At the pizza place I delivered for we earned minimum plus tips
and a commission on everything we delivered. So there was an
incentive to drive quickly, to be 'top driver' for the night. Now
it gets cold in Ithaca during the long winters. And when you're
driving with a seat-full of pizzas, there's gonna be a lot of
steam. When the steam hits the windshield, it turns to ice. And
then you're driving inside a deathbox, as quickly as you can. Only
you're leaning way out the driver's side window so you can see, and
you're trying to keep a cigarette lit too. Now, if someone orders
a sheet pizza(Pudgie's huge, rectangular, 32-slice deal), it's
pretty much a given that they're stoned. And they're more than
willing to tip you with a hit.
Or they're Carl Sagan, who has a really cool house cut into
the side of a gorge up on University avenue, across from the
Rockledge fraternity. I took the order when he called it in and it
was all I could do to keep a straight face while he asked me for
"Oh, about four or five of, of those subs of yours--"
"Anything on them?"
"Oh...everything, only no hot peppers on one of them."
"Will that be all?"
"Oh...and some of those wing things you make. Some of them,
"It'll be there in about half an hour."
"...and if it takes longer we get it free, right?"
Cheap git. "No, I'm afraid that is someone else's offer."
Well I wouldn't show that slip of paper with his order on it
to anyone and insisted on putting it together myself. In what I
thought was record time.
Fifteen minutes later I skidded to a stop at the professor's
house, knocked twice, and waited.
"Hello. Wow, that was quick. Come in, come in, you're
freezing out there."
It was late, I was already buzzed, and his house was even
cooler on the inside than out.
"Can I get you anything? Coffee, hot chocolate..."
I looked over and saw a well-stocked bar.
I'd just discovered the pleasures of good Scotch. "Any single
His face lit up and he walked hurriedly behind his bar and
began pulling out bottles. "Glenfittig, glenlivet, glen--"
Shit. He'd offered me the Dewar's first. Shit.
"Fittig. Neat. Thanks."
He poured both of us healthy shots. The Scotch was smooth and
smokey and went down easy. He tipped me five bucks and I was outta
there. I didn't get into my car right away, though. I leaned back
against the car, lit up a cigarette and took a drag. Another car
pulled in next to mine. Two young women got out, saw my 'Pudgie's'
hat, said "Cool, the food's here", and walked right in to the
professor's house. I shook my head, got into my car, pulled out,
and headed for base, the warmth of the Scotch my nightlong
Internet folklore, can't claim it, but am sure happy to pass it along.