when you're a kid, a little decadence is plenty. you may want a bike, or a life sized doll that speaks, or one of those power wheels things, but to make you happy, it doesn't take a lot. your parents' affection, being allowed to run around with your friends, cartoons on saturday morning, and some bland american junk food. and so we get celebrations based around root beer (or another pop of the celebrated child's choosing) and pizza. remember the oldschool pizza parlors of days gone by? the low-hanging lamps, pac man and ms. pac man standing side by side, tables covered in canadian bacon and pineapple or pepperoni pizza, pitchers of soda, plastic plates and cups, and greasy, crumpled napkins.

small wonder that the default meal of choice among college students is so often beer (because we're so much more sophisticated now) and pizza. you're alone, there are no rules, and for a while, decadence prevails. you want to be a lost boy, you want to test the waters again, prove to yourself that the limits you learned as a child are gone. no one will chastise you for eating beer and pizza every night - you'll probably have more friends ('friends') because of it. but sooner or later the magic disappears. you're left with pizza boxes and beer bottles strewn all over your floor for the third or fourth night in a week and beer and pizza changes. once in a while, it's still wonderful, maybe even still a staple. but the thrill is gone.

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