Friday, May 21, 2010

Fine Automotive Dining

So we finally made a full circle. I came home from work after finishing my latest mural and was hungry. Sheri had been busy so there was nothing readily available outside of Cheez-its or dog food. I fed Presley the dog food and I called in an order to the Pizza Guys. We had talked about it for nearly a year, joking about whether or not Pizza Guys missed us and if we'd ever buy another one of those pizzas again. I go by "Bob" when I called it in to Pizza Guys for several reasons. They have about 11 people working in a sweatbox the size of our downstairs bathroom, all doing their thing in their native language. It's noisy, probably confusion abounds, incredibly busy on a Friday night, and the name Vince doesn't transfer well over the phone. Even if it's quiet on both ends, you are of Caucasian descent, speak English as your native tongue, and know me personally when I call, you will say, "Who?" I have even had to tell, dare I say, OK, I will, my parents when I call, that this is Vince. "Who?" they say! I remind them rather than repeat my name. I tell them, "You should remember me, I'm your favorite son." That's when the big "Aha" moment happens. They blurt out, "Vince! " I say, "Yes it's me", and we talk. I finally have gotten used to it over the years although it's still annoying. I will hear Sheri laughing from the other room as she overhears me repeating my name numerous times after saying no, not Dennis, no, not Lance, no, not Vic; then I start to spell it slowly and then finally I say something like,"Think Van Gogh, you know like Vincent Van Gogh". I get the feeling that's why he may have cut off his ear in the first place.
The funniest one was, I had called in an order for something I wanted to buy on TV. I gave them my name and address and a credit card number. A couple of weeks later my package arrived, although it was addressed to a Ben Slaughterson, living at my address. I recognized the company's name and finally after saying the name several times quietly to myself. I said it out loud and the word Ben became Vin and the word Slaughterson said quickly became Slarsen. I said it again: Vin Slarsen. Again, Vince Larsen! It WAS me! That was how they heard it! People will sometimes ask me if I was named for Vincent Van Gogh-being that I'm an artist, have the blue eyes, same name, and also happen to be born 100 years to the day that Van Gogh was born. I tell them, "No, my parents named me after a thrift store."
Back to the pizza. We have always ordered the same pizza, for years from them. They have it in their computer. One medium pepperoni and sausage on my half and a pepperoni and mushroom on Sheri's half. You also get a free 2 liter bottle of cold soda when you pick it up, and if you can get a coupon you can get it all for a little over $7. Such a deal! We drive it over to the next strip mall since that's where the seating is. I may be a bit nostalgic here, but it does remind me of how our parents did things like this for us to save a buck. I pack up a salt shaker, about 6 napkins and a couple of disposable cups before we leave to pick it up. This way when we get to the other strip mall we will have everything we need and not have to drive it home before it gets cold. The concept works quite well and it brings back some great memories of that fine automotive dining we did as kids with our parents out of the back of a station wagon.
The pizza was actually a great pizza, even after all the pies I have made over the past year and a half. I have to give it a thumbs up.

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