Saturday, March 24, 2007


Buddy, our most senior driver("the man's a geezer, OK?" "Buddy's older than"), had his van for sale forever. I used to refer to it as the RUAV, the Redneck Urban Assault Vehicle. It was vintage late ‘80’s, double deckerish, mostly mauve and crowned with one of those weird looking, sickle shaped TV antennas. In the upper left corner of the rear window was a confederate flag sticker. The “FOR SALE” signs had been on the van so long, people just assumed that they were part of the look, just like his handicapped tag dangling from the rear view mirror.
Saturday night, Buddy showed up for work with his new ride, a 1992 Ford Escort. The little subcompact was a bright metallic purple and featured gold 18 inch spinner wheels. When the car is turned off, it seems it's a toss up which was going to stop first, the spinners or the cars dieseling. Judging by the blaring, pounding country western music, every time Buddy pulled up in front of the pizza store, it must have a kick-butt stereo. Either that or Buddy's hearing aid is not working properly, again.
Jason, one of the younger drivers, refers to it as, “Buddy’s econo-pimp mobile”.

He asked, “How many Ho’s do you get to the mile, in that thing, Buddy?”
For me, what completes the look is not all the above. If you look at the rear of the vehicle, as the old guy drives away, pizza light lit, handicapped tag dangling,spinners spinning, purple sparkling, you can clearly make out where there had once been 3" high block letters near the rear bumper. It reads STUDENT DRIVER.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007


As soon as I arrived at the pizza store, early Saturday evening, it was obvious that things were slow. Already 5 or 6 drivers were standing around, folding pizza boxes, shooting the breeze, waiting for delivery orders to pop up on the computer screen then pop out of the oven.
Jason, a 20 something college student who rarely had a nice thing to say about anyone, was finishing his thought. "I guess the way the body was found, the cops think that it might be a serial killer. Something about being tied to some hookers in Daytona."
"She was beaten to a pulp," Chris, another driver said.
"What are you guys talking about?", I inquired
"They found a dead crack whore behind that warehouse next to the tracks on Palm Street," Jason said.
"Really, wow. When? I just delivered to the lesbian couple that lives across the street, yesterday. You know the ones that always order chicken strips and say, "Please be safe out there," as you're leaving?
"Yeah, I know the lesbos you're talking about. Last time I said, "Maybe you Dudes ought to be careful in there," as I pointed to their bedroom door, smirked Jason
"Be careful Dude. The big one is way more of a man than you are", Chris chimed in.
"Yeah, yeah. The paper said the Ho had been arrested over 80 times for drug related and prostitution."

"80 ? How old was she," I asked?
"Old", another young driver threw in coldly. Then realizing who he was talking to, and our age difference, "I mean but not real old. She was 39 or something."
"I saw her picture", another driver threw in. "She wasn't bad her younger days".
"Crack and Meth did her in. That stuff is nasty", said Jason.
"You guys ought to keep that in mind", I added in my best fatherly tone.
"Just weed, Dude. That's all I do", added Chris.
"Yeah, Dude, you don't hear of a Weed Ho, do you", asked Jason?
"If there ever was one it's you Dude", said Chris
"I am a pushover if you give me one reefer", Jason said laughing
"I'll try to keep that in mind", I said dryly
"The paper said she had 2 kids", another driver added, "and she used to be a supervisor at the metal stamping plant".
"But she was a hooker. Nothing but a junkie and a hooker", added Jason
Buddy, the ancient red-neck and usually indecipherable driver, had been silently folding boxes, his head down. He had given no indication that he heard any of the prior conversation, but suddenly mumbled, "Somebody's little girl."
"What's that Buddy",, I inquired?
"She was somebody's little girl." He never looked up and just kept folding boxes.

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Monday, December 25, 2006


The computer imprints a delivery zone on each ticket it spits out. That numbered area matches up with a grid on the large wall map. Most drivers will check the grid versus their head knowledge just so they don't end up driving in circles and wasting tip money on gas. I pulled two tickets in the same area, loaded up and headed out. Even though I had checked the street before I left, one address didn’t make sense. I had been driving long enough, however, that I knew I would figure it out once I was in the area. Besides, Buddy was “downloading” which made it tough for anyone to get any quality maptime.

First, I headed for River Street South, the address in question. After my third pass following the road to its end, I grabbed my cell and called the customer. An extreme Rubeonic twang answered on the other end.
“This is", asked twang?
“Hi, this is the pizzaguy and I’m trying to find your house.”
“Where you at”?
I gave him my general locale and his immediate response was, “What the hell do ya think we are? We don’t live nowhere near there.”
He then proceeded to give me the precise, almost military style location of his house using "klicks" and "south by southwest" type directions. His directions lead to the opposite end of town and maybe the opposite end of America. The area that the computer sent me to was “ghettofied”. In fact, the computer had sent me into an area that we drivers were not allowed to go into, let alone deliver to, any time. It was represented by a gray mass on the large wall map. The gray area was put there by the “corporate office” to warn us not to even travel through due to FBI’s high crime stats and/or we had more than one driver robbed in that zone, etc. I was aware of these factors but tried to make the delivery anyway.

Now, loaded with my new directions, I headed to the other River Street South. It was a very different road that not only paralleled the river but did dead end right into it, if you were not paying attention.

“Head to the end of the pavement just past the 1st crick”, then make a hard right just past Uncle Red’s boat, northeast onto the pine needle path.” I didn’t know from Uncle Red’s boat but, once again, figured it would make sense once I was there. It did and I followed the trail (at every bend, a new bank of motion activated set of quartz halogen lights lit up) until the path opened up into a compound. The compound featured many interesting and unique things but one stood out. It was what appeared to be a 25’ tall prison guard tower complete with a turret. It was currently unmanned but was creepy, none the less. I figured you could see/cover all of their 10-15 acres of vacant land, including the riverfront, from the top. I pulled the mostly green to a halt in front of the welding shop (an absolute must for every survivalist home). I was first greeted by a set of bookend pit bulls, one white, one black-brindle. They sat about three feet from my side of my door. No barking , just sitting and apparently observing…or deciding which one goes for the throat and which one the testicles.
From inside the welding shop, “We get our pizzas or what?”
I recognized the voice as the one on the phone.
“You get the pizzas if you get the dogs,” I responded.
“Oh, they’re alright.”
“Just the same, please get them”.
Two huge men, one in his twenties, the other his forties emerged from the shop, both covered in military style khaki, head to toe.
“Like I said, Whitey and Izan are no problem. They’re good dogs, aren’t you boys?” As he kicked hard at them and they scattered. He pointed in the direction of a beige, mostly nondescript pit-bull that was in a 4X6 welded steel cage. Not only was he caged but muzzled and chained, as well. “Now, Rudolph, she’s a different story. She’s not quite right in the head.”
I handed the older man his pizzas and got back in the truck. Feeling slightly emboldened, now that I was back in the mostly green, sans pizzas, money in hand. I was also sensing a theme with these dogs.
“What’s with the dog names? Did you say Izan?”
“Yup. Whitey is White Death.”
“And Izan is Nazi backwards,” I said
“Very good. You’re the first one to figure that out," he beamed
“And Rudolph…?”
“It ain’t what you’re probly thinkin,” he laughed. “Look at her nose.”
He pointed a military style flashlight at the caged animal that didn’t blink or move..just glared. The dog’s nose did appear to be a fairly bright shade of red.
“It aint bleedin or hurt or nothin. It’s just that way. Just like her head. She’s not quite right. Can’t have her around any other livin thing……dogs, people, livestock, plants, nothin’. Just that way”.
I looked again at the dog and she was silently stalking, glaring at me, her eyes locked on my eyes.
“We named her after the reindeer. You know Santy Claus' favorite.”
“Except she’s not a he.”
“Ah, but all Santy’s reindeer were she’s. Females are the onliest ones that have their antlers still on at Christmastime. Didn’t know that, did ya? I heard it on Paul Harvey. You know, The Rest of the Story?
As I pulled down the pine needle path, light banks popping on in sequence, I couldn't help but sing, Rudolph the red-nosed pit bull......... I pondered their version Christmas.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I parked the "mostly green" in the middle of the short circular drive. Mine was the type of vehicle that would have been considered a blight in this neighborhood. The exterior of the house was a tangerine stucco with cream accents and a couple of Greekish columns thrown in for effect. I could hear the doorbell echo through the cavernous house. After a beat, a 35ish black man opened the 10' arched door. He was well dressed sporting a heavily starched striped shirt. His head and face were smoothly shaved. As the door swung open, he glanced in my direction, "Whatya got ferme," he queried?
"Well sir, it appears we have two....."
With that, he spun slightly on the heels of his expensive loafers, snapped his fingers and pointed in the direction of his left ear, which contained a Bluetooth earpiece, blue light ablaze it had been hidden from my view . In doing so, he tilted his head much like the RCA Dog. His face contained a look that said, I'm not talking to you, you flippin' idiot pizza guy!
"Uh huh. Uh huh. Uh huh", he continued.
After another beat, he made eye contact with me. "Whatcha got ferme"?
I stood there with a Homer Simpson blank stare. He repeated himself.
"Are you talking to me," I asked, doing my best Travis Bickel.
"I'm looking at you," he countered.
"Yes, yes your are. Well sir, you have two large Nativity Pizzas hold the frankincense. That will be $21, please."
He handed me three $10, took the pies and started to push the huge door shut with his shoulder. As he did, I saw the Bluetooth flash.
"Whatya got ferme?"

Friday, December 15, 2006


I sat in the small office waiting for the shift manager to come in and cash me out for the night. One of the other drivers, Pedro a twenty something long-hair of Puerto Rican descent, stuck his head in the door. Pedro was a guy who had serious "issues" with God. He was mad at Him for the "4 years of wasted time, playing guitar in my church worship team and trying to be a good husband and father. The whole time, my wife was screwing around on me and what do I get an S- T- D and now I find out my daughter isn't even mine. God really sucks, you know. I could have been advancing my musical career in a real rock band and getting wasted, all the time instead of wasting all my time on God. Know what I mean, Dude?" Pedro and Jack, another driver who liked to be called Mike, lived together. Mike had taken Pedro in when it all hit the fan with his wife. This night, however, Pedro seemed excited, childlike and focused on something else.
"Dude, did you get your Secret Santa name yet?"
"Sorry Pete, don't know anything about Santa," I said, "and that goes for the Easter Bunny too."
"No, Dude, come on this is cool! We each pick a name out of a hat and then we have to buy that person a present for Christmas."
"As long as it's not Buddy's hat. I won't take anything out of there", I deadpanned.
Lizzie, the 19 year old shift manager came into the office and flopped into her chair. She took my money and receipts and asked what we were talking about?
"Dude, Lizzie, we were just talking about the Secret Santa," Pedro said excitedly.
"Oh Pedro, I know what Mike is getting you," she threw in coyly.
"Wait a second, you and Mike are roommates and you're also each others Secret Santas? How did that happen," I inquired?
"We didn't cheat, Dude. Just the luck of the draw, honest. I wouldn't lie about Santa, for real. Anyway, I'll just buy Mike a big ol' bag of dope."
Lizzie threw back her head and laughed. "That's so, so funny! That's what Mike said he's getting you. A big bag of dope!" They both continued to laugh at the irony. Visions of that Christmas morning and their version of re-gifting flashed through my mind. I grabbed my tip money and left.

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"You know what I mean," Buddy muttered as he returned from some deliveries? "Here it is what, almost 8:00. I been on 4 deliveries and didn't get no tip yet. That's a hunert dollars in pizza and no dang tip."
"It will get better. Hang in there. You know how it goes in streaks," I said.
"Nope. Not till I stop pulling them orders in that section of town."
I didn't ask, I knew what was coming.
"The Black persuasion."
"How are they persuaded to be Black", I queried?
He continued, ignoring me, "Their Momma and Daddies didn't teach them no manners about tippin. Period! It just aggratates me and they don't know how to speak no English, either."

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As previously mentioned, there is a high turnover rate in the pizza transportation biz. No sooner do you feel like you are getting to know someone then they are gone like the winds(Buddy, the post stroke Grandpa Walton lookalike and surviving member of the Rubeonics Brothers, says our pizza gives him the winds). Such is the case with Sheherezad(sic-her mom's, not mine). She had shadowed me on Thursday(a newbie rides with an experienced driver to learn the real world ropes) and she began delivering solo on a Friday night, typically our busiest. She had a new little Asian whatyucallit "pickemup truck", as Buddy called them, equipped with a deluxe GPS. She had taken the pizza job to help pay for it.

Typically, when an order is printed out for delivery, a driver, no matter how experienced, will usually spend a moment in front of the giant wall map just to verify where he/she is going. After all, it is our gas money and on a Friday or Saturday night, if you're not careful, you could end up in a place that you just don't want to be. Buddy, has been known to plant himself, in a trance-like state, inches from the mural for 5 solid minutes at a time. This always annoyed the young drivers until I told them one time, "He's downloading". Now, they just kind of nod knowingly and work around him.

Sheherezad, like many of the technodependents, couldn't be bothered with the map. After all, she had GPS. She grabbed her first 3 delivery orders and confidently headed for the door. As far as we know, that was the last she was ever seen. There were reports from the kids taking the phone orders that she would call in periodically, in degenerating stages of hysteria. It started with, "Are there any other drivers in there that could please give me a little help?" To one and one half hours later, "I can't find any of these addresses. This isn't worth it. I have gone through a 1/2 pack of cigarettes and a half tank of gas and I STILL DON'T KNOW WHERE I AM! I F....ING QUIT! DO YOU HEAR ME? I F...ING QUIT!" No one ever did hear from her or the pizzas, for that matter, again.
The real Sheherazade went for 1000 Arabian nights. This namesake couldn't even make it for 1 in Sandia.

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Monday, September 11, 2006


Saturday night, I pulled a delivery to the eastern most edges of our store's territory. It was dusk when I turned off the main road and on to a well worn dirt road that featured some handwritten signs marking the way. STIFFIE'S P P with an arrow pointing down the driveway. I figured I was headed in the right direction because the name on the order said, "Stiffie". I pulled around a sharp turn in the driveway and I was suddenly not alone. There were ponytails, tank tops, tattoos and saggy boobs as far as the eye could see...and that was just the men. The woman too all shared a theme. They all looked like they had been rode hard and put away wet and there was not enough real teeth between them to make a respectable set of dentures.
All the party's attendees were carrying at least one can of beer and smoking a ciggie butt or a joint. I found a parking spot amongst about 100 or so Harleys scattered around the house.I got out of the Mostly Green and started walking towards what appeared to be the epicenter of Stiffieland, a pole mounted, 10 foot banner strung over a round patio type table with a red umbrella protecting it. I tried to speak to the first person to make eye contact with me.
"Stiffie," I inquired?
"Stiffie's not here, man," he responded and walked away.
Suddenly feeling as if I were in a Cheech and Chong skit, I looked for someone who both made eye contact and had a pulse.
"Excuse me," I said to a group of about 10, hoping that by the sheer size of this group, I could get a complete sentence. Does anyone know who ordered the 6 pizza's for Stiffie? There were a couple, "Stiffie's not here, dude" responses but one of them did say "go see Sheila at the table, Dude."
The lone seat at the round table was occupied by Sheila, an inflatable person dressed in a complete "Camo" outfit. Her head was covered with a floppy camo hat and her camo fatigues all the way down to her jump boots. Now, I had never actually seen a "blow up doll" before but Sheila certainly had the makin's of one. I couldn't see her privates but her mouth was a gaping maw which dominated most of her face. I refused the urge to talk to her about the pizzas but a real woman did walk out the house as I approached. She said, "those go there. Just put them by Sheila, she'll guard them." The woman paid me, then tipped nicely. As I walked to the Mostly Green, I took a look over my shoulder at Sheila. Still seated, guarding the pizzas, under the large banner that read: STIFFIE'S PAROLE PARTY. Apparently still no Stiffie, however.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006


As you can guess, there is a lot of turnover in the pizza biz. In that light, there have been some personnel changes since I last posted. Gone is Len, one of the Rubeonics Brothers. Until his final day, I never did understand a word he said. Apparently, he had gotten involved in one of the latest "Direct Marketing"(pyramid schemes). He had his plastered his name and (eventually)phone number in big plastic letters all over his truck. It said, "Call me if U want to make big $!" Which poses the question, if you're making big money, why are you delivering Pizzas? The rumor was that Len drove around with the slogan on his truck but couldn't afford to buy the plastic numbers for his phone number until he had saved up all his tip money for two weeks. I also heard that he would get frustrated when people did call because they couldn't understand him. He would then hang up on them. No one seems to know what really happened to Len, he just went missing.
Gone is Narcissus The Box Boy. Apparently, the manager's attempt in specialization was a dismal failure. She had hired this tall good looking Latin kid to work inside. The problem was that he spoke limited amounts of English and showed no interest in learning any of the inside chores, other than folding pizza boxes. At our store, through cross training, all insiders have to be able to perform most inside tasks from answering the phones to making pizzas. In performing his one and only task, he was able to stand directly in front of the a two way mirror(which he apparently didn't figure out was a 2 way) and gaze fondly at his reflection. At times, he would laugh and make faces at himself, while changing profiles. It would totally annoy the manager who was often times seated on the opposite side of the glass in her tiny office.

Also gone is Bobby. His restrictions due to parole are apparently over and he has moved back to Ohio. Bobby had attended a local college majoring in criminology. He was in the final week of police academy training prior to accepting a position with a local force. He came home from the shooting range early and found his wife with another man. Since he just happened to have his handgun in his hand(go figure)he offered to use it on the coupling couple. His wife managed to call 911 and Bobby ended up in jail then prison. I oftentimes wondered how our customers would feel knowing their pie with extra cheese was being delivered by a convicted felon.
The new guys that have been hired, young and oldish, all seem to have one thing in common, they have GPS'ssss in their vehicles. Now while somewhat curious about them, the more established drivers have no respect for anyone who would let Hal tell them where to go and the quickest way to get there. I am sensing an air of competition rivaling that of John Henry versus the spike driving machine. Something is coming very soon....

Thursday, July 06, 2006


A moment of silence please. The Whitish has a new home. Please welcome the "Mostly Green".

After several weeks on display, in a place of prominence at my friend Mike's repair shop, a local student was overcome with the beauty(and low price) of the Whitish. Mike said she just had to have it. Apparently, due to a lack of time and money, it was the Whitish or a larger yellow vehicle that included a bus pass.

For several weeks, I had been monitoring Craig's List and in general keeping my eyes peeled looking for a new vehicle. As I pondered all the choices and possibilities available to me, from Acura to Volvo, I would try to envision myself pulling up to a house with my car topper blazing in a (fill in the blank): room for pizza bags), too nice it affects the tips),Escalade?(too much...crap). Having a social conscience and yet still being shallow enough to be interested in a penis extender, I considered the new HUMMUS. The HUMMUS, of course, is the new joint venture vehicle between GM and Toyota. Both companies were looking to capitalize upon the popularity of their respective vehicles the Humvee and the Prius, hence the name HUMM(er)-(pri)US. The joint engineering brain trusts came up with the idea of a huge hybrid SUV that runs soley on a beige mush, popular in the Middle East, made of chick peas or garbanzo beans. With beans for fuel, this vehicle would be the first in history to create gas not run on it.

Ultimately, I got tired of the huge waiting list for the Hummus(who knew that there were so many tree huggers with a desire for an extender) and was forced to move on. I eventually saw a vehicle that I felt would fit my needs on Craigs List. It was a 1996 Ford Ranger truck that appeared, at least in viewing the picture, to be in fairly good shape. I called the phone number listed in the add and spoke to what sounded like a young guy about his truck. He assured me that the Ranger was in great shape and I would not need to drive or even see the truck prior to buying it. I declined his offer to send a bag full of cash and made arrangements to test drive the vehicle.

Upon seeing the vehicle, I couldn't help but notice that the picture that had appeared in CList didn't seem to show the many gray "bondo" spots on many of the trucks surfaces. Upon further interrogation, the young truck owner did cop to altering the vehicles appearance with "Photo Shop" that he had gotten for Christmas.
I then got in the vehicle for a test drive. It started and ran OK but the inside of the truck also had several projects that had been started but not finished. The mostly green exterior was contrasted by a black spray painted interior with electric blue highlights(this kid was in serious need of a "Queer Eye" for interior design). In addition, he had taken off and disposed of the interior door panels(leaving exposed green metal) and disconnected all the radio speaker wires. When queeried about any of the incomplete items his response was, "Oh yeah,Dude, I meant to do that." In spite of the fact that there was so much Bondo on the truck that it likely would not have set off a TSA metal detector at the airport, it seemed to run and drive OK. After the drive, we haggled a little and I finally handed him a month's worth of tip money and drove off. Long live(please Lord) The Mostly Green!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


After some much needed mental health time, (PTDS) Post Traumatic Delivery Syndrome, he is coming back with a vengeance...and a pizza, soon!

Sunday, January 22, 2006


n : not very intelligent or interested in culture [syn:
yokel, hick, yahoo, hayseed, bumpkin, chawbacon]
n: words spoken by a rube(syn: I, made, this, up)
Apparently, I have a language problem. I don't know how long I have actually had the problem but I certainly have been made acutely aware of this issue by two new drivers that the pizza store hired. To say that their necks are red would be like saying "camo" is a fashion statement in Sandia. Now, I am very aware of the age difference between most of my coworkers and me, so I say this with some trepidation, but one new driver closely resembles Grandpa Walton(post stroke) but mumbles more. He actually has a "handicapped" tag on the vehicle he uses for deliveries which gives him a distinct parking advantage when delivering to apartments, businesses, etc. He also has a habit of printing out his delivery order, then standing about 2 inches away from our giant wall map for at least five minutes prior to leaving on his run. Some of our coworkers joke that he is trying to memorize the entire map. I personally was concerned he had passed away and rigor mortis had set in. He eventually does move and deliver his pizzas, however.
The other man, has been there a little longer, maybe two months. I hate to admit it, as a fellow white man, but I have never understood a single word he has said. I know that it sometimes seems that there is a white/black language issue. In fact, it seems that some Black folks have their own language or at least dialect. In the late 90's, I remember a brief controversy about the use of Ebonics in some schools or, as they would say in Ebonics: At times, it seems dat some Black folks gots they own language or at least dialect. In fact, in da late 90 's, dere wuz uh brief controversy about da use o' Ebonics in some schools. Now, truth be told, I understand the last version of those two sentences way better than anything either or these two guys has ever tried to say to me.
Now, I guess because we are relatively close in age, the latter guy must feel some affinity to me because he always feels the need to try to converse. Now, the inside of the pizza store, is not really quiet. Each of the ovens has a blower, the phones are always ringing, there is a near constant chatter. No matter what I am doing, he will seek me out, sidle up to me and say some guttural, twangy phrase(I guess). He then lowers his head slightly, looks at me like he has said something profound and waits for my response. I quickly tired of saying, "What?", sometimes 2 or 3 times in a row and still never really knowing what was said. It has gotten to the point that rather than have him repeat his Rubeonics several times, if he's looking at the computer screen, I will start answering possible computer related questions. If he looks at the map, I try to get a look at his delivery ticket and answer location related questions, etc. I must be guessing right because whatever I have said seems to placate him so that I can do my side work or get out the door.......
more about Rubeonics at a later date.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


It was late on Sunday afternoon and I was in a fairly expensive cloister of homes. I would guess their values to be from $500K to probably 1 million. Each of these yards was more manicured than the next. It is the type of subdivision that has a strong homeowner's association or yard Nazis, as they might be called. I happen to know that this particular association had instigated at least 2 lawsuits involving the type of trees/shrubs that individual owners had planted in their yards. Now, I had just delivered a couple of pies to a nice 40ish mom and her two picture postcard kids. They were playing a game in the front yard when I drove up, took the pizza, paid, tipped nicely and went in to chow down. I climbed back into the whitish, which was parked at the curb, directly in front of the house, as always, facing the correct direction. I briefly glanced at my next order, then watched in my driver side mirror for a slowly moving green Lexus that had approached from the rear( on the wrong side of the street) to pass by, so I could leave. I waited for a full 20 seconds as the Lexus slowly pulled abreast of my car. I assumed the driver wanted to say something to me (hopefully not PIZZAPIZZA!I turned to face him. In reality, he seemed totally unaware of my presence and had full attention focused on the house,yard and large palm tree directly across the street. He finally stopped directly next to me and reached into a container near the console of his car. He threw several handfuls of something he removed from the container in the direction of the base of the palm tree, stared some more, then drove slowly off. It appeared that whatever he threw bounced or rolled when it hit. Okay, now you have my attention. Once he was out of sight, I got out of the whitish and walked over to the tree and looked at the items. Once I was convinced they weren't poison, I picked a couple of the yellowish, round little items up and let them roll in my palm. I looked closer, then...smelled them. I looked up and around to see if I was the only witness to this event. I smelled them again and confirmed my initial thoughts...they were KIX.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


It was about 8:30 in the evening and as always is the case near Christmas, it had been dark for about 3 hours. I pulled into a large circular subdivision of newish "starter" houses and followed the road as it made a big, slow loop. On nearly every block in Sandia, there are houses without street numbers, period. I have gotten into the habit of trying to pick out house numbers, as soon as I enter an area. At times, it makes me feel a little like a peeping Tom, due to the fact that I drive very slowly, while staring intently at each house. Especially on nights like this when, due to some new hires, there were not enough cartoppers to go around and consequently, as Pizzaguy, I was in stealth mode. The group mailboxes that many subdivisions have adopted, can make finding a specific address even tougher. Because without the need for posting a number for the mailman, many of Sandia's homeowners think there is no need to post an address on the front of their houses, at all. They have forgotten that EMS, police, fire fighters and most importantly, the Pizzaguy, might need to see a couple of numbers to do their jobs.

After a block or so of slowly making my way through the complex, I pulled behind a UPS truck that had stopped in the street. The truck's bright flashing lights helped to illuminate a house so that I could actually read the numbers. I then realized that my destination was about 15 houses up. Just as I put the Whitish into gear and began to go around the truck, the driver jogged back to his vehicle. He was tall, about 6'4" and athletic looking and in his late twenties. I waited as he climbed aboard, then sped off traveling another 15 houses or so, before abruptly stopping again. I slowly crept up and pulled the Whitish to the curb behind his truck again. Just as I began to open my door, the UPS driver jumped out of the driver's side of his truck and stood in the middle of the street with feet wide apart and fists clenched at his side. He appeared to be in full battle mode. The driver glared at me threateningly and screamed at the top of his lungs, "CAN I HELP YOU?!" I continued to exit the car, pizza bag in hand and said, "Not unless you ordered this pizza", I said and pointed to the nearest house.
A look of recognition came over his face, he relaxed and, "Man, I am sorry. I am so tired of people trying to break into my truck and steal the packages, every time I stop. This truck is full of people's Christmas!
"No offense taken. Thanks for being so faithful," I said heading for the house.

My next stop was on the other side of town. I drove into the large subdivision made up of 25+ year old townhouses, duplexes and small single family homes that were close enough to be attached but many weren't. These streets were also winding but the landscape and trees were much more mature than my last stop. I pulled up in front of the house with the house number 248 prominently displayed. I had no dificulty finding the house because it was the only one with lights on, which, by itself was strange. As I have discussed before, you can almost bet that the house on any given block, for any given delivery, will be the only one with it's lights off. Not only was this not the case here, the porch light was a virtual beacon...and it was red. I approached the house, rang the doorbell and waited until an attractive, well groomed young woman answered the door. She pleasantly took the pizza from me, paid and tipped nicely. As she shut the door, I could see another young woman sitting calmly on a couch. I got the impression they were both waiting for something and it wasn't a bus. I walked back to the Whitish and paused to look back at the house for a minute. I looked up, as I opened the Whitish' door. A man was standing across the street, about 20 feet away, leaning on a tree, smoking a cigarette. He had apparently been watching me as I looked at the house, curiously. We made eye contact and he said, "Yeah, they are." He took one last drag, threw his butt to the ground and turned to head into his house.
My last run of the night was later than I was actually scheduled for but it had been a busy night, so I gladly stayed late. I was to deliver one small cheese pizza with jalepenos to an address in a very questionable part of town. We have several large areas of our territory that are blocked out as undeliverable after 6:00 p.m. This is dictated and enforced by the the home office, due to driver robberies or high crime statistics. This house was on the border of the no pizza land. I parked in front of the worn old house and made my way past a bunch of litter, stuff and through the odor of stale urine in the front yard. My guess was that, at one time, this house had been a beauty. It was two stories and featured old Florida architecture with a big front porch, metal roof and short picket fence.The front door was open and the inside of the house was dark without TV or stereo. I rapped hard on the door frame because the door bell dangled uselessly from the wall, held only by it's wires. My eyes had begun to adjust to the lack of light and I could make out several people sitting on the floor of the house. It appeared to have no furniture. One figure appeared to be staring at me, kind of in a daze. The other, appeared to be a woman and was sleeping? A young man, in his late teens, came from a back room and walked towards me, Zombi-like. He handed me a wad of crumpled bills, took the pizza and wordlessly headed back from whence he came. I didn't move while I used my large blue Streamlight to count the rumpled money. He had handed me $21 for an $8.40 pizza. Not that I don't appreciate a good tip but I don't want to take advantage of anybody's mistake, impaired or not. I yelled, "Sir, did you really want to give me this much money?" No answer. "Sir?" I knocked on the door again. No response or for that matter, reaction from anybody, staring, sleeping or whatever. I made my way through the urine smell and presumably its cause and stepped on what appeared to be small pieces of aluminum foil,on my way back to the whitish. I made a mental note not to take my shoes into the house when I got home.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


It was 10:00, the Saturday night after Thanksgiving and by some freak of scheduling, I only had to work until 11. Just enough time to make one more run, do my side work and head home. I printed out my delivery ticket, loaded my pizza bag and checked the map to confirm the delivery location. I had been in this area before but not down that particular road. I climbed into the whitish and left the bright lights of civilization. I drove to the extreme outer edges of our store's territory and then hung a right down a dirt road. I knew where to turn because there was a short, jagged piece of 2 by 4 nailed to a palm tree. The board featured red hand painted lettering that said, TURN HERE. I did and the dirt road was overgrown, even by Central Florida standards. I drove through the darkness until the road ended, turned around by backing into some bushes and tried again. On my third pass, I noticed some red numbers, hand painted on a telephone pole. They said 2413 which happend to be the number of the house I was looking for. The pole also happened to be next to a dirt road, that I had not seen before, so I turned. The driveway was long but after about 50 yards, opened up to become the front yard of a normal looking ranch style house. The front of the house had no lights what so ever but the back of the house was absolutely glowing orange, creating an almost eclipse-corona type effect. I continued following the dirt road and as I turned the corner of the house, I could immediately see the entire backyard area was illuminated with pole mounted quartz halogen lights. There was a large, two story, open ended garage-type shed that contained a number of 4WD "pick em up trucks". It also contained two teenage males, on separate 8 foot ladders artfully draping Christmas lights over the top of a trailer mounted airboat. Each of the teenagers was wearing camo pants and hats, black tees and jump boots.With my passenger window(remember, the driver's side window doesn't work on the whitish)open, I had begun to hear sounds, maybe music, wafting its way towards me as I turned down the driveway. Now, as I cleared the back corner of the house, I clearly heard Burl Ives singing, It's a Holly Jolly Christmas as it blasted from tree-mounted loud speakers. As I came to a halt, an average looking woman emerged from the house to whack the two yelping pit bulls with a large rod. She handed me the cash, took the pizzas and drawled for the teenagers to come and eat. As I got back in the car and headed out of the compound, I could see that they had plugged in the lights on the airboat. In a strange way, it was kind of pretty. As the branches scraped on the sides of the car and the mosquitoes swirled around the windshield, I heard Michael Jackson's Frosty The Snowman echo through the air. I headed down the road and back to the store with Spanish Moss hanging from my antenna.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Last night I delivered to an old house at the end of a cul-de -sac. The driveway and detached garage were along side, a good 30 feet from the house itself. From there, the yard flowed into a park-like area with palmetto bushes and a few large trees. As I was getting out of the whitish chevy, I could hear a faint meow. I stopped for a second, heard no more and went up to the house. I gave the elderly lady her pizza, took the money and pounded down the wooden porch and steps as I headed back to my car. Almost there, I heard it again, very faintly. The meow sounded small, like that of a kitten. It was strangely close, yet muffled, almost distressed. I threw my empty pizza bag into the open passenger side window and stood glaring intently into the darkened park area. The slight meow continued and I took about three steps toward the sound, a clump of palmetto bushes. At that moment, a car breached the entrance of the cul-de-sac just to enough to hang a u-turn. In doing so, it very briefly shot a spray of light into park area. For a millisecond, I could see the outline of a man in the exact area I had determined the sounds were coming from. He seemed to be squatted down between bushes, staring directly at me. The light reflected off his teeth and I could see his mouth was making the meowing sounds.

Startled, I said, "Oh...I thought it..."

In an instant, the car-provided lighting was gone. I heard the bushes rustle and the man was gone, as well. I got into the whitish, backed out of the driveway with my high beams on. I drove in a circle around the cul-de-sac several times hoping to see the figure again but it was gone and I got the heck out of there.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


It had to happen sooner or later. Some heartless, unfeeling terrorist was going to leave, what scientists term, a "dirty" bomb, in a backpack, briefcase or doggy bag . A WMD so insidious, so horrible, that it would leave a large area virtually uninhabitable for a very long period of time. Who knew that it would happen in the very pizza store where I work? Who knew it would be the result of a "home grown" terrorist? The saga began several days ago when one of our drivers went into the store's large walk-in cooler to do his "side work". Side work is a domestic type task that is assigned to each driver to perform each day after he is done with deliveries. It can be anything from washing all the dishes, emptying the trash, sweeping the floor or, in this case, fluffing the cheese. This last task requires one to enter the cooler, open approximately 20-10 pound boxes of shredded pizza cheese and hand fluff up the bags so that the cheese will thaw properly. On Monday, Adam, an early twenties something college student/driver, had completed his deliveries and was ready to do his side work. He entered the cooler and about 10 seconds later came staggering out, eyes watering and gagging over a trash container.

He yelled to know one in particular, as he leaned against the wall, "Dude, that's just not right. That's just rude!"

Nathan, an insider, a worker who makes pizzas and takes orders(usually too young to be a driver), walked around the corner to see what the problem was.
Adam said, "Man, Dude, somebody better check their shorts because what they left in the cooler just isn't right, Dude."

"What do you mean, Dude", Nathan asked?

"You know, somebody burned a mule...left a dirty bomb, you know"?

Nathan, "Somebody farted in the walk-in cooler?"

"Fart doesn't cover that", Adam responded, "I think they had an out of the body experience. You know like... get this thing out of my body. Any way, I'm telling Chaz(the assistant manager) that I'm not going back in there."

"Dude, we need pizza sauce and it's in there," Nathan stated. They both stared at the closed cooler door.

Adam finally broke the brief silence, "I wouldn't eat anything that came out of there for days. It's got to have, like you know, a nuclear half life or something, you know? "

"It could freeze and just hang in the air or something waiting for the next person to come in", Nathan added.

I had been standing behind both of them, at the corner sink doing dishes, my side job. I said, "I'll go in and get the sauce. You guys are just Florida wooses. You have obviously have never been on a Boy Scout camp out in the Midwest in November. I have seen the Scouts have to throw tents away after couping up 6 guys in there. You want to talk about dirty bombs. Plus, I grew up with six people in a house with one bathroom. I can hold my breath with the best of them."

"OK Dude but if you go down, we're not coming in to get you!"


WHUH (or W-HUH?) is what I have been calling the AM radio station that blasts out of the whitish chevy's speakers each and ever time I start it up. I have previously referred to the station as broadcasting in an Afro-Mexican-Pentecostal revolving format which means, I never quite know what I am going to get. The reason I call it W-H-U-H(KHUH for those of you west of the Mississippi) is because I really don't understand it or I really don't understand it. Recently, I was taking a morning jaunt and had a woman's voice jumping out of the speakers at me, as soon as I cranked up the whitish' engine. Deaconess Jones, it seems, was in mid sermon rant. She screamed,...AND SHE DON'T HAVE THE POWA THAT SHE THINK SHE HAVE, THAT SHE REALLY DO HAVE"! Now, I'm no theologian and I have learned that God will speak to me in many ways through many different types of people but if God is trying to speak to me through the good Deaconess, I need a translator.

I got out of the car to go into the store, when I came back out and fired up the whitish, they must have(I can only hope) changed formats. A marginally talented woman in a fairly unprofessional mix was singing, ...."and my man he stay out all night, he don't treat me right, that's why I'm goin lookin for the poontang(excuse me if sic) man,yeah baby, that's what they call him, the Poontang(does one capitalize poontang?) Man..." Can they say that on the radio? I guess so.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I pulled into the single entry/exit of the apartment complex prior to dusk. It was one of the nicer complexes in our territory inhabited mostly by young professionals. Having been in this complex a number of times, I had a better than rough idea of where this particular building was amongst the cluster of similar pods. I parked the whitish chevy(it doesn't deserve any capitalization) directly in front of the building and knocked on the appropriate, ground floor(thank you Lord) door. No answer, I knocked again. Still no answer and again. Finally, after approximately 1 minute, the door slowly opened to reveal a man(?) who, from my best estimate, was in his mid-forties. He was wearing, what appeared to be a woman's wig, in a page boy style, if I'm not mistaken. It was nicely frosted and styled but in his haste to get to the door, had it slightly cocked on his head. The angle of the hairpiece had the effect of making his face seem slightly out of kilter. In addition to the hair, he wore little else except a pair of grey pants that he may have borrowed from The Hulk. They were unbelted and unbuttoned at the waist, only covered his legs to mid-calf and the legs were jaggedly frayed at the ends. His unique look was completed by the fact that he was covered, head to toe, in what appeared to be white powder makeup. Now, keeping in mind I am nothing, if not a fashion maven(, I was even stunned. After a few awkward moments and attempts not to stare, I told him how much he owed for the pizza and waited for him to get the money, so I could get the heck out of there. He just stood there. I repeated the amount again, when I realized that he spoke no English at all. I tried again in halting Spanish and even considered pig Latin(eezzapay). Nothing, not even a look of faint recognition, just a Homer Simpson-like stare.Finally, I guess it dawned upon him that I wasn't going to be speaking in his native tongue, whatever that was, anytime soon and he began babbling frantically and waiving his arms. I was finally able to discern that Jenny(apparently the pizza orderer) was gone and would return in 15 minutes and that this gentleman(?) couldn't speak either English or Earthling, possibly both. I did my best to communicate that I couldn't wait and that if Jenny wanted another pizza, she would have to call in and order it. I had to go to my next delivery or those earthlings would be receiving a cold pizza.
  • POSTSCRIPT-I was just about to stop at my next delivery when my cell phone rang. It was the pizza store's assistant manager. She asked if I had made the delivery to "Jenny's" apartment and I told her the story. She said that she had received a phone call from Jenny and that she was very upset. Apparently, Jenny was pushing for some type of compensation because I had never showed up at her apartment. The manager asked if I would give Jenny a call. As soon as she answered, Jenny lit into me about being late, no showing, etc. I said, "I am sorry Mam but I was there over 15 minutes ago." She stated how that was impossible because she had been standing at the entrance to her complex, walking her chihuahua, Frito, for the last 20 minutes. "Mam, I don't know how you missed the whitish chevy with the glowing car topper on it but I was there." "That's a lie and I should be compensated", she yelled. "Really? What about the foreign guy with the patch frosted page boy, Hulk pants and white full body make up, in your apartment," I asked? She was silent for a beat, swore and then the line went dead. I pulled up in front of the house for my next delivery.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


As I mentioned before, the whitish chevy has many accesories that seemingly operate with a mind of their own. The most obvious and headstrong is the radio. Each time the car's ignition is turned the radio blares out, at near full volume and always from the same AM radio station. Now, it does this even if the channel has been changed and the radio switched off. In years past, in a more superstitious culture, some would have thought it was haunted. I prefer to think of it as God's sense of humor.

In a previous blog, I refered to the station as the Afro-Mexican Petecostal channel and quite honestly, I never know which combination I am going to get due to what appears to be the radio stations free floating scheduling. In that light, I was delivering a pizza to an apartment complex. I got back into my car and fired her up as a group of Latin men huddled around a car several slots away. Suddenly, "Senor Sulu es un homosexual", blared out of the speakers. I reached the "off" knob as the announcer continued,
"agente de 68 a Ãnos, Takei del George anunciado........" From the group of men, I heard the following, One man asked, "Sulu is gay?" "Si, si", several said knowingly. As I pulled away, another asked, "Senior Spock?" "NO, NO", they all said.

Friday, November 04, 2005


For the third time in the last week, I delivered a pizza to a house or apartment where the intended recipient did not have enough currency to pay for their pizza. After exhausting my suggestions for any possibility for the occupant to produce instant funds, i.e., credit card, check, debit card, piggy bank, change in the cracks of your couch, change in the cracks of your neighbor's couch, crack from the crack of your neighbor's couch, savings bonds, gold dubloons, drug money, drugs that you run to the corner and sell before your pizza gets cold, I am left with two solutions.
  1. I can take the pizza back to the restaurant and nobody wins, except the workers back at the restaurant, who now get to dine on that large pizza with pineapple and extra anchovies that they had been dreaming of. The hopeful pizza recipient doesn't win. He doesn't get the pizza to help satisfy the drug induced munchies he has strangely contracted. The restaurant doesn't win because they get zippo and I don't win because I don't even get paid the tiny bit in gas money we are reimbursed because the order was cancelled.
  2. I can go ahead and give the pie to the customer, take whatever money he has and pay for the shortage out of my pocket. This way, I am the only unhappy one. This is the usual course of action I choose and prompted this exchange with a severely impaired male on Saturday, at about midnight. "Sorry man, I was sure I had another 63 cents in my jeans", the ponytailed, thirty-something said, after a five minute sacking of his apartment. "Is there any way you could loan me a couple of bucks", he asked dejectedly? "You only owe me 63 cents", I asked. "Why would I loan you $2?" "I hate to not tip you Dude", he said. Wordlessly, I took the money out of his hand, handed him the pizza, got in my car and left.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


After several months of delivering pizzas there aren't too many areas in our store's territory where I still get confused, with a couple of notable exceptions. I drove into a new, "uncharted" subdivision last night. All the streets are very similar in name, many of the houses don't have street numbers yet and quite honestly, most of the houses look alike. I made my way to the back of the subdivision, where the store computer had indicated my delivery should be. As I turned down the street, there was a group of about 10 people, seated in lawn chairs and holding drinks, in the front of one of the houses. Closer to the road, a group of 7 and under-year olds played some type yard game. They stopped long enough to all yell a staccato, "PIZZA-PIZZA" at the whitish chevy, as I drove buy. Now, this pizza-pizza thing has become a cultural phenomenon in the younger set, due to some competitor's past advertising campaign. In that light, I hardly ever drive past a group of kids without at least one of them yelling those words. In any case, as I rolled past, I watched the kids carefully so that one didn't dart in front of my whitish car. I waved and drove on to my appointed round, I thought. I kept looking for an address and proceeded until I came upon yet another group of people and kids in their front yard......It was the same group and I had gone in a big circle. Once again, as I passed, "PIZZA- PIZZA". I waved and searched on. A minute or so later and there I was again, "PIZZA- PIZZA". Now the adults started to get into the act, as I drove past. I stopped waving and started to sink lower in my seat, on my fifth trip. This time, I drove around the bend, out of their sight line and tried to call the customer on my cell answer. I proceeded very slowly ahead, hoping that someone will show mercy, step out of their house and stop me before I have to go by again. No luck! After passing again, much to the crowd's delight, I started plotting ways to skulk out of the subdivision before I'd have to orbit again. Miracle of miracles, a guy stepped out his house and flagged me down. I am still not convinced that he actually ordered the pizza but he had money and looked hungry. I gave him the food and left in triumph, my audience now standing and cheering as I exited, stage left.
Later last night, I was in a much different part of town but was again looking for a hidden address on a series of circular streets. I turned off the main road and on to a side street. As I did so, I saw a woman standing in the middle of the road, looking at me. She seemed so happy to see me. I slowed, as I passed, to ask her if she was OK, when I realized she was working. I drove slowly past and just like the kids, she smiled and waved. Now, for the second time in the evening, I was lost on a series of circular streets, with similar looking houses but the numbers had been torn down here and once more, I drove around, again...and again...and again. With each passing visit, the woman seemed less friendly and more annoyed with my headlights and glowing car topper. On my 6th and final pass, I reached my customer by cell phone. They gave me exact directions to their house and I dropped off the pie. As I exited the area, I drove by the woman, one last time, slowly so she couldn't dart in front of my car. I passed, she glared. In the rear view mirror I could see she was yelling at me. I am not sure but fairly certain that it wasn't "PIZZA-PIZZA"!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I delivered one box of chipotle Buffalo wings to an old, weathered residence last evening. There was no door bell, so I knocked loudly and waited-longer than normal, prior to knocking again because I thought I heard a voice and it seemed to be getting closer. Finally, the door creaked open and an elderly woman took the small box from my hands. She was wearing an old flowered house-type dress and digging through her pocket book looking for money. After a few seconds, it sounded as if someone had set off a small, muffled, boat horn under the back of her skirt. She mumbled, somewhat absently, "Don't you worry 'bout dat, baby, mm hmm." She kept digging, head down into the bag and let 'er rip once more. Again she mumbled, "don't you worry 'bout dat, baby, mm hmm". All the while, I was thinking, "Mam, I am not worried. I just want to get the money and get out of here before I have to inhale." Finally, she came up with the cash, smiled pleasantly, handed it to me and shut her door.... exact change, no tip.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


As I walked up to the old house, I could hear the usual household noises, TV, music and what sounded like male and female conversation and laughing. The porch light was off(of course) and the voices seemed to come from another part of the house, so I banged loudly on the door. Immediately, the house went silent. I waited, then pounded again. I reasoned that whoever was in the house had turned down the TV and/or stereo to see if they really heard someone at the door. Still no answer but I thought I could hear whispering. I banged again. No answer but whispering and some quiet laughter. Finally, I heard a lone female voice, "Who it is?" Her sentence structure made me think of Star Wars and just for a moment, I toyed with answering back like Yoda, "Pizza man, it is." But thoughts of no tip(Tip you not)flashed in my head and I thought better of it. "Pizza", I responded. Again I heard whispering and then the door cracked open and relieved laughter. "Whew, we thought you was the cops", a male voice said. I thought, "You're the ones. You figured us out. The cops are now driving whitish chevy's with glowing pizza car toppers. When they pull you over, if you're lucky, they might issue you a warning pizza." "No sorry, just your pizza," is what I really said.

Monday, October 31, 2005


"I forgot a pizza was even coming", the young woman said, as she finally opened the door. "Oh, I'm sorry...... I just got your order 10 minutes ago. Has it been a long time since you ordered," I stammered? " Oh no,no I guess I just forgot. Let me get the money," she said and then disappeared into the darkened house. While she was gone, I caught the distinctive odor of marijuana wafting out of the door. She returned quickly, handed me the money with a nice tip, took the pizza and thanked me politely as she shut the door. As I got into my car, it left me wondering, what did the fact that she forgot I was coming to deliver a pizza have to do with the fact that she was totally naked during this entire transaction?

Sunday, October 30, 2005


A number of times per night I drive by a relatively new business called RENT-A-WHEEL. This store allows people, mostly young males with little or no concept of equity or delayed gratification, to rent... that's right, tires. Who would rent a consumable item? Have we raised a generation of total idiots? Apparently, because it always seems the place is always mobbed with customers. In light of that and in keeping with DPG theme, I am considering opening a new business called RENT-A-PIZZA or maybe even RENT-TO-OWN-A-TACO. If these kids are looking for someone to take their money, why not? Next, somebody can rent them what comes out.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Okay, Okay! I love our two cats! There, I said it. I am one of those...a pet lover. I was always a big dog guy but over the years, I have been converted, somewhat. I still don't consider myself a cat lover but I do love ours. We currently have one 13 year old "blue" Persian cat named Kaboodle, who has really never contributed to the family other than his frequent bouts of projectile hair balling and an uncanny ability to produce well-placed poop(details in other blogs) except into his litter box. He really is pretty much a disgrace to catkind. We call him "the user" because he is very friendly when he wants something but those times aside, he is still part of our family folklore and is my two son's "baby". Rags, our other cat, is of the "Ragamuffin" breed and a refugee from Hurricane Charlie. We spotted him on the internet and rescued him. He is approximately a year old and has gone from an under nourished 8 pounds, when we got him, to an over nourished 18, in six months. He is one of the most loving animals I have ever known if he would just keep his mouth shut. In many respects, these two are like any other member of your family, you learn to love them, idiosyncrasies, warts and all and when they die, you grieve, however, these two are animals...not people. You might wonder what this has to do with on.
MAUW, MAUW!-Since the whitish Chevy often times only has AM radio, en ingles', my audio selection is somewhat limited. In that light, I was listening to Yada-Yada radio(heaven forbid I'd be alone with my thoughts and the voices in my head...but i digress) while delivering, as the discussion turned to pets. Apparently during "Katrina", a man refused rescue from his roof top and the rising waters, because they didn't have room for his two pit bulls(see P.E.s) on the helicopter. This turned the radio discussion to PETS VS. PEOPLE and that brought out all the "rainbow bridge" huggers(see below) from the radio woodwork. "Would you risk your death for your pet", was the question? One lady said she would take her dog over all the "scum in Louisiana". As the host was recommending a good counselor for the woman, my mind began to wander. Sure, I love my pets but....and suddenly, I was in a dimly lit, smoke filled room. The background was filled with groups of strange men who were yelling, cheering and waving money about, wildly. I was seated at a small bare table decorated only with a lone snub nosed revolver. Seated directly across from me in his own chair, wearing a white and red bandana tied around his little blue head was Kaboodle. His eyes were fixed and glazed from days of constant "nipping". Suddenly, another cat, a Siamese, appeared, standing on hind legs next to the table. He glared at me and yelled, "MAUW, MAUW"(or was that meow, meow?). He held the gun aloft, opened the cylinder to reveal a single bullet, he then spun the cylinder and slid the revolver in front of me with his little paw. I looked at him, then Kaboodle's zombie-like face. I stared at the gun. The other cat slapped me across the face with his little paw, "MAUW, MAUW", he screamed close to my face, with breath that smelled of Mixed Grill(a trade mark of Purina). I held the gun to my head, paused dramatically and squeezed the trigger. CLICK! Relieved, I dropped the gun on the table and the Siamese grabbed it. Once again, he spun the cylinder but this time slid the gun in front of Kaboodle. I tried to look into Kaboodle's eyes but they were glazed over and lifeless from too much nip. They must keep him hooked on the stuff to keep him playing their evil game, I thought. Kaboodle robotically held the gun to his head. Horrified, I watched and thought....COME ON BULLET, COME ON BULLET! He's a stinking cat!!! At this point, in my version of The Deer Hunter, love him or not, I'm pulling for the bullet to be in his cylinder, not mine. After all, I love him but HE'S AN ANIMAL, OK! I am a human and, as with all humans, created in God's image and we do matter more than a pet, in His eyes. I mentally returned to earth, reminded myself to give Kaboodle some extra tuna tonight(maybe he'll pretend he likes me)that darn cat still has eight lives to go. I walked up to the house with my pizza bag.

Rainbow Bridge(if you can stomach it

Friday, October 28, 2005


I would like to issue a special thanks to the 40+ish woman(to determine her real age, I think I would have had to cut her in half to count the rings) who felt compelled to share her new red and white polkadot bikini (who would sell this thing knowing the damage it could inflict) with all the neighbors(and DPG,unfortunately) as she did what appeared to be tai chi-based gardening and danced around the yard to Gospel music. This, in spite of the fact that she had to top 3 and a half balloons. It was not the sheer tonnage, nor the attire, nor the tai chi, nor the music alone but the totality of the experience that made it unique. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Actually, it was kind of like looking in the mirror, if ever I wore a 2 piece...not that I have...nor would I...I hate tai chi....never mind

Thursday, October 27, 2005


I delivered to a house that had way more furniture on the front porch than in the house, including a very tasteful framed picture of what appeared to be Mom. When the guy with the ponytail and wifebeater opened his front door I understood why. He needed all that space in the living room for his Harley.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


As I searched for an address near a vacant lot near a wooded area, I was lectured on the importance of timely pizza deliveries by a man who apparently lived in a palmetto bush
I do often times, write things with tongue firmly planted in cheek(mine). That's just the way my mind works but, without saying it on each entry, I do pray each day that God will use me for His glory, as I deliver pizzas
The delivery area covered by our store contains great contrasts. In a 7 mile area there is everything from multi-multimillion dollar homes to projects, crack houses and what was identified by Newsweek, as the most dangerous street in the U.S.(on any Saturday night).
The eight new roach motels that I have strategically placed around the whitish car's interior and trunk seem to be having the desired effect, to a point. I parked the "car" in the garage last night and apparently the roaches weren't content with just occupying the car. Sometime during the night, they mounted a bold offensive on the garage and once secured, marched straight into the house. We have lived in this house for 3 years and never seen an inside bug until now. More roach motels, please. NOTE TO SELF: Look to see if they make roach hotels or highrises

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I CAN'T SEE YOU!!! Here's a thought for all of you who hope to have pizza delivered in a timely fashion(even if you live in a palmetto bush)...TURN ON YOUR PORCH LIGHT!!! Also, after you've placed your order, is not the time to remember that you don't have house numbers, street signs, a driveway, paved roads or in one case, a front door. Before ordering, do remember that you have pit bulls,or as we used to call them, P.E.s-Penis Extenders, billy goats, attack geese or attack toddlers running around your yard and, that someone needs to be home to answer the door, that your child is not to answer the door and just stare at DPG without a word, that you actually need money to pay/tip, "Sh*t Dude, I know I had the money", will not often get you your large, hand-tossed pie and no matter how stoned/drunk you are, you can't actually change your order with DPG, when he has already rung your door bell(contrary to popular opinion, we don't make the pizzas in the back of a roach infested whitish Chevy). If you try to do so, DPG will just stare at you blankly(see the aforementioned child).

Monday, October 24, 2005


I delivered several boxes of wings to what may have been "The Thing" from the Adams Family. At approximately midnight, I approached what, for all intents and purposes, could have been a windowless concrete bunker. I knocked on the steel door with my police style flash light. After a few moments, the door opened and a very large hand attached to a larger forearm emerged from the crack in the door. Crumpled up in the huge fist was a bunch of bills, the door opened just wide enough to let the box of wings in, then slammed shut with a clang. Exact change, no conversation and no tip.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


THE ASSFIRE-In my continuing bad car(ma) saga, I borrowed a 1994 Ford Aspire(the roaches needed the whitish chevy for the night) which my friend Mike, who loaned me the car, calls the Assfire. It is a pleasant shade of blue, gets pretty good gas mileage and really did belong to Mike's grandmother, who only used it to buy cigarettes and lottery tickets. The rest of the time, she parked it under some bushes(it's that small). It had rested under those shrubs for nearly 6 months before I began to use it. During that time, somehow the car's hatchback had filled up with dead leaves. Consequently, I thought it would be nice to clean it out. After all, the pizza store's customers would probably frown on extra pine needles and dead leaves on their pies. To accomplish the cleaning, I opened up the doors and hatchback and once again, fired up my 240 MPHBHSNPLB(see Milwaukee Poop and Redbugs and pointed it in the Assfire's general direction. In the blink of an eye, the skies over the Assfire, the house and neighborhood were filled with flying leaves and old lottery tickets.
With leaves and lotteries removed, I headed off to work as DPG. This particular evening, like most around here in August, included mid 90's temps and a light, early evening shower(see monsoon). This weather would be fine if my current vehicle had working A/C, windshield wipers and/or headlights, that when turned on, were brighter(even on high beam) than your average glow stick, due to the fact that the lenses appeared to be in advanced stages of glaucoma. To top it off, the first time I drove this car home, the exhaust pipe fell off as soon as I entered our subdivision and dragged, sparking behind the car all the way to our house. "Lookie there Goober. Looks like them Digresses got theirselves a new car." Now, the Assfire is not only the size of a motorcycle, it sounds like a cheap Harley. In a subdivision that looks like it's overflow parking for Lexus, BMW and Mercedes dealers, we continue to make fast friends of our neighbors.
GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING DAH DAH DAH DAH, DAH.... OK, so the police are on their way to arrest me as a motorcycle gang....Oh, did I leave something out? My last run of the night was in sector W15, which is in the westernmost section of our store's territory. I know the territory well enough now that I don't have to write down many, if any, directions but this run was in an area I had not been before. So I wrote copious directions on the receipt, grabbed my pizza bag and headed out. Just as I stepped out of the restaurant door, the skies opened, as well as the door and the rain poured down. Did I mention that the Assfire didn't have windshield wipers, at least working ones. So I'm driving down the road headed due west with my left arm and a wad of paper towels out the window, wiping the windshield. Actually, I had to take turns wiping the outside then the inside. Did I mention that I didn't have A/C(and that it was 94 degrees)? To attempt to remedy the rain on the outside and fogging on the inside I opted to open both driver and passenger windows which seemed to cure that problem but obviously caused another...flooding. I also tried putting a insulated, cloth pizza bag over my head, to keep dry but that only worked until I breathed and then the little clear pannel would fog up. I drove to the desolate area that the map had indicated I would find the street and, after several passes, I saw the street sign on the ground, partially resting in a bush. I turned from the paved road onto a muddy dirt area that seemed to show promise as a potential road and began driving towards what appeared to be house lights. Out of the darkness suddenly loomed about 10 pieces of heavy equipment. The kind used to make roads. I had to zig in and out and between, wiping the windhield with my hand and continuing to make my way toward the house lights with my Harley sounding, barely-glowing delivery vehicle. After several attempts to get to the houses, I finally determined that I couldn't get there from here. There was a large ditch with rapidly running mud in between me and the lights. I turned around and zagged my way back to the paved road. It was then I spotted what appeared to be a roadway but I had to cut through a farmer's front yard to get to it. Once on this mudway, I putted along looking for addresses on mailboxes, when a large collie appeared. When I say large, he was actually looking at me at eye level and proceeded to trot along side, where ever I went, he went. Every time I would stop to try to get a glimpse of an address, he would stick his giant dog head inside the Assfire. I took the extra pizza bag that, I had tried unsuccessfully to wear on my head and push the collie's face back out of the car. All the while, multi tasking and attempting to call the pizza recipient on my cell to get clearer directions but each time, the line was busy. Finally, through the rain, fog, swarming mosquitos and dog face, I spotted what looked like it might be the house. I had to cut through another farmer's front yard to get there. I called again, as I sat in front of the house with the collie staring at me, eye to eye. All I could think of was, "Lassie, go get Timmy", but the dog just stared. Finally, I got through on the phone and an annoyed voice answered. "Mam, this is DPG trying to deliver your pizzas." "Yeeesss", she answered. "Do you have a blue SUV in the driveway?" "Yeess." "Do you also have a large dog ?" "Yeeess, Lucy", she said still sounding annoyed. "Then I believe I am in front of your house, would you care to come and get Lucy, Lassie whatever, so that I can get out of the car?" The front door opened and the lady stepped out and called Lucy to her side, still holding her phone. I handed her the pies, pocketed the money(including a whole dollar just for me) and thanked her, as her phone rang in her hand. "No Dad, it's not a motorcycle gang it's the pizza man.....I think he just has a noisy car. You didn't, Dad. Dad, don't do that anymore, please", and she hung up and looked at me. "My Dad, AKA The Sentinel, heard your car and saw you driving around and thought you were a bunch of motorcycle guys. " Does he live around here", I inquired? "He is the first house off the paved road. The way the roads are torn up,you had to get cut through his yard to get to our house. He is 84 and sits by his window and watches everything. He has the police on speed dial. " I jumped in my car, trying to beat the police so that I didn't have to stand around and answer questions about the expired tag on the car. I just wanted go home. As I drove away and turned onto the paved road, I wiped the steam and mosquitos off my rear view mirror but I could clearly see a police car zigging and zagging through a bunch of heavy equipment, lights flashing.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


A young Shaquille O'Neal look-a-like(at least 6'8" and beefy) answered his door with what appeared to be women's underpants on his head. He seemed to suffer from acute "light in the loafersness" and while pirouetting around his foyer, refused to accept his pizzas until I would visually confirm that they had been made with extra carrots. We don't do extra carrots, in fact, I know I'm new at this but I don't think we do tubers of any kind and told him so, to his disappointment. I decided against telling him about the roach motels in the whitish chevy. He didn't tip me.

Friday, October 21, 2005


I believe I delivered several pizzas and sodas to the local drug cartel, last night. The 6 twenty somethings, in what I originally thought to be an abandoned building, hardly slowed their conversation as they discussed distribution points and how to get "product" to their customers. They tipped me well and of course, used a coupon.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

TAXI DRIVER-"You talking to me?"

JAILHOUSE ROCK....About midnight, I was delivering a pizza to county jail...guards, not inmates. As I zigged through the parking lot, it seemed I was being chased by a small Hispanic man with a bundle of clothes under his arm. As he got closer, I could hear that he was yelling, "Tasi, Tasi"! Finally, I could see that I wasn't going to lose him so I stopped and got out. Again, he yelled "Tasi, Tasi". He then pointed to glowing cartopper on my vehicle, as he pulled on the door handle to get in. I said, "Pizza, not" Slowy, a look of recognition came over his face, he turned and wandered away.
I was lectured on the importance of timely pizza deliveries by a man who apparently lived in a palmetto bush. I thanked him for his concern and walked past his mostly vacant lot to his neighbors, in a real house.
I do often times, write things with tongue firmly planted in cheek. That's just the way my mind works but, without saying it on each post, I do pray each night that God will use me for His glory, as I deliver pizzas.
The eight new roach motels that I have strategically placed around the car interior and trunk seem to be having the desired effect, to a point. I parked the "car" in the garage last night and apparently the roaches weren't content with just occupying the car. Sometime during the night, they mounted a bold offensive on the garage and once secured, marched straight into the house. We have lived in this house for 3 years and never seen an inside bug until now. More roach motels, please. NOTE TO SELF: Look to see if they make roach hotels or highrises

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Several nights ago I was delivering to a seedy local liquor store. I parked in the front of the large, nearly empty strip mall lot and walked over to the store's glass door. I stepped around the locals, the usual crack heads/ho's, made my way to the door, pulled on the handle and swung it towards me. Just then, I caught a glimpse of something moving rapidly in my direction from the semi-darkness inside the store, followed by a man's voice, yelling. I had just enough time to step aside, like a bull fighter while holding the door open and the pizza bag aloft. In doing so, I was able to catch a glimpse of the face of an elderly woman, in her electric wheel chair, as she whizzed by me and exploded out into the lot. The locals all yelled and dove for cover as the woman made her first pass. After about fifty yards, she swung her chair around and headed for them again. This time, with my eyes adjusted to the daylight, I could clearly see her. She seemed to be about 70, had what appeared to be a gray wig, slightly askew on her head, flannel shirt, a six pack of beer on her lap, a lip dangling cigarette and s.e. grin. As she passed by again, I could also see by her eyes that the six pack on her lap was probably not her first for the day. She now had the cigarette clenched in her teeth so that she could hang on to the wheel chair control knob with one hand, and the six pack with the other hand. About this time the store manager brushed passed me and out into the lot, yelling and running after her. The old woman apparently had bored with buzzing the locals and now appeared to be playing chicken with the cars as they would pull unsuspectingly into the lot. Each car was forced to take evasive action as the lady, grin, six pack, cigarette and all forced cars to swerve to avoid her. After nearly hitting three vehicles, the manager had just started to catch up to her when she spun and came after him. Now breathless and sweating, the manager was running and trying to dial 911 on cell phone as he ran, zig zagging across the lot with the old lady, electric wheel chair whirring, in hot pursuit. Apparently someone was successful in reaching the police because after the store's assistant manager took delivery of the pizza( a full 15% tip), I made my way out of the lot and headed for my next delivery. I stopped long enough to glance back and see that the each parking lot entrance had a police car parked across it as if they were the goalies, while another squad car, lights flashing, slowly followed behind the old lady's chair as she zig zagged across the lot with. I checked the local paper for several days hoping to see a write up in the police blotter but as yet, no luck.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


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Monday, October 17, 2005


While driving and listening to late night AM radio, I happened upon a show featuring an author discussing the likelihood of terrorists setting off suitcase nukes in 10 U.S. cities, in the near future. As is often the case, I found my mind wandering and wondering how many virgins that would entitle the murderers to. If they run out of virgins, what does Allah do? Just create more or maybe post something in the personals on craigslist( I mean, there are probably a lot of U.S. churches that would be hard pressed to come up with ....and wouldn't this be considered child abuse...and what do the 72 virgins get out of this...But I digress. Now, just after this uplifting radio discussion and my totally linear thought pattern, I pulled my next delivery ticket. Ironically, it featured the name Habib Aziz imprinted on it. I found the apartment, in spite of the fact that the light over the door was burned out. I knocked on the door and after a beat, it slowly opened to reveal a totally darkened room, devoid of any furniture, pictures or personal belongings. The young man that opened the door, appeared to be in his mid-twenties, dark and Middle Eastern. As I handed him his cheese pizza(I had checked the pie first to make sure that I wasn't accidentally delivering yet another pizza with pepperoni, extra sausage or ham, to a Moslem or Vegan), he handed me the exact change and never made eye contact or said a word. As he shut the door, I could see that he was wearing what appeared to be a "camo" style military shirt and on the name tag was neatly printed "Osama".

Sunday, October 16, 2005


SDDPG Part II-Ongoing(if a reference doesn't make sense, it may not just be bad writing, it may refer to something mentioned earlier in this blog or its sister blog)
HOSTAGE WITH EXTRA CHEESE...I delivered a pizza to a guy whose pit bull(see PE) was running loose and unbeknownst to me, waiting for me to get out of the car. Due to the darkness, I didn't see the dog until he was right in front of me, snarling and growling. The owner and hopeful pizza recipient uttered that famous phrase, "Oh, he won't hurt you." Always thinking, I said, " Sir, get him
out of here now or he gets the pizza and you don't" and I flipped open the box, "and your still paying for it". The man moved very quickly off the porch and grabbed the dog and the box. "I said he won't hurt anyone", he yelled. "Then why do you have a pit bull"? He had no answer and I got no tip!
I was lectured on the importance of timely pizza deliveries by a man who apparently lived in a palmetto bush
I do often times, write things with tongue firmly planted in cheek. That's just the way my mind works but, without saying it on each entry, I do pray each day that God will use me for His glory, as I deliver pizzas
The delivery area covered by our store contains great contrasts. In a 7 mile area there is everything from multi-multimillion dollar homes to projects, crack houses and what was identified by Newsweek, as the most dangerous street in the U.S.(on any Saturday night).
The eight new roach motels that I have strategically placed around the car interior and trunk seem to be having the desired effect, to a point. I parked the "car" in the garage last night and apparently the roaches weren't content with just occupying the car. Sometime during the night, they mounted a bold offensive on the garage and once secured, marched straight into the house. We have lived in this house for 3 years and never seen an inside bug until now. More roach motels, please. NOTE TO SELF: Look to see if they make roach hotels or highrises
A guy in his late 20's told me I was too old to be delivering pizzas. Thank you.
A father of two little ones, screamed like a little girl when a tree frog jumped into his house while accepting his pizza. I chased it down, scooped it up with my hat and flipped it outside. It stuck to my side window of my car, as I drove away
One of our young drivers was robbed at gunpoint, last night. The driver was more upset about getting only a 35 cent tip on a $29.00 order, just prior to having a gun shoved into his face, than the actual robbery event.
The driver said that the robber was very young. What tragically bad judgment by this young robber, to risk 2 lives for $20.35
I delivered a pizza to the dwarf actor who plays a bug on TV commercials. Not a friendly little bugger at all
More proof that God has a sense of humor. I have yet to deliver a pizza to the ground floor of any apartment or condo. (I said lose some weight, Tubby!)
One of our drivers keeps the lighted and logo'd cartopper permanently affixed to his car roof. He says he never gets hassled parking, no matter where he parks
Speaking of cartoppers, I drove approximately 3.5 miles with a pizza bag containing 2 large pizzas, on the roof of my car, tucked neatly behind my cartopper. When I got to my delivery destination, after a moment of confusion and panic, I acted like it was intentional, scooped up the full bag and took it straight the front door of the house, with the recipients none the wiser.