Archive for February, 2013

PETA, pizza, Polly, and me.

Posted: February 4, 2013 in Food, People
Tags: ,

From the previous post:

In the meantime, her absence was all too short as she staggered back into O’Shea’s. “We need to talk, Foggy.” I hated that nickname more than my regular name. What the hell now?

And now:

Yeah… what the hell now did Polly want? Money probably. That was a given. Always looking for a handout – whether it had money in it or offering her a dance. Yeah, that was Polly alright.

“OK, Mom, what it is this time? How much? Have you called the personal injury lawyers again?”

Mom/Polly looked stricken by my tone. Well, that’s not exactly fair. She always looked like that. It was most likely due to the amount of roasted kale chased down by a bottle or two of Nyquil. “No, Foggy,” she slurred. Nyquil will do that to you. “It’s your father and the pizzeria.” Jeez.

6216242858_a30c3fb0d9 Goes really well with roasted kale, or so says Polly.

Before I go any further with this, let me tell you something about my father. We called him Pops. Everyone called him Pops, even when he was a kid. Don’t ask why, I don’t know. No one does. No one even remembers what his real name is. Pops was first generation this country. He was still in the womb when Grandpops and Stooky (his mom) came over from the old country. Grandpops pretty much lived the immigrants dream upon to coming to America. Got a job in a grocery store, made deliveries, swept the floors, ran numbers, and eventually bought the store shortly before buying the farm. Stooky kept churning out little Calamari’s until they ran out of places to put them all. Pops was the first born and the one with the most drive. He shared Grandpops work ethic if not his ethics. But all of the charges were eventually dropped.

So anyway, Pops opened the first ever vegetarian pizzeria. A real man ahead of his times. Naturally business was a little on the slow side as he had none of the traditional meat toppings. Pops did march to his own drummer. No else however could hear that peculiar beat though. So what could be the problem?

“Pops and the pizzeria?” I cleverly repeated. “What?”

“The pizzeria is being picketed by protesters! It’s a mob scene.”

Once again I engaged in clever repartee, “What?”

“It’s some group called Peter or Petra or something like. They really like animals and really hate Pops.”

Now we all know that Mom/Polly is prone to slight exaggerations. Well, gross exaggerations. Tell her something is ten feet tall and upon retelling, she’s made it twenty feet tall. It could be the Nyquil, we’re not sure. “Polly, that sounds like a group called PETA. They’re an animal rights group. What problem would they have with a vegetarian pizzeria? Especially Pops’?”

387142237_b0b49d357c Now why would anyone want to protest this? Jeez!

Pops’ pizza wasn’t very good but I would never tell him that. Thankfully, only once a year did I have to eat it as part of our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. But being boycotted by PETA? That didn’t make any sense at all. However, as a member of the Calamari family, one got used to such stuff.

“Foggy,” she cried. I did tell you I hate that nickname, right? “Foggy, it’s the cheese! They’re protesting his cheese!” I rolled my eyes as I thought of a number of less than civil comments I might have made about her last remark. His cheese? Aww, c’mon, that’s just too easy.

“OK, Polly. I give up. What’s the matter with his cheese?” I regretted saying that the moment I did. I hope no one else heard me say that.

“Foggy, you don’t understand. It’s buffalo mozzarella! They’re protesting the inhumane treatment of buffaloes during the making of the mozzarella and threatening to shut Pops down. ”

Oh no, please don’t tell me that’s what she said! This was more than just her normal kale and Nyquil delusion. She’d really gotten into the Sterno now. But, still I now had protesters to deal with along with the ominous thick envelope on my dashboard.