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"It Pays To Know Your Meats"
posted July 22, 2006 @11:22p

So far, I have never eaten as much cheese as I truly wanted at one sitting. I've eaten entire blocks of cheese and been dissatisfied. I've eaten large pizzas by myself, and yet yearned for more cheese.

I love cheese.

Tonight I went to my favorite pizza joint. It's the cheesiest, and it's been my favorite as long as I can remember. All that cheese makes it worth the drive to get there.

...speaking of getting there, I stopped for fuel on the way. I used the pay-at-the-pump option, then went inside to get a Dr. Pepper and a couple Scor candy bars. I gave the clerk my money, went outside, then drove off with the gas-pump nozzle still attached to my car.

Unbelievably, it was the first time that I'd ever done that.

Anyway... so I called ahead and placed my pizza order. Now normally, I don't care for sausage. But after years of ingredient experimentation, there is a perfect pizza combination at this place - pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and extra cheese.

When I got there, my pizzas were still in the oven. I paid with my credit card, and the person behind the counter told me it would be a few minutes.

I looked around, and most tables were full. But I saw that just in front of the counter, there was a row of three green chairs that look to be for the purpose of waiting for an order to be finished. So I asked her, pointing towards the row of chairs, "hey - is it okay if I sit here?"

She gave me the okay to sit, so I sat. I waited a few minutes, then got a little curious. I stood up about halfway, knees still bent, and looked over my right shoulder, across the counter, to see if I could see any sign of my pizzas.

No sign.

So I wait a bit longer, then I repeat the same half-standing-over-the-shoulder process.

No sign.

As I waited, a woman and her child stepped up to the counter, and the mother began to place her order. "I want a sub sandwich. Um... pepperoni, banana peppers, cheese, sauce, sausage.... um... beef, pepperoni, sausage, and... um... banana peppers."

I was sitting directly beside the woman placing the order, but faced in the opposite direction, towards the interior of the restaurant. I couldn't help but crack a small smile.

The pizza lady then asked, "do you want salami on that?"

The mother said, "SALAMI? What's that?"

Pizza lady sighed, "it's...... ah, I don't know what it is."

"If I don't know what it is, then I don't want it on there," the mother snapped. Then no-salami lady stepped to the potato chip rack and picked up a small bag of Cheetos.

As no-salami lady prepared to sit down at a table and wait for her sandwich to be created, I got a little curious again. But this time, I didn't want to appear over-zealous and get on the pizza lady's nerves, especially not after no-salami lady's overreaction. If there's one thing you DON'T wanna do, it's upset the people that are preparing your food. You never know what they may do.

So this time, when I peeked, I did it a little differently. I started to slyly and sneakily turn my head over my left shoulder, not doing do the half-stand; I didn't want the pizza lady to see my head pop up. But as my chin lined up parallel with my left shoulder, I saw in the corner of my eye that directly behind me on the counter were the pizza condiments.


But then I noticed the salt and pepper packs were in clear containers. And, at the correct angle and light, I could see back into the kitchen.

I saw the pizza lady, and she was beginning to prepare the sandwich just ordered by the no-salami lady. She was working hard, getting all the different ingredients together and placing them on the bread. Then she bent over, and got really close to the sub sandwich, as if to inspect her work.

"Meticulous," I thought.

Oh no, not meticulous... She SPIT on no-salami lady's sandwich. I guess my mom was right after all: it really DOES pay to know your meats.


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