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Kenny Bania buys a slice

Scorched pesto is not something worth paying to endure

Admittedly, George would have told it better.
Admittedly, George would have told it better.

Don’t do it. Don’t be the guy who complains about the excruciating minutiae.

Hey, nice Seinfeld reference. It’s funny; this is just the sort of thing Seinfeld would take on. Or rather, George.

You’re not Seinfeld; you’re not even George. Hell, you’re not even Kenny Bania. And Seinfeld’s been off the air for 20 years. You’re dating yourself.

That’s nothing. I remember watching Andy Rooney make hay out of excruciating minutiae by railing against cotton balls in pill bottles on 60 Minutes in 1983. So I’m in this pizza joint…

Which one?

I can’t say that; what if I want to go back? I order a slice of ricotta meatball and a slice of pesto. And the guy says, “This’ll be right out; gimme 30 seconds.” And then he vanishes. I check out what’s on the TV: Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

This is where Jerry would cut in and comment on how weird it was for Gyllenhaal to be in that movie.

Right? It’s like putting the guy who played Wolverine in a musical.

Um…

After a while, I realize that it’s been a lot more than 30 seconds, and I look around for my guy. He’s refilling some other guy’s beer from the tap, telling him he’s a gentleman for getting a refill instead of a new glass.

How thoughtful.

He’s not thinking about me. Because next, he refills another guy’s beer, after having the same conversation. Finally, my slices get pulled out of the oven. But the guy doesn’t see them. Instead, he says to me, “Hi, what can I get for you?” Like I’m a new customer!

Maybe he was busy.

No one else was ordering. I gesture at my slices. “Oh, thanks for seeing those,” he says, then slides them onto a plate and calls out, “Pesto and a ricotta meatball!” I mention that they’re my slices. “Oh, they’re yours? Enjoy!” I try. I try to ignore the dried-up ricotta and the lava-hot mozzarella. But scorched pesto is not something worth paying to endure.

Jerry would sympathize there; he’d screw up his face and make a witty comparison.

Well, you’re no help. I head back to the counter and say, “I’m sorry, this pesto is really scorched.”

“No, that’s impossible. It was only in for 30 seconds.”

“Taste it.”

“I don’t need to taste it. Look.” He shows me the unscorched underside, like it’s proof.

Who you gonna believe, me or your lying tongue?

I ask for a slice of cheese instead. “Ok,” he says, “I’ll give you another slice. And I’ll put it in for just a short time — 30 seconds.” I go back to Prince of Persia for another 90 seconds, this time to watch Alfred Molina in Arab drag. Then I burn my tongue again.

How do you know it was 90 seconds each time?

Because I went home and checked!

You watched Prince of Persia just to prove the pizza guy wrong?

He scorched my pesto! Thirty seconds!

Needs work.

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Admittedly, George would have told it better.
Admittedly, George would have told it better.

Don’t do it. Don’t be the guy who complains about the excruciating minutiae.

Hey, nice Seinfeld reference. It’s funny; this is just the sort of thing Seinfeld would take on. Or rather, George.

You’re not Seinfeld; you’re not even George. Hell, you’re not even Kenny Bania. And Seinfeld’s been off the air for 20 years. You’re dating yourself.

That’s nothing. I remember watching Andy Rooney make hay out of excruciating minutiae by railing against cotton balls in pill bottles on 60 Minutes in 1983. So I’m in this pizza joint…

Which one?

I can’t say that; what if I want to go back? I order a slice of ricotta meatball and a slice of pesto. And the guy says, “This’ll be right out; gimme 30 seconds.” And then he vanishes. I check out what’s on the TV: Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

This is where Jerry would cut in and comment on how weird it was for Gyllenhaal to be in that movie.

Right? It’s like putting the guy who played Wolverine in a musical.

Um…

After a while, I realize that it’s been a lot more than 30 seconds, and I look around for my guy. He’s refilling some other guy’s beer from the tap, telling him he’s a gentleman for getting a refill instead of a new glass.

How thoughtful.

He’s not thinking about me. Because next, he refills another guy’s beer, after having the same conversation. Finally, my slices get pulled out of the oven. But the guy doesn’t see them. Instead, he says to me, “Hi, what can I get for you?” Like I’m a new customer!

Maybe he was busy.

No one else was ordering. I gesture at my slices. “Oh, thanks for seeing those,” he says, then slides them onto a plate and calls out, “Pesto and a ricotta meatball!” I mention that they’re my slices. “Oh, they’re yours? Enjoy!” I try. I try to ignore the dried-up ricotta and the lava-hot mozzarella. But scorched pesto is not something worth paying to endure.

Jerry would sympathize there; he’d screw up his face and make a witty comparison.

Well, you’re no help. I head back to the counter and say, “I’m sorry, this pesto is really scorched.”

“No, that’s impossible. It was only in for 30 seconds.”

“Taste it.”

“I don’t need to taste it. Look.” He shows me the unscorched underside, like it’s proof.

Who you gonna believe, me or your lying tongue?

I ask for a slice of cheese instead. “Ok,” he says, “I’ll give you another slice. And I’ll put it in for just a short time — 30 seconds.” I go back to Prince of Persia for another 90 seconds, this time to watch Alfred Molina in Arab drag. Then I burn my tongue again.

How do you know it was 90 seconds each time?

Because I went home and checked!

You watched Prince of Persia just to prove the pizza guy wrong?

He scorched my pesto! Thirty seconds!

Needs work.

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Next time demand that your pesto is presto!

Sept. 12, 2018

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