Pizza on the run

Published 9:25 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury


My Uncle Mort, who has called the thicket his home during his 105 years of life, has a new neighbor who may have been made in the same mold. Oh, calling him a “neighbor” may be a stretch, since his spread is over the river and through the woods from Mort’s.

Let’s call the neighbor “Bud,” who probably is 30 years Mort’s junior. The men look at life through similar lenses, and if they aren’t from the same “family tree,” surely they hail from the same orchard.

Bud also wears trifocals, like Mort, keeps a magnifying glass handy for fine print. “Show me a man with his head held high, and I’ll show you one not used to his trifocals,” he’s joked many times. He’s Mort made over.

Bud is an authority on “service area” definitions. He has found 15 miles to be the usual limit for free deliveries.

“The edge of my property is 14.9 miles from the city limits, so I built my house on the corner to make sure I qualified for free delivery,” he brags.

The other day, he read an ad offering a giant supreme pizza for $9, with free delivery within 15 miles and no charge if it isn’t delivered in 30 minutes. (Supreme, in “pizza talk,” means ALL of the toppings are included.) He placed the order, smiling as he activated his stop watch.

He wondered why he’d gone to the trouble to start the watch, since a 30-minute newscast began at precisely the same time.

As might be guessed, Bud’s taste buds became action figures as the deadline neared.

Dag nabbit, he thought, when he saw dust kicked up by a car speeding down the lane to his home. It was driven by a high schooler who skidded to a stop at the front gate. Bud had pizza in hand, and the delivery guy had 30 seconds to spare. The youngster forced a smile when Bud grudgingly handed him a $10 bill, adding, “Keep the change.”

He opened the pizza carton, shocked to the utmost. There were NO TOPPINGS at all!

Bud dialed the pizza store, and gave the owner “what for.” He had “choice” words, ones unfit for a family newspaper.

“Please relax, I’m going to make it right,” the owner assured. “How about I make you TWO supremes, assure immediate delivery and return the money you paid for the ‘untopped’ pizza?”

That sounded like a good deal to Bud. After all, he’d hoped for just one free pizza at the outset, and as it turned out, he’d get two!

He settled into his lounge chair as his wife entered the kitchen. “Honey, why did you open the pizza carton from the bottom?”

Sheepishly, he came clean. His wife ordered him to call the pizza place immediately, and this time, he would do the apologizing.

And that wasn’t all. Bud also was instructed to go by and leave the delivery guy a $5 tip.

Unlike Mort, though, Bud may have learned an important lesson about “going off half-cocked.” He admitted that if he ever sees a delivery special for pineapple upside down cake, if the cake has the pineapple on top, he’ll say nothing. At least not until making sure the cake box is right side up.

Days later, Bud was able to laugh about the mix-up during a domino game with Mort at the general store. My uncle consoled him, and he offered congratulations for following his wife’s directives to the letter. Finally, Mort admitted that he and Maude sometimes “have words,” most recently, that very morning. “Unfortunately, I never got to use any of mine,” he cackled. Bud nodded, knowingly, silently vowing to keep his life “right side up” the rest of the day.


   Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to: Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: Twitter: @donnewbury. Facebook, don newbury.