my crisis of confidence in pizza

In 1979, Jimmy Carter delivered a televised address to the nation that would become perhaps his most memorable speech as President. While trying to describe the energy crisis sparked by OPEC’s price-hiking several years earlier to the general public, Carter chose to frame the issue as a “crisis of confidence” – not just in fossil fuel consumption, but in the future of the American way of life itself. Carter bemoaned the air of melancholy hopelessness that he believed hung heavy over the United States following the JFK and MLK assassinations, the Vietnam War and Watergate in an attempt to engender a simple, emotional response to a complex problem.

The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.

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It is now 2016, nearly 40 years since the Peanut President practically told everyone we were better off dead – and I, too, have lost the very will to live.

The date is Friday, December 9th. After 5 long business days of struggling to coexist in the arena of human productivity, the mood in the office is violent, unrelenting as we march ever slower toward zero hour. I am young, twenty-eight years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another. Indeed, I have copied and pasted the previous two sentences verbatim from a digital copy of All Quiet on the Western Front, because this is war.

5:30 nears. A soft, faint voice echoes down an empty hallway – “there’s pizza in the kitchen.”

News of this magnitude doesn’t go unnoticed. Pizza is a prized commodity, its own fossil fuel, reserved for the ruling class with which to lord over peasants the promise of pepperoni for a hard day’s work – the cheesy, tomato-based carrot at the end of a long  and unforgiving stick. It is the fundamental Stockholm syndrome that makes salaried employment possible. The pigeons pecking away at their keyboards cooed with delight at the announcement of crumbs, flocking to the hazardous Chernobyl Exclusion Zone we call the office kitchen.

By the time I arrived, a single slice remained. The flock had dispersed; the path revealed itself to me, and me alone. Hope reigned eternal.

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As I approached the last plate, the impending satisfaction swelled my beating heart. A bright future flashed before my eyes – I would grab my kill like some malnourished creature, drag it back to the dark den from which I arose and devour it where only God could judge me. My wife would never find out I ate two dinners that night. My blood was pumping.

Then, I saw it.

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This was not pizza.

This wasn’t even food.

Well, it might have been food at one point, before it was digested and expelled onto this paper plate where its thick slime permanently stained the stovetop below, but in its current state? No. Did somebody actually prepare and coothis fucking thing, or did it materialize itself from the unholy amalgamation of airborne mold spores and expired leftovers decaying in the communal fridge? This was not edible. Radioactive waste from Fukushima, maybe – but this was not something a sane person eats.

I’ll come right out and say it – anyone who calls this doughy compost abortion a “pizza,” including the lunatic who yelled with such fervor “there’s pizza in the kitchen,” is a hideous fucking monster, an existential threat to the very ties that bind civilization together on this godforsaken rock hurtling through space. In 5 billion years the sun will expand and engulf our orbit as the charred ember that was once Earth vaporizes (according to Neil deGrasse Tyson), so don’t even try to argue with me. There isn’t enough time left.

Even if you went to a grocery store, talked to the produce department manager and said “give me all of the vegetables in your dumpster,” you couldn’t possibly conceive of a more revolting piece of shit than this slice of pizza. You’d be better off going outside and eating dirt. Look at all these fucking rotten plants.

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This photo looks like grainy found footage from a brutal crime scene for a reason.

Do you know how hard it is to fuck up a pizza? You make a circle with some dough and flour, spread a little sauce on there, sprinkle a couple pounds of cheese and meat on, stick it in the oven and wait. That’s a pizza. Simplest god damn thing you can do. The motherfucker who made this couldn’t even get that right. They’re with the terrorists, as far as I’m concerned.


p.s. – Don’t @ me about other toppings you like.

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