Every Pizza Product Development Meeting Ever

greasypizzaEd: Okay, let’s get started. From our focus groups we know a few things. One, people have totally not noticed we don’t use the Pizza Table–or as some folks call it, the Pizza Saver–in the center of our pies anymore. Apparently we have been doing a first-rate job of keeping the extra cheese off the lids these days. Two, we need more products that use “zilla” somehow in the name. Three, dang it all. These people are crazy about the bread, I tell ya.

Bill: Now, when you say zilla, I guess you mean something like Meatzilla, Porkzilla, or last year’s blockbuster PEPPERONI DOUBLE CHEESE STUFFED FRIED CRUST PIZZILLA?

Ed: Yes, exactly. We had a great synergy going with that campaign. So let’s just get crazy. Let’s push the envelope, do a little blue sky thinking, throw some ideas on the wall and see what sticks, okay?

Reese: You know, my wife and I went to this Oriental place and they had these little boxes that were compartmentalized like, you know, like a Whitman’s Sampler almost. Each one had a different item. Of course, I’m not like Liz. I fish with bait, I don’t eat it! (Pauses to enjoy hearty chuckles) But I’m wondering if we can’t use something like that?

Bill: Now, that’s not a bad idea. You know, at my house no one ever wants the same thing. And Angie, bless her, always wants something healthy like pasta. I say the horse is out of the barn on that one, if you know what I mean! (Pauses to enjoy hearty chuckles) Anyway, we could let our customers choose maybe four items to go in a box like at that Oriental place.

Ed: I like it! We could give them a choice of our Three-Cheese Vegetarian Kream Sauce Side Pasta or our Meatzapalooza Kream Sauce Monster Lite Side Stuffed Shells for those ladies who like the pasta. Then they can choose one from our Thick Thick Thick Monster SaltedButterGarlicPowder Crust Pizza Collection

Don: And let’s not forget our Phresh Phrom The Oven Breaded Bread Stixx Collection.They can choose Plain Ol’ Breaded Bread Stixx, Sweet Polynesian Glazed Breaded Bread Stixx, Honey Mustard BBQ Memphis Style Smoked Breaded Bread Stixx, or Flavor Blasted Ranch Giddyup Breaded Bread Stixx.

Bill: Good one! Then add our new Cinnamon Sugar Chocolate Honey Slathered Dipping Apple Dessert Stixx, and if they want to make it a Winning Family Dinner Nite Combination, add two two-liter bottles of our new private brand Suk-It-Down-Yer-Gullet Soda. And that way Mom can get her diet soda to watch that figure…get bigger and bigger!! (Pauses for hearty chuckles)

Ed: Maybe we should give them a choice of two Stixx? Oh, I know. We can add that as an upsale to the WFDN Combo. I’m telling you, our customers love the carbs. So we’ll keep punching out–and bringing in–the dough! (Hearty chuckles ensue without pause)

Reese: And I think this is a good time to do the promotion with that kids’ diabetes group that’s been nagging us. Our customers can add a dollar on to the price of our…wait, what are we calling this?

Bill: Family Exxxtravaganza Combo Box Pizzilla Flavorpocolypse!

Ed: And a great value at only $19.99! And that charity tie-in is publicity gold. Man, sick kids. Makes you wonder if their parents ever pay attention to what the little guys are sticking down their gullets. Next item of business is our new home video game station/internet order station.



Note: This is the post I had ready to go before I had to do battle with Batrodent and his grappling gun who’s up in my rafters eating insulation and fighting crime. Also, do not take this as total disdain of the chain pizza restaurant industry. Sometimes you just gotta have that salty greasy goodness.


What I Have Learned From The Internet

  1. Everything is always as it is. There are no exceptions to any rules.
  2. Nothing is as it is. There are only exceptions to rules.
  3. You’ve never had [insert illness here] as badly as I have.
  4. You think that [insert food item here] is good? That’s shit!
  5. The only REAL [insert food item here] comes from [obscure, tiny restaurant/market which only holds three people and is only open when Mercury is in retrograde].
  6. All my symptoms add up to an illness that will kill me dead in three hours.
  7. My argument is not sound because I forgot to take into account this very tiny probability of something happening like, oh, monkeys flying out of my butt.
  8. My argument is not sound because I cursed.
  9. My taste in music is lacking because I am not familiar with this band which was formed in South Dakota in 1993 and only played one show in front of 16 people.
  10. [Insert band here] is like Radiohead when no one listened to Radiohead except you.
  11. Using the terms “a lot of people”, “most people”, or “no one” means I have a sound argument.
  12. Ad hominem attacks are acceptable when everyone knows the attacked is an asshat.
  13. Duh.
  14. There must be one negative GET OFF MY LAWN! for every five bunny and kitten comments.
  15. You are not as cool as I am because I have been using [insert brand/platform/app/software/hardware/obscure eco-conscious feminine hygiene brand here] since it was in private beta.
  16. You are not as cool as I am because I have not been using [insert brand/platform/app/software/hardware/obscure eco-conscious feminine hygiene brand here] since it was in private beta because I don’t care about those things.
  17. I didn’t really read your piece so I will now make an argument against what you wrote that actually affirms the very thing you wrote.
  18. I could not care less about the NBA.
  19. A person who spends five hours in front of the television is a bum, but one who spends five hours at a computer watching the same, exact thing is tech-savvy.
  20. Poking fun at [insert politician/social movement/political view] means I am against it as one should never poke fun at a [insert politician/social movement/political view] one believes in.
  21. You know who’d have done this list better? Hitler.

Yes, This Is What I Do ALL Day

I have a very active imagination. I know. Hard to believe, right?  I have these characters I’ve developed in my head over the years. I’ve thought about turning them into monologues and staging them. I was an actor once upon a time. But then I got over it because, well, the problem with acting is actors. And Artistic Directors.  I’m enough of a micro-managing control freak that I wouldn’t want anyone else playing these characters. So they just sort of sit around in my head and in little notes I make here and there.

Occasionally on long trips when I am alone, I will bust out one of these characters. I had one for several years who was a CIA spy whose cover was running a bakery in Richton, Mississippi. If you’ve ever driven from Memphis to Destin, (Which all y’all Memphis people seem to do. What is the gravitational pull to Destin? There are more Memphians in Destin in July than there are Memphians in Memphis. Same thing with Pickwick Lake. Why do you want to vacation somewhere where you’ll keep running into your neighbors?) you’ve probably seen the turnoff to Richton-Perry County Airport. That’s what they graciously call the landing strip in the middle of a field. I refer to it as Richton International Airport mainly because it’s where my spy baker sneaks out under cover of darkness.

I found that Richton, being rural and small, was a great place to stash a spy because of guns. Let’s say she leaves out a rocket propelled grenade launcher. Just by accident. Like she’s cleaning it and OOPS! The neighbor lady stops by with a pound cake. Having an RPG in the middle of your grandma’s dining table would not be the strangest thing for a rural Mississippian to find in a neighbor’s house. She’d get more whispers from having a Mezuzah tacked to the door or a Buddist alter tucked away in a guest room.

I KNOW that a CIA spy would not keep an RPG stashed in her dining room, okay? THIS IS MY STORY.

If by chance  you have ever read a blog I used to have, you may know that I have imaginary twins. They are Formicadinette and Sizzlene. Formicadinette is five and Sizzlene is almost six. They compete in what’s known as the Hi Glitz Lil’ Lovely Miss Impetigo Pageant circuit. They are a MESS, those two. Formicadinette has had trouble with her shuffle ball change since her first tapjazzfusiontribalballet lesson at 16 months old. Sizzlene keeps moving from her head voice to her chest voice. IN THE SAME SONG. I was not going to be one of those horrible Pageant Moms, BUT in their first pageant, they won talent with a dance to the classic “Mr. Roboto” and took home the prize of a Catnapper® Ranger Comfort Choice Camo Living Room Sofa from the fine folks at Bass Pro. Like such:

Lemme just tell you, once I found out I could furnish my home from those two rotten children, I was in. Honey, I was ALL IN.

Anyway, that’s kind of an introduction to what it’s like in mah head. I’m thinking that in an effort to grow as a writer (as opposed to grow as a beanstalk) that I might introduce you to some of these characters from time to time.

Sort of give them room to roam.