Tuesday, November 07, 2006
File this one under ways to amuse your house guests, especially if they're children.
One summer, quite a few moons ago, almost all of MY WIFE's immediate relatives were visiting our home. These included her siblings Luann, John and Victoria; Luann's husband at the time, and friend now, Charlie; our nieces, Caitlyn and Alyssa; and our nephews, Michael and Joseph. If you include us (and you should, since it was our house) there were ten of us.
In order to feed a mob of that size, we had limited options:
1) Take everybody out to eat. Except, have you ever tried to get a table for ten at a restaurant? It sucks a big wet set of hairy goat testicles. You usually have to wait twenty minutes while the staff sets up something and then it's another twenty minutes before everybody has settled in and decided what they'd like to eat. During that time, the waitress has come over already to see if you were ready to order and, when you said you weren't quite ready yet, she said, "I'll give you a few more minutes. Take your time!" and then she hasn't been on the floor since. Well, you finally do order and then when the food comes there's always one person whose order isn't right and then everybody else, being polite, sits and waits for that order to come back from the kitchen. Meanwhile, their food is getting colder than a welldigger's ass. And, heck, it just sucks is all, so we didn't even consider that as an option.
2) You cook the whole tribe a meal yourself. This is fine if it's Thanksgiving and you have a day or two to start preparing things at your leisure. However, if you haven't started cooking the turkey in the morning, feeding ten people in the afternoon isn't going to happen unless you have an outdoor grill, which we didn't, so we could give them all a great big pot of macaroni and cheese is about all, thanks, so let's move on to the third option, which is...
4) And for some goddamned reason WordPerfect wants to make the rest of this piece a list, too.
6) Yes, I'm an ignorant sonovabitch. I should know how to turn this option off, but I don't, so you're going to have to live with it. You know what that means, right?
7) Tough titties.
9) So, here's what we did. We called up four different pizza places and ordered one pizza from each one. We gave each kid a pizza place as his or her entry in the race. And then we went out on the front porch to wait and see who would win the pizza race.
10) In order to make it a fair race, we gave handicaps. The place we called first received no handicap. For each succeeding pizza joint, we would subtract two minutes from their time since we called them later. In other words, the first pizza place had to deliver their pizza six minutes sooner than the last place we called in order to win. Charlie acted as official timekeeper.
11) We decided that we'd give the winner of the race a big tip, something like $5 on an $8 pizza delivery bill. The other drivers would get a buck or two, depending upon how far behind the winner they were.
12) The first pizza came. When the pizza guy came to the porch with the pizza, we asked where he was from since there were no markings on his car or on the box - other than a happy generic pizza chef - to tell us which establishment he came from.
13) Unfortunately, this fellow may have been an illegal immigrant. He got this sick look on his face and said, "Why you want to know where I from?"
14) We explained that we only wanted to know what pizza joint he was from, since we were having a pizza race. This didn't help a hell of a lot, since he didn't know what a pizza race was, but when I pulled out the money to pay him and gave him a $5 tip, that seemed to set him at ease.
15) I should explain something, I suppose. When we figured on giving the winning driver a big tip, we hadn't really thought it out all the way through. If the first driver came from, say, the second pizza joint we called, how would we know if he beat the other places if we figured in the handicaps? Luckily for me, the first pizza to arrive had been the last pizza ordered, so there was no way the others could possibly win.
16) Looking back, it would have been best if we had four cell phones and we placed the calls all at the same time. However, we wuz po' folk and didn't have no newfangled dangblasted diddleyboppin' razzmatazztical... we only had one plug-in phone. Still do.
17) So, that's the story of the pizza race. It was fun. Someday, I'd like to try a Chinese food race, but I'm afraid that would end up being much more expensive. Of course, you could get around that by ordering Chinese food from four different places and giving your neighbor's address instead of your own. You wouldn't get to eat, but it would be great entertainment.
18) Tomorrow, with more better (unnumbered) stuff.