date : 2:59 pm - Friday,April 5, 2002
from : mrp
subject : PANTSMAIL 019: pizza argument, 2 AM
Hello Pantsmail readers,
As promised, here's the anecdote about getting pizza at 2 AM. At the end of it, I tacked on some inflammatory and unfair lies about Larry Hagman, who's probably a very nice and decent man.
- - - - -
Last Tuesday, I went to get a couple of slices of pizza at 2 AM. I wasn't even very hungry, but I wanted to exercise my ability to get pizza late at night because this is America, the greatest country on earth, godammit.
So I go to a place called Mr. Pizza, and there's a customer at the counter being belligerent. Which is perfect. You get something to eat after midnight, and there's always supposed to be a belligerent guy. Not having him in the restaurant would be like not having chairs.
And this guy is angry because the manager of Mr. Pizza had apparently cut him off--wouldn't serve him any more alcohol. Which is perfect too, because that's the number one favorite reason to be quarrelsome in a bar or pizza place late at night.
So at first I didn't know what was going on, and I walked up to the counter, next to the angry guy and tried to place my order--only I couldn't because the manager and Mr. Truculent had their eyes locked in some kind of steely-stare showdown.
The belligerent guy didn't seem drunk, by the way. I mean, he did just because he was being belligerent. But he wasn't wobbling around or slurring his speech at all.
He eventually started hurling insults at the manager, who just stood there, not at all insulted, but definitely annoyed to have to deal with this guy. And here I should mention that the belligerent guy is Latino; he speaks perfect English, but when he started insulting the guy, the insults were kind of off--as if maybe they were being translated directly from Spanish. Like, maybe he's totally fluent in English, but he learned to insult people in Spanish, so is more comfortable with the Spanish put-downs.
Most of the insults were along dumb, sexist lines: "you're not a man--you're a woman." One was basically, "you have have a penis AND a vagina." Which, that's really weird. Calling the guy a "hermaphrodite" would be more succinct, less awkward, and maybe even more offensive. I wish I'd have thought to suggest that.
"Hey, next time, try 'hermaphrodite.'" That would've been nice of me.
Anyway, the manager definitely wasn't taking any of it personally. He just looked at the guy in the resigned way you might look at spilled milk: "this is an annoying mess, gotta clean this up"--but not like, "this is about me; this is personal!" Anyway, the guy's last insult, before he finally left was one I think he intended as his show closer, but it was weirdest, and least insulting:
"You're a leprechaun."
This was particularly perplexing because the manager wasn't especially short or Irish. He also wasn't at all insulted. He just stared at the guy and shook his head.
Oh, I just thought of this: maybe the manager IS a leprechaun, so saying that was the ultimate insult because now his secret has been revealed. Maybe, later that night, a co-worker football-tackled him in the storage room to get him to divulge the location of his pot of gold.
During the altercation, I mostly concerned myself with where I should stand. Right up at the counter seemed too in-the-line-of-fire. So I'd take a few steps back, but then I was blocking the exit. So I shuffled back and forth like an idiot the whole time. I felt dumb about that--like I was dancing while they were arguing. But no one there cared what I was doing.
Finally the angry guy left. And I got to order a couple slices of pizza, which I took home and it was the worst pizza ever. I ate both slices for some dumb reason, too. I ate them and then felt gross and it took two days to recover from that awful pizza. But it was worth it because I got to see a really interesting and weird altercation between a belligerent guy and a leprechaun.
- - - - - -
Thanks for reading this far. If you're one of the new subscribers, thanks for subscribing! Welcome aboard, sailor. That's what I sometimes might say.
- - - - - -
Also as I was leaving, Larry Hagman stumbled in. He was drunk, reeking of gin. And the front of his shirt was covered with macaroni and cheese. He fell onto the ground, muttering something about "kites" and laughing hysterically. Almost immediately two buff shirtless men marched in. One of them made an apologetic announcement to the restaurant patrons, while the other handed what looked like several hundred-dollar bills to the manager. Then they carried out Mr. Hagman, who was still laughing about kites.
- - - - - -
- - - - - -