“He Just Left.”

In addition to the milk of human kindness which gushes through my veins – and my continually sunny disposition and positive outlook – I am also known for the saint-like patience with which I walk down the sidewalks of life every day. Next to me, Gandi would have looked like a mean, pushy, demanding whiner – in need of a shirt. But, of course, the Lord tests me occasionally. He did today.

I stumbled down the 12-steps of my ‘Pizza Anonymous’ program (“One slice is too much and 100 slices aren’t enough, Fat Boy!”) and slinked into a sleazy, slice-house. I gave my one-pepperoni order to the sweating, less- than-inspired dullard who immediately whipped one into the hell-like oven.

“Uh, no,” I pleasantly said, “you don’t have to do that. I’ll just take it in a box.” I smiled. He looked as disgusted as he must have looked when told he’d have to repeat all of his BOCES classes – for the third time.

He pushed the box across the counter to the genius who was mindlessly trying to figure out the keys on the cash register – as he watched some tragedy-at-sea cable movie, take care of his customers, and talk on the phone. I was second in line. 1- minute passed. Then 2 and 3. At about minute seven, I wasn’t the only customer making throat-clearing sounds but I’m proud to say, I led the chorus.

It was about minute 8 (!) when I opened my box, picked off 2 pieces of pepperoni, and popped them into my mouth. Although there were a few appreciative murmurs from the crowd (now about 6 deep), the nitwit looked at me and then immediately turned his back to all of us (and his movie) and continued to talk on the phone.

It must have been between minutes 9 and 10 when I loudly opened my box, pulled off a few more pieces of pepperoni accompanied by about 2 or 3 square inches of cheese, and stuffed them into my mouth. More chuckles from the crowd and more of being ignored by the customer service king. I knew what my responsibility was. With my box still open, I wiped my mouth with a counter napkin, crumbled it up, tossed it on the used pizza slice, turned, and walked out the door. The last thing I heard was a customer saying: “He just left!”

Now I don’t wish to embarrass anyone – so I won’t name names. But just in a general life-advice kind of way, I’d say if you are ever walking down Park Avenue (at the corner of Oxford) and have a sudden pizza craving, I suggest you walk to the phone booth and look up the closest Salvatores Pizza. You won’t be sorry – or too much older when it’s delivered.

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2 Responses to ““He Just Left.””

  1. amy stahl says:

    I have been known to walk right around pizza counters when it takes thaaat long. My brother calls it the May I Help You.
    It will also immediatley get you service if you walk up to one of those computer ringup areas and just start pressing buttons. You instantly hear someone say, “may I help you?”

  2. Rich Gardner says:

    Unbelievable. When you consider there are almost as many pizza shops as there are people it should be quickly obvious that SERVICE is even more important than, say, at a Hummer dealership.
    By the way, when you’re immortal (as you clearly and convincingly establish yourself in Paragraph One) there is no such thing as stealing. When a Saint takes something from you, it as if you donated it to the church. You don’t even have to be religious or believe in Saints.

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