She bit her lip and studied the man's weathered face. "Hold on a second," she breathed, and slid to the back of the store. She approached Formica Joe
and, taking him aside, resigned. She swept her arm out and pointed to the man with the mouth full of nickels
. "Go take care of that jackass
With courageous curiosity, Formica Joe
sauntered to the counter. "Welcome to Marco's
. Can I help you?"
"didez pickup my pizzaorter, fromfone werk, meester?" said the man.
In vain, Joe tried to piece the blather together. He sighed. They were too busy to play veterinarian. He fell back on his instincts and took the turns blind."Um... did you place an order?"
Joe took a deep breath. "Okay. What is your name?"
He scooted to the cut table and searched for something --anything-- that sounded like "snizzorwhatever." Amid the swarm of flying dough, clanging aluminum
, random screams
, and the stench of hot stress
, he fumbled for orders. Many wholesome, European
names and examples of bad handwriting on cheep carbon paper
, but nothing resembling mumble man's slur.
A new angle: "Uh... what is your phone number?"
"844 - 2 gorr eit fien"
He paused to glare at the man in sweatpants
, then dove back into the throng. No numbers starting with 844. He would have laughed if he wasn't so mad.
Last chance: "Okay, what did you order?"
The man in sweatpants
leaned over the counter, bracing himself on two knobby hands. "Culpa large and sepsi, uh, carrot and eyc ream."
Joe rubbed his eyes and contemplated calling the police
The man mumbled something else, then opened his fist and offered a clue in the form of a small piece of paper. Joe took it. It was a coupon. It read: Two large pizzas for the price of one. Valid only at participating Pizza Hut
Joe tried to laugh and scream at the same time, and whatever came out lodged itself deep in his esophagus
. It dribbled up his throat and, after a moment, spewed from his mouth as a coarse wail. He grabbed the counter to steady himself, and kindly informed the man in sweatpants
that this was not, as evidenced by the ten foot sign outside, any form of Pizza Hut
This is my life. This is what I deal with day after brutal, terrifying day. Why, friends, why are flamethrowers
Later that day I took a very large order to some deaf people. They wanted a dozen extra large pizzas, which weighed in at about $100.00. It also weighed about 50 pounds. I loaded the pizzas up and tried not to worry about my inability to see behind, to the left, right, or directly ahead. The pizza delivery battle cry: Visibility is for pussies
. I turned on the emergency flashers and felt my way to the "house."
As white trash
go, they only had one broken-down Camaro
in the driveway. It could have been a lot worse. A lot.
I hauled the pizza pallet out of the car and before the pulsating techno
was out of earshot I encountered my first humiliation. Burdened by half my body weight worth of scalding food I ascended the stairs. I pressed the doorbell with my elbow and waited. I pressed it again and waited again. I pressed it more and waited more. I set the pizza carrier down and pounded on the door. No answer. I pounded again and was met with the rollicking laughter that only pure silence can produce.
Being far to familiar with the antics of Canton Township's peasantry
, I saddled my load and trekked around the house. Peeking around the mountain of pizza boxes I glimpsed a gate. I yelled out: "Hello
!" I told my arms to quit their bitching and yelled again. Nothing.
I fingered the latch with my one free thumb, but it wouldn't open. Setting the boxes down again I lunged for the handle. Depressed the trigger and pulled really hard, stared expressionless when nothing happened. Pushed really hard, stared expressionless when nothing happened. "Hmmm..." I mused. "It's usually one" --I count quickly on my fingers-- "or the other..."
!!" I yelled again. "Pizza
!" Waited. "Don't you want your fucking
I yanked the gate toward me, slammed it away. It didn't move.
Behind the house I could hear people; the din of conversation and the clanking of flatware. They were there, they just didn't care. "Anyone
?" I called. I made a mental note to start carrying a fire axe
in the car.
There had to be something amiss with the latch, I realized, and leaned over the fence to inspect. Sure enough, the bolt was horribly misshapen, almost so as to intentionally render the handle inoperative. Brilliant
. I pried the metal back and forced the bolt over. The gate creaked open and I labored on. On to the third level of hell
: drunk, deaf yokels in a rice paddy
I trudged on, struggling with 12 scalding pizzas. I barely noticed the water.
Some kind of pool party, evidently, with frenzied monkey-children streaking about, and gaggles of inattentive adults. For reasons I can only attribute to stupidity
, the lawn was flooded with several inches of dirty water. This was great for me, as I had to walk through it.
I sloshed over to the adults and stood, expecting someone to notice me or the huge stack of pizza boxes. Silly me.
After a minute had gone by: "Hello
So I swam
closer and yelled again. Nothing. What the hell? There were stupid kids running around all over the place, the yard was full of people, at least one of whom must surely see me. I wondered if this was related to my inability to use automatic doors
; they never see me either. Likewise, I lack both a shadow
and a reflection
--I probably don't have a soul or something.
I waded over to the table and dumped my payload. The legs started to sink in the wet dirt.
Then, with genuine shock and surprise, one trailer peasant
exclaimed: "Oh! The pizza
dude is here." Then, "Man, we've been waiting for you."
: "Hey everyone!! Pizza's here!" Then to me: "Dude
, what took so long?"
I lifted a foot and watched the water slowly drain out of my boot. "Sorry, I got here as fast as I could."