What I am about to tell you is a tale of misery, desperation and woe that could probably rival War and Peace, or at the very least, The Hunger Games, which is one of my favourite books as of late and is very relevant here.
This happened to me many months ago now, but I remember it all too vividly. I was with a large group of people (around 35-40) all dining at Pizza Express; so large, in fact, that they had insisted on us ordering our food in advance so that they could close up and clean the kitchen as soon as possible. I didn’t even need to think about what I was going to order, as I always have the ‘Padana’, which is a mixture of goats cheese and red onions. I was very excited about the food- I had not eaten since lunchtime and it had been an extremely busy day, including being on the stage with my fellow restaurant companions.
After about ten minutes of us sitting, the pizzas began to arrive. Every time I saw a pizza I sat up in hope, but I never heard anyone say ‘Padana’, so I waited, and I waited. Five minutes later, looking around the table I saw that I was the only one without a pizza. I mentioned it to the waiters and they were very confused because they’d only had one Padana on their list and they had already given it away. I was FUMING. Someone had stolen my pizza!!!!
This is pretty much the epitome of a first world problem, but the next 30 minutes waiting for my pizza was one of the worst 30 minutes of my life. (Because they’d switched all the ovens off it took them that amount of time to make a new pizza for me.) People were eating happily, standing up and giving speeches and getting increasingly drunk, while I sat there, seething with rage and bitterness. Right after my pizza finally arrived I was forced to eat it very quickly so that I could catch my train home, still mad as Hell at the person who ruined my evening; being extremely hungry is bad enough, without watching 35 other people around you stuffing their faces. A couple of people offered me a bit of theirs until mine came, but, alas, they all contained the flesh of either mammals or birds, which I do not eat.
Though the incident itself wasn’t especially horrifying, and would be the kind of thing I might laugh about nowadays, at the time I was going through a terribly rough patch and the one thing that might have made my miserable existence even slightly better would have been getting my pizza on time. Just a few days later I was doing a survey online, which asked me if I felt positive about my health, my friendships, my love life, my career or my financial situation, and I broke down and cried to Giraffe when I realised that I couldn’t tick ‘yes’ in a single column. It’s always darkest before the dawn, however, and my life completely turned around in the next month, acquiring, in this order, Foofy, new students (therefore more money), many new friends, and a job lined up for the Autumn (which I am currently on.) Although the pain gradually faded from my life, I would occasionally think of my pizza thief: “I wonder what he/she is doing now?” I would muse, grinding my teeth and staring rigidly ahead. Often I would be doing my normal, every day activities like brushing my teeth, or performing to a large audience, and I would think of this vile human being, and get a huge bubble of rage inside me.
The story doesn’t end there, however. A couple of months after this horrific incident, I told Foofy the story, wanting to describe the state of depression that he'd helped bring me out of, and I saw that he had a strange expression on his face.
“What?” I asked.
“You did say a ‘Padana?’”
I looked at Foofy in horror, remembering that he’d been at the dinner as well, but on the other side of the room. I'd only met him once at that point and we'd never been formally introduced.
“Did you steal my pizza?” I said ominously.
“I MIGHT have done.” Foofy replied.
As it turns out, Foofy, unlike the others at the dinner, had not pre-ordered his food, and when he’d ordered his own ‘Padana’, the waiters misunderstood and thought that the one on the list was his, but going by Foofy’s history of this kind of thing happening to him, I still blame him rather than the waiters. NAUGHTY FOOFY!!!! It was very funny to finally uncover the identity of the person who I’d been wishing death upon for the last two months as the same person that I’d been shnoogling with.
I love you, Foofy; though several oceans separate us, I would pluck out all my fingernails and toenails one by one if that would make you happy, but NEVER GET BETWEEN ME AND MY PIZZA AGAIN!!!!