In which Tony finds he has secret admirers in the fast-food trade.
I love pizza. Not just pizza, but having somebody bring me pizza. I think it’s one of the miracles of the modern age that I can be wrapped up in a box set of ‘Supernatural’ and only have to reach between the remote, the beer and the phone in order to maintain a state of bliss.
But one of the unfortunate side effects of this guilty pleasure is that pizza vendors tend to mistake your obvious gratitude for something akin to a relationship and often make it clear that you owe it to them to pull your weight.
First I received a postcard addressed to ‘T. Boaks or Pizza Eater’. Admittedly this was right on both counts, but it went on to say they were ‘missing me’ and that if only I’d get in touch, everything would be just like it was before. I wanted to tell them that involved me sinking into lard-assed alcoholism and, besides which, I’d come to the end of ‘Supernatural’. But then series two became available.
I didn’t want to be accused of leading the needy vendor on, so when the box set arrived, I called a different delivery service. The transaction went smoothly enough, even though I felt they were a little over-eager, but within a week they too sent me a postcard. It said ‘Mr. Boaks, we put everything into the making of your pizza’. This was a huge exaggeration as I knew for a fact they only put in flour, water and yeast. Already I was suspicious.
Then vendor one stepped up its courtship by sending a full-colour brochure with ‘Mr. Boaks, you’re at the heart of everything we do’ emblazoned on the cover. By now, however, there was a hint of vindictiveness about these communications. They told me exactly how long it had been since I called and they addressed it to a ‘Mr. Boalloks’.
On top of this I began receiving additional direct mail from pizza vendors I’d never even heard of. They said things like ‘You don’t know us, but we want to get to know you’ and ‘Pizza 4 Boaks 4 Ever’. This was just creepy and I decided to give up on box sets altogether.
I thought I might try and get out more instead and arranged to meet The Admiral at The Malt Loaf, his preferred wellspring of vigorous dark ale. However, as soon as I stepped out my front door, various pizza vendors scuttled into the bushes, ten or twelve in all. I knew they were pizza vendors because I smelled potato wedges. Some had cameras and tape recorders, others were taking notes.
It seemed I really was at the heart of everything they do.