I finally got around to reading the last issue of the Reader. And when I came to Barbs column about making pizza, two things happened.

It made me crave pizza the entire weekend. I thought I'd get my fill watching the final NFL playoff games on Sunday, but it didn't happen. Instead, I was eating Chinese food at my friends party, and laughing as Kurt Warner took his Cardinals to the Super Bowl and said he had to thank, first and foremost, God, for "making it all happen". Probably the most idiotic statement you could make at a time like that.

He should've thanked Larry Fitzgerald, one of the best receivers in football the last couple years, who made some amazing catches in that game (and three TDs). But I digest.

Back to the pizza. And back to the topic.

I thought of a story that was similar to Barbs. Well, okay, it was a lot different, but had a similar premise.

I had a girlfriend who always cooked for me. I would joke that someday I'd make her a really nice dinner. She would reply, "Oh yeah, that's never gonna happen."

Well, I really don't know how to cook anything. But one night when I told her I'd make her dinner, to be funny I went to the store and looked for the fanciest cookbook I could find. One of the kinds where stuff was written in French, and called for ingredients that I had never even heard of.

I brought the book home, bought an apron, and then I burned the book. Now, the weirdest thing about all this was that it was a small apartment in Clairemont. I was in my early 20s, and I'm on the balcony lighting a cookbook on fire. I'm wondering if another neighbor is going to call the authorities.

I wanted the book to be burned, but so that you could still read it.

I then had the oven opened half way, put black stuff on my cheeks, to make it appear an explosion occured.

And, I had Dominoes Pizza waiting, with some flowers on the table. Tiffany would show up, and I'd open the door wearing the apron (which I burned some holes in as well), and I'd look like I was the victim of the Unabomber.

I had nice silverwear I borrowed from my mom, which now had slices of pepperoni pizza on it.

Tiffany was an hour late, and the phone rang. I was sure it was her, telling me what the deal was. But, it was my mom saying "You better not break those dishes. They were my moms, and they're expensive. I don't know why you always have to do these jokes and things. Couldn't you guys just go out for pizza?"

My date showed up a few minutes after the call, apologizing for being late. She didn't look up, so I couldn't explain what the black stuff was on my face. I felt like Al Jolson bombing on stage or something.

I got a nervous smile, as I showed her the cookbook. I started to explain that I was making her this French dish listed on page five. She interrupted to say "Can I use your phone? The reason I was late is my purse was stolen last night at the bowling alley, and my wallet and everything was in there."

So, she's on the phone talking to her credit card company, as I'm watching the pizza get cold.

She hangs up after multiple calls. She looks at the food and says, "Oh good, pizza. I'm starved."

I then tell her about the thing I had planned, and how funny I thought it would be. She just looked at me, with a bit of cheese hanging down her chin, like I was the insane one.

We were then going to see "A League of Their Own", that movie about the female baseball players. And in the car, she springs it on me. She says, "Ya know...you're a great guy. And you're a lot of fun to hang out with. But I think I want to start dating other people."

I was quiet, because I wasn't sure what to say. She continued on with, "Do you still want to go to the movies?" And, again, I wasn't sure what to say. I wanted to see the movie, but do I want to sit next to a woman that just broke up with me? So I said the first thing that popped into my mind:

Is this because I didn't get the pizza with toppings you like?

Now, I thought that was cute. She just explaining "Oh no, I love pepperoni. The meal was perfect."

There was a pause and she said, "I still don't get the whole thing with all that black stuff on your face, but..."


MsGrant Jan. 19, 2009 @ 8:12 a.m.

Lesson No. 1: Do not go out of your way to play a practical joke on someone without a well developed sense of humor. Like she said "I still don't get the whole thing......". They don't get it, and they never will. It is a form of being so self-involved that most things just go over their heads, or they fail to see the humor in it.


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