Ode to a pizza joint that hasn't opened yet


A few months ago I was driving past my local strip mall, minding my own business, being glad that the people who own the laundromat finally fixed their sign so it doesn’t say “LAUDRY” any more, and I saw A Sign. This Sign that told me one of my dreams was going to come true soon. It said “Coming soon!”, and had the logo of my favourite pizza joint on it. I immediately started mentally reorganising the food budget so we can eat pizza at least once a week when it opens. When I got home, I texted my husband: “OMG” and the pizza emoji about 17 times. He didn’t reply, so I texted our former flatmate Carla. She immediately responded, “YES! FINALLY!” Because Carla can interpret “OMG” and 17 pizza slice emojis to mean “Our favourite pizza joint is opening right down the road!” Obviously.

The only problem is, “Coming soon” hasn’t eventuated yet. Tonight I thought to myself, “It’s been a couple of months since I saw that Sign from the pizza heavens, but I haven’t heard anything about the opening gala.” Because I’m going to need to request time off work so I can get into the queue on opening day, like I used to back when I was younger and wanted to buy concert tickets. Just kidding. My husband was the one who waited in those queues. I used to drop him off outside Real Groovy the night before and come back the next morning with fast food and a pep talk: “Yes! You’re 18th in the queue! I know you’ve been up all night but you can do this! You can get us those concert tickets before they sell out! Now eat your breakfast muffin and your hash brown because the doors are opening soon and you need to be strong so you don’t get knocked over when everyone is pushing and shoving their way in.”

But my husband is long retired from waiting in concert ticket queues, and now he buys everything through the Visa presale and grouches at how expensive concert tickets have become. So if anyone is going to get in early when that pizza place opens, it’s going to be me. And Carla.

So I did what all modern pizza-loving women do, and I sent the pizza place a private message on Facebook asking when they’re going to open. They didn’t reply. Possibly because it was 12.15 in the morning, which is the only time I get things done because my kids suck up all of my free time like little anteaters. Or possibly because they don’t yet have an official opening date and they don’t want to disappoint me. Or possibly because they do have an official opening date and they got wind of my plan to camp outside and wait for the doors to be unlocked and the pizza to be turned loose. I have a lawn chair and some of those portable heating packs you put in your pockets. I’m prepared.

Tomorrow I’m going to drive by and perhaps stop the car for an innocent stretch of the legs. I might say hello to the construction crew. I might even bribe them with donuts to see if they’ll give me some details on when they might be finished. Because, like pizza, nobody can resist donuts.

Katherine Granich

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