One dark night, CC and I ordered two medium pizzas for delivery. She wanted sausage and onions on hers; I wanted mushrooms, black olives, and onions on mine. Remember that; it’s important – mushrooms, black olives, and onions.
After a conventional wait – maybe 40 minutes or so – the pizzas arrived. I paid the man at the door and brought the pizzas into the living room. After pouring beverages for both CC and myself, I settled down on the couch, ready to enjoy my dinner. I opened the box –
– and there, in profusion upon my pizza, was a substantial serving of ham. Ham! It was nestled among the expected mushrooms and black olives. I wasn’t about to eat it – I don’t do ham, okay? I called Pizza Hut and explained the problem. They were extremely apologetic and said they would make a new pizza for me with mushrooms, black olives, and onions. Sure enough, not half an hour later, our driver appeared again at the door with a fresh pizza in hand. This time, I popped the box open while he was standing there, only to find –
– Ham! Ham again, nestled among the mushrooms and black olives. This time I was a little indignant, a little self-righteous, a little irritated even. And more than a little hungry. The driver was as apologetic as could be and he immediately called over to the restaurant, which promised to send the correct pizza my way ASAP.
The wait this time was no more than 20 minutes. And this time, we had a different driver. She had the air about her of someone who didn’t usually do deliveries – likely a manager. She gave me a longer and more erudite apology than any I’d received to that point and handed the pizza to me. I opened the box right there at the door, and saw –
– mushrooms, black olives, and… well… onions. Yes those were onions! And I realized in a flash that these were not the usual white onions I typically saw on pizzas. No these were, well… red onions. Wide slices. Red onions that could be mistaken for, well… ham… if one didn’t… examine them closely enough. As I was realizing this, the delivery person got back in her car and drove off.
Yes… all three of those pizzas had been prepared with onions on them. Not ham, onions. Do you hear me Chuck? Onions! Red onions! As red as the color of my face at that moment. As red as the metaphoric blood on my hands when I saw that the Pizza Hut had closed.
In retrospect, I should have called the pizzeria and apologized – profusely, that is, commensurate with the pizzeria’s many apologies. But (sigh) my embarrassment was such that I just wanted to forget the whole sorry episode. If St. Peter is waiting for me at The Gates, I may not have heard the end of this.
Still… waste not, want not. We were, at that point, in possession of a total of three medium pizzas with mushrooms, black olives, and onions. It stored well in the freezer and was consumed over the next few weeks. But without quite the enthusiasm with which I normally greet a hot plate of pizza.