My Worst Nightmare: Ordering Pizza
When I was younger I had a profound fear of talking to strangers on the phone. I especially hated it when my parents made me order pizza for delivery. Looking back on it now, it seems silly to be afraid of such a simple task. But back then I would get incredibly nervous, and this is how I imagined the phone call would transpire:
In my living room, my family gathers around me as I dial the number of the pizza place.
PIZZA GUY, who talks way too fast: Sorrento’s Pizza. What do you want?
ME: Yes…uhh…I’m calling because I’d like to make and place an order for deliverance to the house where I…umm…live.
PIZZA GUY: Hold on I’m putting you on speakerphone.
ME: Wh- Why did you do that?
PIZZA GUY: So everyone eating here can listen to this.
PIZZA GUY: So what do you want?
ME: I’d like to make an order for three pizzas. Well the order is not for pizzas, it’s for humans. So I guess it’s an order of pizzas for humans. Sorry for the confusion.
PIZZA GUY: Just tell me what you want.
ME: Okay, first of all, I’d like one large pizza with half cheese and half sausage.
PIZZA GUY: Large cheese pizza, half a sausage. Got it.
ME: No, I want one pizza, with half of it covered in sausage.
PIZZA GUY: Yeah.
PIZZA GUY: What else?
ME: I’d also like a large Hawaiian pizza.
PIZZA GUY: We don’t make those anymore.
ME (to my sister): They don’t have Hawaiian.
MY SISTER: Okay. I’ll have a cheese pizza with ham and pineapple then.
ME (to pizza guy): Okay then I’ll have a ham and pineapple pizza please.
(Audible laughter from people in the pizza place)
PIZZA GUY: We don’t have that.
ME (to my sister): No ham and pineapple.
MY SISTER: Fine. I’ll just have a steak and cheese.
ME (to pizza guy): Okay, then I’d just like a steak and cheese.
PIZZA GUY: So that’s one cheese pizza, half sausage. One large steak pizza. One large cheese pizza. Is that all?
ME: No, a steak and cheese sub.
PIZZA GUY: One cheese pizza, half sausage. One large steak pizza. One large cheese pizza. One steak and cheese sub. Anything else?
ME: No, I meant a steak and cheese sub instead of the Hawaiian pizza.
PIZZA GUY: We don’t make Hawaiian pizza.
ME: I understand that. Okay, let’s just start over-
BECKY, my biggest crush (through the speakerphone): Eric? This is Becky. Are you retarded or something? I’ve been waiting in line here to order for 5 minutes while you’ve been babbling on like an incoherent monkey. The line here is now out the door.
ME: B-Becky? I didn’t know you were there. Sorry, I’m just trying to make this order.
BECKY: Just hurry up. My brother’s blood sugar is low and I need to order a soda for him before it’s too late.
ME: Oh, man. Okay I’ll hurry up. Pizza guy, you there?
PIZZA GUY (shouting): What did you just call me? No one is allowed to call me “pizza guy” but my wife and my parole officer!
ME: Sorry. Let’s just get this over with. I’ll have three large pepperoni pizzas with extra cheese. That’s all.
PIZZA GUY: Three large poison pizzas, extra shit. Got it.
ME: Sorry, what did you say?
PIZZA GUY: Three large pepperoni pizzas, extra cheese.
MY SISTER: But Eric, I don’t want pepperoni!
ME (to my sister): Will you just shut up?
PIZZA GUY: You better watch your mouth, asshole! First you disrespect me and call me “pizza guy,” then you tell me to shut up? You’re messing with the wrong guy! You know, I think I’ll be delivering these pizzas to you myself. What’s your goddam address?
ME: Yeah, umm, I think I’d like to cancel my order.
PIZZA GUY: WHAT’S YOUR ADDRESS!
BECKY: I know where he lives. I’ll take you there. Let’s go.
PIZZA GUY: Alright, good.
(Sound of gun cocking. Voices fade as they walk away from phone)
PIZZA GUY: So, you said you’re Becky. That’s a beautiful name…