Monday, November 5, 2007

aaah, Giordano's



We landed in Orlando and, while Sue was picking up the rental car, I was browsing the tourist rack. Somehow, while flipping through a coupon book, a subliminal thought was planted firmly in my cerebral cortex, “Must have Giordano’s pizza. Must have Giordano’s pizza.”

So while dining on the best of seafood all week long in Florida, I was privately lusting for Giordano’s pizza. I even double checked our hotel room’s Daytona Beach Yellow Pages listing under ‘PIZZA’. No listing for Giordano’s in Daytona. I re-checked online through Anywho.com but to no avail. I even quizzed the locals in hopes that some enterprising, pizza-savvy investor had somehow quickly constructed a Giordano’s restaurant in Daytona and it didn’t show up on the radar of the ubiquitous Yellow Pages and online directories. Conclusion: No Giordano’s in Daytona. The closest culinary heaven was in Orlando; 70 miles away.

So, as the week wore on, being the good Christian that I am, I graciously deferred to Jonathan, Jessica and others in their selection of sub-par, non-Giordano’s eateries. As you can imagine, the anticipation was quietly building for our return to my pizza Mecca, Orlando.

Finally, as with all addictive behaviors, I was leading my traveling companions to think that Giordano’s wasn’t really that important to me. And, at week’s end, on the ride back to Orlando’s airport I maneuvered myself to ride shotgun with the job of navigator. I now had FULL control over our itinerary back to the Orlando airport. No one would know that I was directing us to Southwest Orlando (the closest Giordano’s) while the airport was located in far East Orlando. Timing was going to be tight, however. We only had about 45 minutes to rush in, eat, and get on the way to meet our flight. “Okay,” I told myself, “if the Giordano’s management is on the ball, we should have enough time.” I reluctantly resigned myself to the fact that I may not have the necessary time to Savor the pizza.

We found the exit and moved through the 3rd stop light, which had just, for some reason, blacked out. We spotted the Glorious Giordano’s Pizza sign. I was calm on the outside, but giddy on the inside as Sue snagged a parking spot uber close to the restaurant’s front door. We passed a couple just finishing their meal on the front patio. They looked so happy. We walked inside looking for quick service. In a Sherlock Holmsian kind of way, I noticed very few patrons and a full grouping of staff. Quick service should be no problem. However, with my heightened sense of awareness, I also observed that no lights were on in the restaurant. Just at that moment, my world came crashing in as the hostess apologetically announced, “We’re sorry, but the power just went out in the area and we will not be able to serve you.”

With the agility of cloud in the night sky (my family loves to use meaningless metaphors) my mind snapped into action. Now, in problem-solving mode, I asked the hostess, “Surely the gas ovens still work?” My desperation was now exposed as the hostess reassured me that, as soon as the power came back on, we could be served. She gently asked if we would like to be seated. Realizing that waiting was out of the question, my mind shifted into high gear, ultra fast computing mode. My CPU was presenting me with multiple options in a simultaneous blur. I was rapid-fire-sequencing huge amounts of raw data, and alternately assessing the probabilities of each proposed solution. Running from the lowest probability solution to the highest my mind captured the stark reality of our plight. We could:

Option 1: Quickly call the airline and book a later flight.

Option 2: Take our chances and wait for the power to return (Sue nixed this option as too risky)

Option 3: Beg for leftover pizza from other patrons.

We resorted to Option 3. Begging for pizza was not below me. And actually we didn’t really beg. We just stood outside discussing our situation loudly enough for the couple on the patio to hear us. This wonderfully angelic couple offered us their still-in-the-pan lukewarm pizza. We responded with the obligatory, “I’m sorry, we couldn’t take your pizza. Certainly you would want to take it home with you?” They then replied with the culturally-sensitive insistent comeback, “No, really, we ordered too much and we won’t take it to our hotel.” I think that’s what I heard as I was darting back into the restaurant to get a carry out box.

After thanking the couple profusely for the 3 pieces of who-cares-what-was-in-it pizza, we forced 5 bucks into their hands to prove we weren’t beggars. Being the good Christian I am, I didn’t want to overtly disappoint the others by mentioning the fact there were only 3 pieces of pizza but there were 4 of us. As we returned to our car, I may have carefully reminded Sue that she should watch her calories. I thought this ploy might cause her to restrict herself to eating only one piece of the spoils.

Still in a time crunch, we anxiously looked for a quick food restaurant with its light on. You see, the pizza remains were Mine. But, being the good Christian I am, we wanted to find some food for the others. In a low-brow kind of way, we smuggled my prize into Chile’s restaurant under my coat, ordered drinks and some chow for the others. And, being the good Christian I am, I offered to pray quickly before the other food arrived so that some of us could go ahead and eat while some warmth was left in the leftover pizza.

So, with eager trembling hands, I gnawed my way to ecstasy. Engorged on one and a half pieces of that thick crusted delight, and being the good Christian I am, I offered a leftover bite for Jonathan and Jessica to share.

Now, in hindsight, and under the unhindered conviction of God’s Holy Spirit, I feel that I owe a Giordano’s pizza to Jonathan and Jessica. As I told Sue, we need to mail order a shipment of Giordano’s pizza and invite Jonathan and Jessica over for dinner. We will fellowship over pizza and assuage my conscience (and my appetite), being the good Christian I am.

2 comments:

  1. Dad,
    My stomach hurts from laughing so hard! I Love You!

    ReplyDelete