Airport pizza

When I was in high school, I had an English teacher who insisted it was always wrong to write using absolute terms like always or never.

It seemed strange to me that a person could have an absolute rule against absolutes. Besides, if we were not meant to use always and never, why were those words in the language?

Mr. Arthur Is Always Partly Right

Italy's worst pizza - Milan airport

With all due respect, sir, the proof is on the crust. (Photo credit: Florizel Media)

Mr. Arthur could never answer why the words existed, but always red-penned my papers when I used them. I don’t write for Mr. Arthur anymore, so I use the forbidden words.

Anything can disappoint. Some things that I’ve looked forward to have been let downs.

True to Mr. Arthur’s lesson, I’ve found that I can’t expect that something, or someone, will never go beyond my expectation. I’ve enjoyed surprises from sources of constant disappointment.

I’m not ready to let my English teacher off the hook. In fact, I’m going to tell you that Mr. Arthur was never right about absolutes. I will always say he was wrong because the existence of one absolute proves him absolutely wrong.

Mr. Arthur Is Always Partly Wrong

St. Albert at Dublin Airport, circa 1950

Bad pizza, even this long ago. (Photo credit: National Library of Ireland on The Commons)

Without reservation, I can tell you that I have never had a good slice of pizza in an airport. I’ve tried to find tasty airport pizza for years. I always find misery on crust in air terminal food courts.

Tried. Trying is my problem. I always try. That is what optimists like me do. It usually pays off long-term. You had to know I thought that, I’m an optimist. While I was traveling last week, I tried again.

Just like every other time, my pizza letdown started with an extended layover between flights. I roamed the concourse. Hungry. Foraging. Assessing my options…the Mexican place looked good. I could have had a beer while I was there. There was a gourmet burger restaurant too. I love burgers. A well dressed burger contains all the food groups.

But I love pizza. My inner optimist knows that and spoke up. “There’s pizza back there. How bad could it be? It’s pizza!” I tried to fight back, but The Optimist is a smooth talker. Just like every other time The Optimist has had its say, I gave in. I was not surprised.

Airport Pizza Proves It, Over And Over

The pizza was as awful as it has been 100% of the times I’ve bought it in an airport. I’ve earned the right to never be surprised by this. I never exercise that right.

It seems that if a body took the notion, they could make a fortune in an airport selling pizza that was simply passable. A great pie would net that body the gross national product of a small nation, every day.

Nah. That could never happen. No one is ever getting that done. Airport pizza will always be a terrible experience.

And it will always be wrong to absolutely prohibit absolute terms.


43 Comments on “Airport pizza”

  1. This was so funny to read!
    Mr. Arthur Is Always Partly Wrong…so funny! 🙂
    You know you’re right, but let’s go “Mr. Arthur” here for a second, because I’d like to say that sometimes your optimism can be met with truly good airport pizza.
    I’ve only had it happen once (does it still count?) at the Newark airport. It was a little sit down restaurant next to all of the other take away places. They served an incredibly amazing asparagus/cheese pizza that I still crave to this day. I basically want to fly to the airport to eat it again.

  2. Laura says:

    Someday, science will confirm my theory that airplanes emit a food-cardboardization field that affects the flavor and texture of any food nearby. And airports tend to be surrounded by airplanes, so airport food is consistently awful.

    • omawarisan says:

      That would explain the consistency of the badness. That many planes would even throw my mother off her pizza making game.

      Well, maybe not that second sentence. So I give myself a 50% on this reply.

  3. Pixie Girl says:

    Great post 😉 came over from the Daily Post interview!

    ps. Never knew that about airport pizza. Are you checking it out every time to prove the theory, or think your sample was big enough already?

    • Pixie Girl says:

      ps. And how do you get enough time at the airports to have pizza? Or maybe it’s only me that’s *always* late for flights.

      • omawarisan says:

        Thanks for stopping by. My layovers are either 5 seconds or 5 hours. Nothing in between.

        I’m trying to stop sampling. But I know I’ll see pizza again and it will be all over.

  4. Airport pizza is bad? I always heard that pizza is like sex. Even when it’s bad, it’s good.

  5. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Airport food – the great underachievers are all there. I could honestly say I’ve never had a decent meal in an airport. Seems odd that one of the national pizza chains can’t be at the airport benefitting from all that captive bizness. I bet you payed a huge sum for that lousy pizza, too.

    • omawarisan says:

      This was a national chain. It is always Sbarro, Villa or something of that ilk. I’d give $20 for a slice of really good pizza and a diet coke in an airport.

      PS – I see a lot of my clients at my local airport. Veeeery reassuring.

  6. I also had a teacher who told us to refrain from “always” and “never.” I never liked her. And for some reason I’m reminded of a quote from ANCHORMAN: “60% of the time, it works every time.”

    Also, airport pizza does generally suck, but since I haven’t been to every airport, I can’t say for sure. I agree that if someone wanted to open up a GOOD pizza place at an airport, he/she would make a killing.

    • omawarisan says:

      I’d have bought into what this guy was selling if he’d have just gone for the “refrain from” instead of an absolute ban. If I wrote “the sun has come up every day of my life” he’d have marked it wrong because I didn’t remember every day of my life. AAAAAAUGH. I’m all ragey now just thinking about him.

  7. Airport pizza, and airport food in general, is bad for a reason: The powers that be want you to be hungry enough to buy one of the hideously over-priced, lame assed meals served on the actual plane, when the nearest dining competition is roughly 35,000 feet away. To be honest, the only redeeming quality any airports have are that they are where you go to fly away or fly home.

    In defense of airport food, it should be noted that bus station chili is usually pretty bad too.

    • omawarisan says:

      If I could just bring myself to get away from the pie I suspect there are options.

      • There’s actually a Chickie’s and Pete’s in the airport in Philly. It’s a local joint which bills itself as a bar that serves food, rather than a restaurant which serves booze. It’s not the Four Seasons, but if you wash the food down with enough frosty malt beverages, you tend not to notice as much. Sadly, there is the chance that you’ll show up to your Aunt Tilly’s funeral in Toledo with a bit of a buzz on. Only go to Chickie’s and Pete’s if you have a long enough flight to sober up on.

  8. Daile says:

    I have never had good food in an airport full stop. Which is unfortunate given the travel I do for work and the amount of airport meals I am forced to have. Nothing can beat homemade pizza in my opinion!

  9. Airport + Pizza = Really? What were they and every corner convenience store around here thinking? It’s never going to work. Pizza is a destination not a convenience if it done right. Try a different formula and it will always be wrong. Just saying, though I may be only partly right.
    Great post Oma but I am sorry that the pizza was not.

  10. Betty says:

    Right now I’m at an airport with two hours to kill until flight time. I will take your advice. My option seems to be a Moe’s Southwest Grill. Or slot machines.

  11. We Found Him Captain! says:

    it’s all in the airport pizza dough. They grind up all the unclaimed WW II era luggage into a powder at the end of each month and make airport pizza dough from that, after they remove the luggage hinges and metal parts of course, they wouldn’t want to get anyone sick from swallowing a hinge.

  12. As I started to comment I realized that I haven’t been in an airport in so long that I can’t remember what the food is. I’m thinking I would eat anything, even airport pizza, to be able to get on a plane and go somewhere.

  13. dufmanno says:

    The elusive slice. It’s hard to find, isn’t it?
    I had a college creative writing professor that gave me a terrible complex about dangling modifiers. So much so that everywhere I look, I see them.
    The memory of papers returned bathed in so much corrective red ink they looked like they’d been murdered by an angry, unfulfilled, tweed wearing, sexually frustrated academic….
    The next semester we got a well paid, successful screenwriter who told us to just bang out a good story and the editors would do the rest. Bless him…

  14. The French have a saying that offers advice for using ‘never’: Ne dis jamais jamais, .

    I suppose in this case it can be extended to Ne mange jamais le pizza d’airport.

    Or something.

  15. Ha! I would be an optimist too and think how badly can you screw up pizza. Well, I think we know the answer to that one. You can royally screw it up! Good for you to keep the faith. Maybe someday you will have exceptionally good airport pizza! Anything is possible and it’s best to always have faith. What does that teacher know anyway?

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