Satire | The big fat thin crust pizza con

While I had a simple pizza place in mind, Wife zeroed in on a place famous for its wood-fired pizzas and gold-plated ovens imported from Milan

April 21, 2023 12:45 pm | Updated 02:02 pm IST

‘When the pizza arrived, I was stunned. It looked nothing like Al Pacinoe.’

‘When the pizza arrived, I was stunned. It looked nothing like Al Pacinoe.’ | Photo Credit: Getty Images/ iStock

It was a hot Sunday afternoon. I was minding my own business as usual, re-reading the Bhagavad Gita and sipping a cold mug of a cow-sourced sanskari drink when I heard an urgent summons from Wife who was upstairs with Kattabomman.

I rushed to the bedroom. Katta’s face was wet. He was rubbing his eyes, which had turned red, but he wasn’t crying.

“What happened?”

Wife drew me aside and whispered, “I have a strange request. Can you make him cry?”

“Excuse me?”

“Some eau de toilette went into his eyes,” she explained. “He is not letting me wash his eyes.”

“You sprayed toilet water into his eyes?”

“Are you for real? It’s perfume, not toilet water.”

“I was kidding,” I said. “But still…”

“He got hold of it somehow,” Wife said, pointing to the bottle. “He wouldn’t give it back unless I let him use it. So I sprayed a little on his shoulder, it also went into his eyes.”

This column is a satirical take on life and society.

I dragged Katta to the bathroom and tried splashing cold water in his eyes, but he kept turning his face away.

“You do this one more time,” I said, in my Don Corleone voice, “not even Spiderman can save you from my righteous wrath.”

I splashed water on his eyes again, and as he closed his eyes pre-emptively, I gave him a modest whack on the bottom.

Costly win

Katta shot out of the bathroom like a javelin out of Neeraj Chopra’s hand, bawling his head off. He rushed to the arms of his mother, who, seeing the tears rolling down his face, gave me a discreet thumbs-up. The burning sensation in his eyes subsided, and we were relieved.

But there would be a price to pay: to get him to stop crying, Wife promised him a pizza. I didn’t object, thinking we would order one. But it turned out that, as per the fine print of the agreement between mother and son, ALL of us were going out for pizza — to a mall.

“No way I’m going to any mall-wall,” I said. “It’s too hot to step out.”

But who cares for the media these days? Not even your own son. So we all got ready to visit this mall, which I shall call the Mother of All Malls, or MOAM.

Once inside, the MOAM wasn’t unpleasant, provided you didn’t mind people constantly tapping you on the shoulder. The first time it happened, I genuinely believed I was intruding on a bunch of friends taking a group picture to memorialise their historic visit to the MOAM. But then every five minutes, a young boy or girl would gently tap me, point to another person walking towards us, and urge me to move away — meaning, I have to get out of my own walk so they can make a private video in a public place. Wife explained that they were making ‘Reels’. I’m not on Instagram, I had no idea it was such an epidemic.

Like a paper dosa

While I had a simple pizza place in mind, Wife zeroed in on a fancy place called La Berlusconia, famous for its wood-fired pizzas and gold-plated ovens imported from Milan. Katta wanted a cheese pizza, and all I wanted was a glass of water. Naturally, Wife ordered Pizza Al Pacinoe, a delicate ‘thin-crust’ pizza with mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, basil leaves, Sicilian olives, Neopolitan prosciutto, marinated artichoke hearts, unmarinated liver of toad, spleen of the possum, and some other items I don’t remember. It seemed to promise enough to justify the price, which was the only thing I was concerned about.

When the pizza arrived, I was stunned. It looked nothing like Al Pacinoe. It was more like paper masala dosa but thinner, and the masala was difficult to spot with the naked eye.

“I had no idea thin crust pizza is such a fraud,” I said. “If I understand your choice correctly, are we paying more money for less pizza?”

“I wouldn’t quite put it like that,” Wife said. “He seems to be loving it.”

“You like it?” I asked Katta. “Can I have a bite?”

He glared at me for two seconds, then cut out a generous portion the size of an elephant’s toe nail. He impaled it on a fork, and as my mouth began to water, the fork’s trajectory abruptly changed direction and started to move towards his mother’s face. Evidently, he still hadn’t forgiven me.

“Mmm, not bad,” Wife said, closing her eyes, savouring it.

“Not bad, eh?” I said. “You get the pizza, I take the rap.”

The author of this satire is Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu.

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