Today my pizza delivery adventures took me (on a delivery) to a hospital with an automated, high-tech, and brisk revolving door. *I think* this sign is supposed to warn parents that the unmanned, potentially lethal object (UPLO) may not “see” children as surely as it does us big people.
But I also couldn’t help notice that this sign looks like the famous scene from the Sistene Chapel–if viewed through the eyes of the pizza-loving, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Michelangelo.
You know, you’re walking through the grocery store and need to buy some V8, which you have coded “special drink”, for yourself and your daughter. So you’re walking through the store and as you’re about to check out you remember you need some more special drink. Terribly disappointed, you discover that their stock is out of the economy-sized jug. Like any self-respecting American man, you apply your fickle-as-a-woman’s-mood frugality to the situation and decide to just buy another brand than buy the kick-a-man-while-he’s-down regular-sized, overpriced jug. Having tried the store brand once before and finding it less than pleasing to your palette, you move on to Campbell’s tomato juice.
Days later, you find yourself studying Koine Greek in an effort to get right with God. Realizing it’s almost bedtime, and so time for a glass of that glorious act-of-vegetable-eating replacing special drink, you move to the fridge. “Ah!” you exclaim as you open it and remember you get to test what Campbell’s has to offer to the people. “Will it be bad?” you cringe. “Could it be better?” you hope. Excitement builds. Scanning the label to discover just how many servings of vegetables you’re about to ingest, you shrug off the creeping doubt that this red elixir is no equivalent to special drink. Pouring the beverage into your cup, you again fight away thoughts such as, “You know, V8 really isn’t just tomatoes, and this seems like it is just tomatoes.”
Then you sniff it. Then you stop your practiced chugging and conclude that, in fact, Campbell’s tomato juice is tomato juice, and not special at all.
Oh well. Only 16 days until the now open jug can be thrown away guilt free. 16. Guilt-filled. Days.
But what is it?
Not just bread and cheese and sauce, no. This meal fit for God himself is so much more.
It is the sound of the loveliest doorbell. It is the acceptable apology for the mealtime “oops!” It is the welcoming party when the vacation ends.
It is the taste of summertime birthdays. It is the texture of picking which movie to watch first. It is the height of soda can towers.
It is the singing clock’s twelve chimes reminding all that Friday is gone. It is the placing of a small hand into a big one. It is the compromise between parents and children.
It is soda’s groom.
It is breakfast. It is lunch. It is dinner. It is the substance of every moment in between.
It is nourishment. And as nourishment, it is life itself.
Is it worthy of worship, this pizza?
Yes. An unapologetic, unabashed, unable to understand yes.
Opening the door, he simultaneously managed to drop into the seat, press the brake, insert the key into the ignition, and start the engine. “Finally,” he thought, “I’m outta here.” He turned up the Christmas music and began his drive to pick up some dinner.
He made believe that he hadn’t decided where to go, and ran down the list of options–mostly fast food. He knew, though, that he was only craving one thing. His own version of crack-cocaine. Or at least his own version of crack’s most common feature that the planet’s comedians can’t stop talking about.
Turning into the familiar parking lot, he avoided the enormous dip that surrounded the manhole cover. He got out of the car and noticed there were a couple people waiting in line as he pulled open the door to the restaurant.
He overheard the entire conversation between the current customer and the cashier. It was shocking. The lady had ordered a pizza other than pepperoni or cheese. “Wow!” he muttered, shaking his head in disbelief. The rarity of the moment caused the cashier to take a moment to place the order during which he noticed three more customers pile in behind him. For a restaurant bent on having its food hot and ready the growing line created a palpable angst. Finally, one lady near the end of the line couldn’t take it any longer and broke the awkward silence. Gripping her cigarette pack with the familiar three-finger cradle, she nervously packed the tobacco against her left hand with the recognizable staccato “thwack! thwack! thwack!” and said, “Man! This place is hoppin’ t’night!” The others rewarded her benevolence with wide-eyed nods and exhaling.
He smiled. Then he wondered if they knew how much he loved them.