Posts Tagged ‘Pizza’

Previously: If Barry “took care” of Ahmed, I’d never have a falafel again. I had to get involved.

And now: Just what I wanted. Barry was not a favorite of mine. He was bad looking, but smelled worse. Just one affliction short of an unpleasant trifecta of human refuse. But he was there wanting his money. Well, not his actually. He was just the faceman, if you could call it that, for an even worse individual, Tranks. Yeah, like Cher he favored only one name but at least Tranks wasn’t in evidence.

This was not Barry’s regular time to come calling. So, if he was there which he was, something was up and it wasn’t going to be good. There was some good news in his presence…he didn’t want his money this visit. But he was there on Tranks business. Could this day get any worse? Uhhh, yeah.

It seems that the PETA dust-up was of Trank’s doing. He thought a diversionary tactic, such as the buffalo mozzarella cheese flap, would deflect attention from his real and much more miserable activity. Tranks was running a scam animal rescue operation. He and his gang of community college miscreants were rounding up dogs, there’s a good reason for leash laws folks, and advertising them as rescue dogs.  Hey, no overhead except for the dog food bought at Target. He commanded a high dollar for each one of these Sarah McLachlan represented pooches. Gordon Gekko once said “Greed is good.” Tranks paraphrased that to “Guilt is good.” And it paid off for a while until PETA got wind of it.

5305214442_56a5231e04 Gordon Gekko, not Tranks.

In order for Tranks to get his pups out of town, he had to stage a diversion, hence the Great Buffalo Mozzarella Protest. Damned if it didn’t work. But now Pops was branded as some heartless capitalist and animal hater. OK, he is a capitalist, but he loves dogs. Certainly not as what PETA portrayed him. That said, he wasn’t selling much vegetarian pizza these days. Thanks Tranks! But the diversion was just that for all involved. See, Barry was there to let Pops know what Tranks wanted from him now. An offer that he surely could not refuse was coming down the barrel of this gun and we were all waiting for the blast.

“Pops, Tranks likes you and wants to save you some money and make you some money. You interested?,” Barry coughed up. Those words were like music to Pops but it was the symphony he was about to regret.

Barry continued on with his phlegmy monologue, “It seems like Tranks is really missing his meat pizzas. He wants you to start offering them now.” Pops was suspicious with good reason.

From under his flour-crusted eyebrows, Pop looked at Barry and asked, “Why?”

Barry replied without giving away anything, “Because Tranks has come into quite a supply of fresh meat and wants you to start using it.”

“No, no, no, no,no!” Pop screamed. “No meat! No meat! Did you see what happened here with all those hippies protesting my pizza? No. No!”

“Well Pops, it ain’t gonna be that easy. You see, Tranks has to get rid of those dogs somehow and you’re gonna make them the specialty of the house. Get it?”

4895522092_c111398306 New specialty of the house? Stay tuned!

If Pops could have gotten any whiter, hard considering he was covered in flour, he would have passed for Pat Boone. This was not how he saw this day continuing. “Fog, son, help me with this. Polly, ahh, no forget it Polly. Fog, you, you gotta do something! Barry, you gotta be kidding right?”

Barry wasn’t kidding nor was the newly arrived Trank. OK, it wouldn’t have seemed possible but Pops turned even paler. Could anything be whiter than Pat Boone?

Previously on The Bruce: But, still I now had protesters to deal with along with the ominous thick envelope on my dashboard.

And now:

Leave it to some oozing, warm-blooded, do-good organization to screw things up royally. Pops had been making his buffalo mozzarella pizza for years without a hitch and along comes some hairy-armpitted, unkempt group hell-bent on exacting their pound of flesh or in this case, cheese, from this poor working stiff. Polly was besides herself, which isn’t unusual since she often battles with one if not several of the personalities that dwell with her cranial cavity. Talk about your extended family. Distended would be more like it.

340512743_508b5f403b Part of the extended Calamari family.

Fortunately the protest was peaceful if not somewhat malodorous as most of the protestors hadn’t had intimate relations with a bar of Zest for some time. But then again, Pops pretty much smells the same way all the time, shower or not. But he was getting the kind of gleeful press one reserves for Sarah Palin. The press smelling blood, which again in this case was NOT the case, was going for it all and at the center of it was Pops and by extension Polly and me. And Ahmad wasn’t too happy either. And there was that envelope too.

We called a few of our friends, lapsed Guardian Angels, to help us quell the crowd. The appearance of them in their worn but still proudly worn red berets was enough to instill just the amount of fear into the cheese-huggers. No doubt the large clubs they were carrying also had some effect on them and they left none too quickly. Polly returned to  huffing her almost depleted Sterno can, Ahmad said a prayer with his beads, and Pops offered free pizza to all who helped out. Me, I was just pissed.

The nearest we can figure is that this was a poor version of a flash-mob with nothing better to do, but isn’t that what all of them are about anyway? There didn’t appear to be any real organizing group behind it and we put it behind us. But, now I had to open that envelope.

There was a return address on it, but not one I could identify with anything specific. It was heavy, pretty thick, actually. I opened it with no small amount of trepidation fearing it might contain some biological equivalent to Polly’s cooking, known to render all who partook immobile almost immediately. It’s why Pops did all the cooking. It was Pops manuscript. He had an idea for a book and had sent it out to who knows how many publishers. He thought the world would beat a path to his door with his vegetarian pizza recipes. Pops was nothing if not ever-hopeful.

Well, it was no surprise. The publisher hated it. They thought a cookbook with the questionable title: Roadkill for Vegetarians might turn some people off. Hell, it might even offend them. Pops was crushed. But since he was of good peasant stock, he thought, he believed, another publisher would find the intrinsic merit of this gustatotrial tome, that it would only be a matter of days before it hit the New York Times best seller list. Hey, stranger things have happened in the Calamari family.

DSC_0374 Cover art for Roadkill for Vegetarians cookbook.

So the mystery of the envelope was solved; the mob was dispersed; Ahmed was back to polishing the same frigging glass; in short all was as it should be. But not for long. Barry came in looking for his weekly order of baksheesh.

Bruce and I were just coming back from our favorite charity fund-raiser: Save the Intellectuals. We both feel like this is an endangered group of people that is being overlooked by media, the populace, and of course the unintelligentsia also known as the great unwashed. Since we were dog-tired of the pseudo-concerned talk of the members involved, our conversation got around to, not unsurprisingly, to politics. The question we both spoke, out loud, simultaneously was ” Is the best we can do?”

Ahhh, democracy!

Passing one of those do-it-yourself, serve-yourself yogurt shops popping up so much like mushrooms after a rain, it dawned on me that the current offering of candidates is nothing different than pull-the-center lever for a blend of nothing resembling anything. We’ve got three white men and an African-American running for national office. Without a doubt, there is not really any difference in flavor of these guys. Like cola drinks, they all have different slogans, but still pretty much taste the same anyway. Bruce and I are going to stand up and do something about it.

Yes, yes, we know – third party candidacies never work. Until now. We have, thorough, extensive research and countless non-fat lattes, determined what other third party candidates have been lacking: money. That’s it. Stone-cold, hard and dirty, under the table if necessary, filthy lucre – CASH! With enough of that stuff, you can win. Without it, well, can you say Thomas Vanderweist? No, of course not. TV as his friends (both of them) called him was so underfunded as to be considered maybe a fourth or fifth tier candidate for president in 2000. TV’s candidacy wasn’t covered because absolutely no one knew of it. This is exactly the kind of underdog Bruce and I love and naturally gravitate towards. Everyone loves the lovable loser.

Barney, not old TV.

TV was that and more. Looking more Barney Fife than Barney’s Men Store, he was the type to be overlooked in a room of only him. But he had determination. In his eyes, his candidacy was not a flight of frivolity. He was dead serious. And this seriousness, this one-mindedness cost him dearly. In an attempt to crash and participate in the presidential debates in 2000, TV, while still carrying his campaign placard on his bicycle and not looking both ways before crossing the street, was run over by a drunk driver in Joe Lieberman’s motorcade. It was an event mostly over-looked by the media as they thought he was a meaningless pizza delivery guy.

But this is the gist of his life. He was willing to die for his beliefs. Or that’s what his widow said between scotch and sodas.

So in honor of TV, we are launching a new campaign in the spirit of his, sans the bike accident. (We always look both ways.) But like any other well-oiled (that would be Bruce by 2:00 PM each afternoon) campaign machine, we will need cash. Advertising ain’t cheap, even on small cable channels featuring the Sham Wow. Before that though, we will need a candidate for all of us to rally around. Neither Bruce or I are suitable. There are a few incidents in each of our pasts we would rather not revisit. We also don’t not want to go the typical route of a vetting candidates in primaries. What a waste of money. Let’s save that, in honor of old TV, for victory party pizzas.

Please consider this an open invitation to toss your hat into the ring. Your country needs you. Your country wants you. Your spouse probably wants you out of the house. What could be more perfect?

Yes, your country wants you! Insert your face here.

All parties interested please tell us a little about yourselves: hobbies, favorite color, first pet’s name, third grade PE teacher, and favorite ice cream flavor. Really, this is all we need to vet you as the next president. It’s that simple. Don’t delay because the election is just about 10 weeks away and your country does need you. Besides, just like the other two political parties, we don’t have anything to do before the holidays.