Sunday, April 24, 2005

“She'll take your money but she won’t take your pizza”

I ordered too much pizza for an event at work -- a pie and a half too much, to be precise. I cleaned out the office refrigerator (contents: 3 half-empty bottles of soda, 1 bottle of Orangina, 2 hard-boiled eggs cuddled up in a small Tupperware, 1 jar of maraschino cherries, 1 Tupperware container containing festering left-over leftovers belonging to me, 1 unopened bottle of stir-fry sauce, 1 unopened can of refried beans) and then discovered it was not deep enough to hold a pizza box. I gave half a pie to an office down the hall, but that still left a whole pie untouched. With one black mark already painted on my vegan conscious for ordering it in the first place, I could not bring myself to toss an entire pie in to the garbage.

So, I decided to take the pie home with me and offer it to the first beggar who entered my subway car on the ride home. Glossing over the horrifying confidence with which I could assume that I would encounter a beggar, I will fast-forward to me, perched sideways on an A train seat with a giant pizza box dampening my thighs. I sat for a couple stops and then a woman came into the car asking, politely, for money. I offered her the pizza, she declined, and the two women next to me launched into a loud conversation about how the woman had turned down the free pie. Their tongue-clucking helped relive the momentary embarrassment of my rejected offer.

At Jay Street I hefted the wilting white box across the platform to wait for the F. I had to lean it against a pillar so my arms didn’t fall off. (Listen, respect your delivery guy: a whole large pizza is HEAVY.) When the F arrived there was a man sleeping on the corner seats, and I considered leaving the box there for him to discover when he woke but didn’t. I figured if no one who would want it got on this train, I could deposit it with one of the drunk guys who is inevitably sliding down a wall inside my home station.

Of course, of all days, this day the station was empty and me and the pizza were out of luck. After spending so much time with it in my arms, I had a version of Baby’s famous watermelon line from Dirty Dancing stuck in my head, and kept repeating to myself “I carried a pizza”. So, in a last-ditch effort to keep it out of the garbage can “I carried a pizza” to the bodega on our corner and gave it to the friendly round guy who works there who said he would give it to his super who he said would give it to his five kids. By this time the pizza was three hours old, which is very old in unrefrigerated pizza years, no? I was a little worried for the health of the children who would eventually eat it but I just ducked into the bodega to purchase some Bacos for tonight’s twice-baked potatoes and received a friendly greeting so I’m assuming the pizza did no damage. And since the Bacos I bought turned-out to have a January expiration date and I’m still planning on consuming them this evening, I’m hoping this is a fair assumption and there’s no cosmic scheme to punish me for poisoning the landlord’s offspring.