Don’t get me wrong.
I’ve got nothing against pizza.
Though that could be like saying “No offense” and then immediately offending someone.
Okay, you got me.
I’ve got something against pizza.
Not pizza per se.
No, yeah. Pizza per se.
I have got something against pizza per se.
Which is, specifically, this.
Good or bad, thick crust of thin, New York, Chicago, Patterson New Jersey – all pizza is exactly the same.
“But you just listed the ways pizzas are different.”
I did. Still, I stand by that statement.
“Even though you said exactly the opposite?”
“Man! It’s like ‘Trump World’, but with pizza.”
I adhere to my contradictory guns because, despite their surface distinctions, all pizza is exactly the same, and here’s how. And why because of that “how”,
I have got something against pizza.
First off, I like pizza.
“You have an odd way of showing it.”
I’ll ignore that.
Because I feel like it.
I have eaten hundreds of pizzas in my day, beginning with my neighborhood (but with a “u”) La Pizza and Charjo’s, back in Toronto. I enjoyed pizza so much that when I had one delivered, I’d use my treasured “Chanukah Gelt” silver dollars that I swore I would “keep forever” to pay for it.
That’s how much I like pizza!
(Note: Before ordering in pizza, make sure you have enough money without using your treasured “Chanukah Gelt” silver dollars you swore you would “keep forever.” I forgot to do that. And I paid the price.)
Let us stipulate – as they say on courtroom dramas and possibly actual courtrooms as well – that it’s good pizza.
So there it is:
Good pizza, ready to eat. Knife and fork? Eat it with your hands? It’s all the same. You are excited about that pizza.
(And by the way, writing the previous paragraph, my mouth reflexively started to water.)
You take the first bite of that pizza?
You are in heaven.
You take another bite. And another. And then another. Rapidly finishing that first slice. You look down at the remaining slices of the pizza… and you are happy. Because that first slice was terrific. And there are so many slices to go.
You dig into the second slice of your pizza. It’s good. But at some point during that second slice, if you’re like me – a person committed to undermining his own pleasure – you face an unavoidable reality:
Eating pizza has become a bit of a slog.
Suddenly you are aware that what is ahead of you is a meal wherein every slice – nay, every bite of that pizza – tastes exactly the same as the first one.
Dooming you to a Groundhog Day pizza-eating experience.
Other dishes are different.
You have a veal cutlet. It comes with potatoes of some sort, a vegetable. You look down at your plate –
You have three options to choose from.
You taste the veal cutlet? You try some potatoes? You sample the vegetables? It’s like – because it is – three distinctly alternate tastes. Moosh them together, and the taste options increase.
It’s even more so with fruit salad, where the choices are multiplied. You dig into fruit salad, and it’s like,
“Ooh! A strawberry!” “Ooh! A grape!”
Sometimes it’s “Ooh! A pine nut!” Fruit salads surprise you! Every bite – well not every bite; let not get crazy – but many bites are deliciously unlike the bite before.
“Ooh! A kiwi!” “Ooh! A … what is that?”
Your taste buds are dancing!
But with pizza… it’s just pizza.
Then more pizza.
Then more pizza.
Then more pizza.
Sure, you can go half “something” and half “something else” with your pizza. But I don’t know anyplace… I mean, can you imagine asking,
“Can I have a different topping on each slice?”
“We don’t do that!”
Leaving you stuck with “just pizza.”
Understand this. I love pizza. I love the dough. I adore the crust. (My family knows that, and gives me their crust.) In some ways, pizza’s my “ideal food.” But I can’t fool myself.
Pizza is eight slices of exactly the same thing.
Of course, I won’t eat eight slices. I will save some for later. Although later, it’s the same thing… colder and dryer.
Pizza is great. But it is, and can be nothing other than –
Over and over.
There is always that first bite.