Issue #37, October 2002

 

 



 




PIZZAZZ

as told to P. S. Ehrlich
 

[CLUMP CLUMP CLUMP]

Peyton?  Peyton!!

Jeez, you would be slow opening the door the one time I’ve got my hands full of hot stuff.  Lookee here: T G it’s F pizza delivery!  Provided to you fancy-free by Gimme-a-Tip Express!  I’ve had pizza on my mind all day long.  I wanted to start devouring this one in the elevator on the way up here.  Sure hope you like sausage ‘n’ onions ‘n’ mushrooms ‘n’ olives ‘n’ peppers—‘n’ Heineken!  Lookee here!  I got a taste for Heinies (the drinkable kind) during my tour of duty on the “Belgian Bulge.”  You’re a hands-on pizza eater, I hope?  Thank God—this guy I was once with would only eat pizza with a knife and fork.  That should’ve tipped me off right there about that guy and his serious problems.

Skoal!

(Chomp.  Chomp.  Chomp.  Swig.)

Boy this is fine pizza!  Nothing like burnt cheese to put the “yum” in your tummy.

So:  Here we are, after one complete week of sugardaddyish confessionalizing.  You’ll notice that I brought you this fine pizza and this nice six-pack, so you see I’m not a complete freeloading deadbeat.  Who’da thunk it?  My friend RoBynne O’Ring—have I told you yet about her?—that’s right, she is writing a smut novel—RoBynne has these wickedly elegant earrings, one saying Hoodah and the other Thawtit?  Now if I had a set like that, I wouldn’t have to talk with my mouth full—just point at my earlobes.

(Chomp.  Chomp.  Chomp.  Swig.)

I especially dote on the mushrooms.  Guess there’s a little hobbit in me.  (And boy does he wriggle around!)

So what shall you listen about tonight?  My sister keeps wanting to know why I keep coming over here, and what I’m up to and what you’re up to, and getting all exasperated when I act hush-hush secretive about it just to gnarl her.  Sadie being a redhead, you see, she’s extra gnarlable; the redder the hair, the quicker to anger, in my experience.  (Being strawberry blonde myself, I have a perfectly serene disposition.)

Yessir!  I’ve been playing dodgeball with Sadie’s temper since I was 10 years old.  Desi knows how to bounce it around too, and she’s only five.  For instance she had her heart set on buying one of those basset pups next door, and Sadie told her forget it, no way we’re spending money on “something that craps in the yard,” so of course they’re over there picking out a puppy even as I speak.  Gotta hand it to Desi—she can play her mother like a coppertop piccolo.  ‘Course, she’s had a lot of pointers from me:  I can play Ms. Mercedes like a carrot-haired concertina.

(Chomp.  Chomp.  Swig.  Belch.)

Oops!  Sorry.  And here I’ve been eating very genteelly too, not glopping all over the floor or anything.

When I was in the Brownies back in Marble Orchard, we used to have these burping contests—and we were pretty good at it too, for a bunch of well-bred small-town girls.  Anyway: ready for another bottle ‘n’ slice?  No?  Don’t mind watching me have another of each, do you?  Attaboy!  Okay, ladylike now:

(Nibble.  Nibble.  Nibble.  Sip.)

How’s that for demure?  Remind me to change into pink undies, next chance I get.

Where was I?  Oh right.  Did you know that Sadie invented the concept of pizza home delivery?  At least she was the first girl to do it—in Demortuis, anyway.  Her senior year of high school, her boyfriend Dingus had this job at Macello’s Pizza Palace till he got canned for being such a stoner but got Sadie hired in his place ‘cause Mr. Macello didn’t want to lose their gang’s business, living in Munchiesville as most of them did—so Sadie went, “Why not take the molehills to Mohammed?”  And this one weekend, she loaded up Dingus’s old VW van with pizzas and delivered them all over the neighborhood.  I forget how they kept the pizzas hot—Easy-Bake ovens, maybe, or lots of woolly blankets.

Anyway it didn’t matter ‘cause Mr. Macello wouldn’t let them do it again, Dingus ‘cause he’d been canned and Sadie ‘cause she was “just a girl,” which needless to say pissed her off royally.  She wanted Dingus to siphon all the gas out of Mr. Macello’s Valiant and fill the tank with tomato sauce, but Dingus got on his high horse (so to speak) and said they shouldn’t take it out on an innocent Plymouth.  So instead they packed a pair of girls’s underpants with raw anchovies and mailed them to Mrs. Macello, who freaked out bigtime ‘cause The Godfather movie had just come out, and she thought her Luca Brasi was sleeping with the fishies.  Actually it was me who provided the underpants—I insisted; it made me so proud to be a real live co-conspirator!—and Sadie was so gloatful afterward she bought me my very first set of teenage-type lace panties as a reward, with the days of the week on them and everything.

(Nibble.  Nibble.  Nibble.  Sip.)

So what else can I tell you about Sadie that you probably don’t already know?  She’s told me all about you—or at least what you were like when she first came to art school here:  How you could always be found at Marr’s Bar on the Milky Way, at a corner table that no one but your gang of “Dilated Nostrils” was allowed to sit at unless they were hotsy young chiclets, which I’m guessing must’ve included Sadie ‘cause she was pretty hotsy way back then (just kidding, Sadie!)She says you were all the time throwing these “raspburials” where everybody had to make up drinking chants on the spot like Cyrano de Bergerac, except that she suspected you made all yours up ahead of time; and how you were absolutely larger than life from being so full of yourself (her words, not mine) and how you used to be known as “The Wizard of Schnoz” and could make the walls rattle with your Rabelaisian laughter and would get so damned French (again quoting Sadie) with the hotsy young chiclets, but only for 9 days before you’d pay no more attention to whoever the latest one was.  Why only 9 days?…

Jeez, don’t get sore!

Oh come on, don’t you know me by now?  A curious person, remember?  Never mind.  Simmer down.  Have another beer.  Think of all those poor folks in the Low Countries, working their behinds off to brew us these Heinies.

That’s better.  That’s what I call a good Rabelaisian guffaw!

(Clink.)

(Swig.)

So enough about you.  Back to me, where we belong.

I first got to know Sadie when I went to her sister Alexis’s wedding—my sister Alexis I should say, since of course she’s my stepsister too; except that Alexis shuffled straight off to Buffalo where she’s been having babies every other year like obstetrical clockwork, so I don’t really know her that well.  Not like Sadie:  We really are sisters; at least I’ve always thought so, and so has she.  I mean, it was her idea in the first place, that her dad—that’s ARnold—and my mom should get together.  So the very first time I clap eyes on Sadie, she’s all eager smiles and plotting and scheming to turn innocent ME into her own little sister.  And here’s ME rolling around in hysterics when she introduces herself as “Mercedes Benison.”  (Hee hee hee!  That name still cracks me up.)

I’ve been tagging around after her ever since.

Weirdly enough, it’s exactly the same with my mother—I mean you’d think Sadie was Mom’s own blood daughter, and me the wicked but oh-so-cute stepchild.  Many’s the time I’ve seen them standing side by side, with the exact same pissed-off expression on their faces.  “Carrie, can’t you do something about her?” Sadie’d say, and “Don’t you think I would if I could?” Mom’d say back at her.  And there I’d be, chockfull of pizzazz, going giggle‑iggle-iggle at them both. They’d breathe fire and threaten me with everything on the laundry list (especially when I’d throw my red things in with their whites), but it only made me laugh harder.

Jeez.  Poor Mom.  She never knew what to do with me, and I could rile her so easy.  For example, she got herself a nose job, after she left my dad; I couldn’t see any difference then and still can’t.  Pisses her off royally every time I mention it.  “Kelly RebecCA!” she’ll say; “Yes ma’am!” I’ll say.  That’s the usual gist of our conversations.

Anyway: she did marry ARnold, who’s a big old sweetie (always blushes when I kiss him), and I did come to Demortuis to live with them and Sadie.  And then we all took a trip together to Fort Lauderdale, where Sadie and I had an outright fistfight one night when we had to share a motel bed, and she kicked me with her big old giraffe-girl feet and then had the gall to claim that I started it, even though it was blatantly obvious that she’d been born first (the gun-jumping weisenheimer) and so started everything.

And then the very next day, we all trooped out to breakfast and ran into Gower, of all people!  You know, my dad—just back from Vietnam, too.  Well, my mom had a hissyfit like you wouldn’t believe:  She and Gower went off a little ways and yelled at each other for 15 minutes or so.  Poor ARnold was so embarrassed, and—get this!—Sadie wrapped her arms around me the whole time, as if I were going to be traumatized or something.  But it was all just a bore.  Proved they were right to split up, I guess.  They must’ve had fights like that when I was little, but I never remember any.

You know, I can’t imagine actually growing up in the same house with the two of them.  I mean, they’re my parents, and it’s not like I don’t love them or whatever, but Jeez—I couldn’t’ve done without Sadie and Desi and ARnold and all.

Just like I can’t do without this last slice of pizza!

But—I’m willing to share it with you.

Attaboy.

(Chomp.)

 

P. S. Ehrlich 2002-2010

 



 
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