Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cheese, Mushroom, and Saliva, Please!

For those of you who have just recently joined me here in my little corner of the blogosphere (thank you!!), it's important to know that I am one of five children (that'll come up from time to time!).  My Dad, the reciter of weird phrases that inspired the title of my blog, worked many jobs to keep us all in ballet slippers and softball gloves. Some of his employment titles included carpenter, football coach, and basketball referee.  His main occupation, however, was shop teacher at Maple Heights High School near Cleveland, Ohio.  He loved being an educator and proudly held the position of Industrial Arts Department Head for several years.

We kids soon learned that Dad's occupation made him a very popular man, indeed.  Everyone in town, it seemed, was a former student of my father's.  The mechanic who worked on his car, the guy who SOLD him the car, the guy who owned the convenience store where we purchased our favorite candy, ALL of them once learned carpentry from my dad.  Even when we were miles from home on a family vacation, it was not unusual to be walking through a crowd and suddenly hear, "Mr. Donnelly?"  I, for one, thought that was pretty awesome!

Years later, after I had reunited with and married my sweet husband, Alan, I began to notice a similar trend.  For many years, Alan held the position of manager and then GM for a restaurant chain called Bennigan's.  He worked in several different locations, including Syracuse, many parts of central Florida, even overseas.  In short, Alan had MANY employees over the years!  It seems that everyone currently employed in the restaurant industry worked for my husband at SOME point in their lives!  People approach us in movie theater lobbies, grocery stores and post offices, always smiling and beginning with "Alan? Do you remember me?  I used to wait tables for you!"

My husband is a fantastic boss and I've always been a little tickled and proud of his popularity.  UNTIL...

We were checking out the new California Pizza Kitchen restaurant that had just opened on that very day. By the way, here's another important fact that my new followers should know about me: I LOVE pizza!  I'm using the word LOVE here.  If you placed me on a deserted island and told me I could choose only ONE food to eat for all eternity, I would shout, "PIZZA!!" before you could even finish the question!

So, back to the story.  I had been impatiently observing the construction of said California Pizza Kitchen for several excruciating months, and squealed with delight the day their grand opening was finally announced!  They had barely finished cleaning up from the ribbon-cutting ceremony when Alan and I eagerly ran passed through their doors and grabbed a booth.  A nice young girl approached our table, took one look at Alan and happily chirped, "Alan!  Do you recognize me?  I was a server for you at Bennigan's!!"

Alan smiled, told her he definitely remembered and congratulated her on her new California Pizza gig. After a brief "good old days at Bennigan's" discussion, we placed our order and impatiently waited for our deliciousness to arrive.  When it did, however, the deliverer was someone different from our initial server. She walked up, held my (precious) pizza about two inches above the table, and then let it drop with a loud CLANK!  She then gave Alan a long, wordless glare, flipped her hair, and sauntered away.

"Let me guess," I said to Alan, "SHE used to work for you, too."
"Yep," he replied, "I fired her."
We both looked at each other, then down at our pizza.
"You realize what this means, don't you?"  I said.
Alan shook his head.
I continued, "There is now spit ALL OVER the surface of our lunch!!"

Guess what?  I ate it ANYWAY!!!  (Did I mention I REALLY love pizza?)

Thanks for Reading!!

59 comments:

CentFla said...

Actually, I'm Sure there was no spit on that pizza honey... The cook used to work for me too and he thought I was a great boss!

THE OLD GEEZER said...

I love reading your 'life' stories.

If I had some way to give you all of my 190 followers
I would do it in a 'cyberflash'.
Hey! I think I just coined a new word?

God bless you and your family on this beautiful Sunday morning ( at least it is here in Southern California ).

Ron

magically ordinary said...

Great story!!

Danielle said...

Oh dear God...i am always fearful of this type of stuff. I love pizza too but my OCD would definitely take over when the saliva of another human being gets involved. Too funny. I do love Cali Pizza Kitchen!

{Kimber} said...

uh oh!!
we have a CPK here but I have never went...I think I may have to try it

blueviolet said...

My ex is in that industry as well and he's always being recognized everywhere too! I understand what you're saying completely!!!!

I do love pizza and I'd like to think I wouldn't have taken a chance on the spit...but yeah, my pizza love would have won out also!

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

LOL! That's too funny! I do believe I would have still eaten it too :)

Debbie(single;complicated) said...

what a GREAT post!! I love that you ate the pizza!!!!:)

JenJen said...

hilarious! women can be ruthless! what gives?? if the girl was fired, she probrobly deserved it, right?

Kellyansapansa said...

I can't believe you still ate it! I'm a big fan of pizza too. THE best pizza I ever ate was in Florence, but I had some from a little store in the New York, New York casino in Vegas once that came a pretty close second!

Allison said...

Haha! Great story--everybody isn't going to love you! I guess that server was an example.

Mercy said...

Funny story! I love pizza too. It's one of the best foods there is.

P said...

I would probably have done the same - I ALSO love pizza...

Shan said...

Girl, you are singing my song (the one about loving pizza... not saliva *gag*). One strong craving I had for a few weeks was for some *good* pizza. I had a couple slices over that period, but they were not the scratch for my itch. Maybe I should go to our local CPK...

GregoryJ said...

You must really love pizza. I do also, but I don't know if I could have eaten that one.
In my short time as an asst manager, a job I did not want, I managed to piss off three employees enough to find employment elsewhere. But there were a lot who liked me, so you can never tell.
I hope that 'server' got fired there too. She obviously is not good at it.

Bossy Betty said...

Loved the memories of your dad as shop teacher! I sometimes get cookies from students I am sure hate me. I love cookies, so I eat them anyway. I totally get the eating the pizza thing!

Being Me said...

Hee hee. I think I know why he fired her..... what an attitude!

m e l i g r o s a said...

oh wow
this is hilarious! well, yea rite hilarious – managing a restaurant must be a rough business at any given moment, and it is indeed a small world.
pizza rocks! i think i might be the same as you, but the island i get stranded on better come have a hip barista and espresso services... LOL
cheers and off to a great week my lady!
with luv from sf <3 meli

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I would have gone ahead and eaten it...I think?

S.L.N. said...

Cute story- actually it was the picture of your dad that got me- I love old photos like that; always seems to be more to the photo than just another face in another place. And you're welcome for stopping by- glad to have found you:-) And a few of the other places you've led me- thanks!

Rachel Cotterill said...

I hope she was fired from the pizza job for such unprofessionalism! I went to that brand of pizza restaurant in Boulder - yummy :D

Randall @ Happy For This Moment said...

Aw, the joys of the restaurant business!

Brittany said...

haha, too funny! My dad knows everyone everywhere too! Not sure how--he works for UPS, so he does meet a lot of people through there. It's too funny.

Richard said...

HAHAHAHA! I wouldn't have ate it. I like New York style pizza. No artichoke hearts, no pan seared snap peas, no sprouts, and no saliva.

Heatherlyn said...

Oh gross! And yes, pizza is actually pretty wonderful. What are the odds of two different former employees working at the same place? You must have not been exaggerating when you said that everyone has worked for him. :)

Jenny said...

Great story. AND it least it was moist.

rxBambi said...

I am a pizza fanatic too. I worked for pizza hut as a teenager and everyone told me I'd get sick of it. NOPE. Ate it every freaking day. Plus we took home the 'mistakes' so my fam ate it daily too until my mom finally told me to STOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. But I still love pizza. And Bennigans. The monte cristo is to freaking die for, and is pretty much a heart attack in waiting. Luckily we don't have one here so I don't have to be tempted too much =)

Oh yeah - I'd have eaten the pizza too!

Pink Haired Momma said...

Oh my goodness I just peed myself. Your stories are so awesome! I love how you reveal interesting historical timepoints of your life followed up with piss in your pants humor. Fabulous!

ps i would have eaten the pizza too, and savored every single bite!!!

Sir Thomas AKA (Winters Reaper) said...

I'll share a pizza with you any time.... say in italy?

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I would have eaten it too. I love pizza!

Hugs!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laugh Joan!!! I had no idea that you are one of five! You need to tell me about that since I have 5 kids!!!

Eva Gallant said...

I love pizza, too, but my son used to be in the restaurant business and I suspect your pizza may very well have been spit on!

citymouse said...

Ewww! That's love for ya! I do love CPK though and wish we had one closer. I like the nod to your dad, too. We lived in Cleveland Heights for a few years. I loved it there.

Anonymous said...

can i just say, they don't know how to do pizza down here in cbus...i CRAVE a romito's or farinacci's pizza...and that from a former pizza bazaar employee! the big thing down here is thin crust...can't stand it...need to make a pizza run to cleveburg...wonder if f'nacci's will send 'take n bake'...and joan, i remember your family very fondly! Lee

tattytiara said...

Haha yeah, that's the problem with celebrity - it can turn on ya!

Erin said...

I have waited tables or bartended for over 10 years now and I can definitely say that there are few people that will actually do something disgusting to your food. And I've seen some pretty awful customers! Even customers who have been absolutely awful to me, get their food delivered as it was prepared. However . . . drunk jerks did get "cocktails" without any alchohol in them . . . but they were always spit-free!

Eternally Distracted said...

I suppose we can't be loved by everyone all the time... and that must be a HUGE love of pizza you have... !!

Chloe said...

Wow, you really do love pizza! I wouldn't eat that for the world. I've heard too many horror stories from pissed off waitresses.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

ah, it happens when they like you too - I'd have eaten it too. Oooh how i long for pizza. haven't had it in years. I would spit laden pizza, bad pizza, greasy pizza, great pizza - makes no difference this dago misses pizza!!! And there is nothing better on the morning after with a hangover than cold left over pizza. Not that I know from experience but I have heard.

just call me jo said...

Heavens, 88 posts ahead of me. That's intimidating. You probably never get to 89. But I'll respond any way. I like your writing style, like your hutspah (spelling ???), like your whole blog. You remember Tab diet drink? You must be old. ;o)

"And so our stories go..." said...

Aw, what's a little of that! :-) I love pizza. How funny.
Mary

Muffy said...

OH NO!!! HAHAHA! What a funny story! You must REALLY love pizza!!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Sweet story and blog! I am a teacher, so I imagine my future will be much the same!

Chell... said...

I will admit, I have walked into certain places for lunch/dinner and walked right back out if I recognized a face of an individual who parted with our company on bad terms. ;) hee hee...

Lovely posting new friend!

We live in a Zoo! said...

Lol!

Leeuna said...

I love pizza too, but not quite THAT much, I think. LOL. That would have been a tense situation. You handled it well.

christy rose said...

Stopping back from FF. Thanks for the follow! I am following you now too! :)

Putz said...

ya know if this bog turns out to be 'AN OLD , OR MY OLD DAD" blog, i think i will stay lolay loyal to you, i am a dad of a girl just your age, and i was her putz or 'THE PUTZY' one not the way that people generally think of a putz like say one of the chigago fame, but a character with putzy statements to make, embaraassing at times, but at times 'PROFOUND" I STILL AM EMBARASSED TO LINK TO YOU BECAUSE MY WIFE ASKED IF THE this naked man stuff is porn, and what do i say to her

Miss Go Lightly said...

You're a brave soul for eating that pizza ;) j/k! great story!

Helene said...

Well, look at it this way...hopefully she spit on the pizza BEFORE it went in the oven, thus killing any germs in the cooking process.

lifeshighway said...

ah ha ha. I would have even been afraid of the water.

Great story

Sylvia K said...

What a terrific story!! I loved it! Always been a fan of Bennigans, one of my favorite places to eat. And, oh yes, I would have eaten the pizza, too! Which reminds me, I have one of Paul Newman's pizzas in the freezer!! Guess what I'm having for lunch!! Glad you enjoyed the Dahlia post, they are soooo beautiful and so many varieties. Hope you have a super week!

Sylvia

Six Feet Under Blog said...

Argh! Mayb he should wear sunglasses when he goes out to eat. lol

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy said...

Yep, I TOTALLY would have been worried. I love pizza, too, but the potential for spit ..... eep.

Rhiannon said...

Sudden Pizza Craving ALERT. ALERT. ALERT.

Krista said...

LOL this is a fabulous story - you are so great at this! I think you need to write a book like... yesterday... and make it available to your followers first so that I can read it. I bet I wouldn't be able to put it down. ;o)

I'm having a giveaway for my followers... you should stop by! :o)

Picture Imperfect Follower Giveaway

Tammie said...

this is a great story.

can i just say how much i miss bennigans? ours closed a year or so ago and im left wanting a monte cristo in the worst way.

Meg said...

What a funny story! I don't think I would have been able to eat the pizza though! lol

Meg

Holly said...

Ewww...OK I would pick pizza on a deserted island too and I would probably have eaten it.

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