Rather than writing another social/political essay on the evils of the world, I thought I’d just chat with you for a bit.
Many moons ago I worked at a pizza place as a delivery driver. It was a pretty decent gig for a young man in his late teens/early twenties. The money was good for a simple, entry-level job, the work was easy and I ate a LOT of pizza!
Anyone who has performed this work has stories. The one I always wished I could tell later on is a basic plot device for porn films. Pizza guy delivers to a young, single gorgeous woman with a raging libido. Rather than a monetary tip, the man receives something far more intimate. Sadly, this never happened to me.
I was offered my fair share of drugs as a method of gratuity, but I always declined. Not because I had high moral values or respected my body enough to keep it free from illicit substances, but rather I refused to take things from strangers because I learned how unwise that was.
The first time it happened, a guy gave me a joint to enjoy later. I saved it for the end of the night and shared it with my boss after we closed the shop. I have no idea what that rotten little Mary Jewana cigarette was laced with, but after about five minutes of heavy toking, I felt like someone had driven a railroad spike through my head. The three minute drive home seemed to take hours and though I was exhausted, I feared falling asleep because I kept waking up from not breathing. Terrifying night.
I loved delivering to parties. Usually at least five people would show up at the door and being drunk, they all would try to pay me at once. I’d have multiple people shoving handfuls of cash at me. I usually averaged about a twenty dollar tip for most parties. Thanks guys. Hope you enjoyed the “zah”.
I lived in a small retirement town on Florida’s west coast so we had a large senior citizen population. I delivered to one old fellow who, after taking the pie inside, came back, grabbed my hand and placed something in my palm, almost like he was performing a magic trick. He then closed my hand around the object and whispered (like we were conspiring to do something illicit) “Here, this is for you. Keep this for yourself.” He smiled at me.
After he closed the door I opened my hand to see two shiny quarters. I couldn’t help but laugh. To him, this must have seemed like a lot of money. Rather than grumble about being a cheap skate, I admired the thought behind the gesture. (Make lemonade, folks)
One of my favorite memories was of a certain household that enjoyed pranking the delivery guy. (Yes guy. We didn’t have any girls delivering for us at that time.) The entire family would get in on the “fun”.
After opening the door, they immediately started with the charade. Dad, mom, teenage daughter, teenage son and teenage friends would all start pretending like their big, vicious dog had escaped and was roaming around outside. They really tried hard to sell it, I’ll give them that. Once the pizza/money transaction was complete and the driver headed back to his car, someone would be waiting outside in a bush. Upon seeing the driver, he’d bark loud and deep in an attempt to frighten the driver. The first time this happened, the driver did indeed jump and run. This was followed by gales of laughter from the entire household who all had quietly come outside to witness the spectacle.
Fool me once shame on you… Yeah, so we caught on after that. This household started ordering pizzas regularly and we were prepared. We had their name and address next to our phones so when they called to order, the delivery driver and pizza maker both knew their roles. The driver made sure not to react to their prank and would calmly walk to his car, spoiling their fun. The person making their pizza would be sure to add a number of “specialty” items that were not on our menu. In fact, the entire shop would chip in, each giving something personal to their order. (Ever see the movie “Waiting”?)
They continued to order from us for a while and continued to play the same prank every time. Weren’t they clever and funny?
Here’s a bit of advice from an old pizza pro. Don’t do shit like that. Be nice to your delivery person. Seriously.
So yeah, that’s about it. No grand finale for this story. No clever words of wisdom. No dramatic twist.