A Tribute To The Pizza Delivery GuyPosted: July 30, 2011
I have lived in my house for more than twenty years.
Back when I came to town there was very little development in the area. There were a lot of pastures, some woods and a community in the middle of nowhere. There was a small shopping center a few miles away with a local pizza joint and a fish restaurant. There wasn’t much else, unless you went up the highway a piece.
Unless you count a man as something else. A man of consistency. A man of mystery. The Pizza Delivery Guy.
There Are Pizza Guys…
I met the Pizza Delivery Guy the first time I ordered a pizza from the local place, over twenty years ago. It was a pretty routine beginning – the sound of an old car in the driveway, then the doorbell. I handed over the money, he handed over the cheesy goodness. I tipped him, he thanked me. I closed the door, the old car sound faded into the distance.
A routine introduction to a man I thought I would never see again. Pizza Delivery Guy is one of those transitional jobs. The next time I called, there’d be another, and then another. Except that did not happen. Though my sleepy little town has grown into a thriving suburb of a city that tells itself it is world-class, there has been one constant through all the change. The Pizza Delivery Guy.
I called the local pizza joint a lot. It was him at my door, every time. I eventually came to understand that he was the only person delivering for the only pizza place in town. This gave him unique power. He knew the routes. He knew the customers. He could say things to me like “you order your pizza plain all the time. You kinda like it that way, don’t you?” Once, shortly after my son was born, I answered the door with money in one hand, baby in the other. Pizza Delivery Guy said “that’s new, where’d you get it?”
I didn’t feel it was my responsibility to tell him.
…But There Is Only One…
Then I called and someone else came. I heard a car in the driveway. It sounded different, I figured he got a new Pizzamobile. It wasn’t him.
Things became more typical for a while after that night. Every time I called in an order someone else brought it to my door. Once, the owner of the shop delivered my pizza. I asked him about the old Pizza Delivery Guy. The only answer he’d give me was “he’s no longer with us”. I didn’t know if that meant he’d been fired, or died in some flaming crash while making a delivery. He was gone, but where?
The town grew. More businesses opened. New pizza restaurants opened.
I called a different place. I just felt like trying someplace different. I dialed and I waited.
Car in the driveway, doorbell…it was him! The Pizza Delivery Guy wasn’t dead, he’d moved up! He told me this was a much better gig than the old place. I handed over the money, he handed over the cheesy goodness. I tipped him extra because I was glad to see him, he looked at me questioningly then said thanks. I closed the door, the old car sound faded into the distance.
The town is much bigger now. There are lots of pizza options. There are lots of pizza options, and there is a Domino’s Pizza too. As the pizza industry expanded in our area, Pizza Delivery Guy worked for every one of them, and Domino’s. I saw him, in uniform, driving with the Domino’s sign on the top of his car a few times. Then he showed up at my door working for one of the local places. I mentioned that I’d seen him working for the big D. He shook his head “too corporate, I can’t work that way”.
Pizza Delivery Guy has to be free.
…The Pizza Guy
Year after year, restaurant after restaurant, pizzamobile after pizzamobile, Pizza Delivery Guy goes on. He only delivers. Life in the kitchen is too restrictive. Management? No way he could be one of those soulless bastards.
He may be the only pizza driver in the world that has tenure. He has been The Pizza Delivery Guy since the old George Bush was president. He has been The Pizza Delivery Guy for most of my professional life. He was The Pizza Delivery Guy when my son was a baby, though I still don’t know if he knows where babies come from. He is The Pizza Delivery Guy as my son prepares for his sophomore year at the university.
Godspeed and good tips to you, my friend. May your Geo Metro run trouble-free forever.
Yeah, I know, you read this when I guest posted on Blogdramedy. I’m on vacation, I forgot to write, so you got a rerun. Sorry y’all.