1. It’s round.
This is a relatively safe shape. There are generally no sharp edges where you can accidentally slice open an artery, and that’s always a good thing. Now, there is a minimal amount of inherent danger if your pizza is not already pre-sliced when you attack it. Do not hand the little death-wheel pizza cutter to some idiot that has not had proper training. Otherwise, greedy people could lose a finger or two, and that’s a really awkward life lesson.
2. You can practice your geometry.
Creating perfectly-proportioned slices is an art form that is taught in the finest of Italian cooking schools. It takes fully-developed hand-eye coordination to carve your pie in a manner that results in slices of equal size. You jack up this process, and you end up with matching sets of pieces that are too big or too small. And Jesus doesn’t want that kind of mess up in his grill.
3. You can pick a crust thickness based on your psychological needs of the day.
Had a fine and dandy day that Mary Poppins would be proud of? Order the regular crust and eat away, satisfied that all of your medications are working properly. Had a really crappy day? Get you some of that deep-dish goodness as comfort food, where you can gnaw for hours on two-inches of greasy bread and a splash of sauce. Still trying to stick to that diet? Get the super-flat and crispy version. You can eat 17 of those paper-thin slices and not even approach the calorie content of one deep-dish paperweight slice.
4. Pizza tries to please as much of the population as it can.
These days, you can use practically anything you want to accessorize your pie, assuming you know where to go and what to look for. Shrimp, feta cheese, barbecue chicken, tofu, mustard greens, beef jerky, Kim Kardashian, you name it, somebody, somewhere will slap it on a pizza for you. (On the sad little flip side, the number of choices can be a bit overwhelming, and your indecisive family may end up on the line with Pizza Hut for three hours. Plan accordingly, and understand that you may have to threaten undecided family members with minimal violence and/or banishment. Be strong.)
5. Pizza does not require formal dress during the consumption process.
You can eat pizza anytime, anywhere. No one cares about protocol, and celebratory burping is even allowed without resulting in penalties or harsh reprimands. My favorite position? Sitting on the couch, in my jammies, watching something on DVD with untimely deaths and bitchy side-kick actors spouting mean but funny dialogue. Oh, and a beer in the other hand. Mmm hmmm.
6. You don’t have to get out the good china.
In fact, you don’t have to get out much of anything. A plate might be necessary for those folks with tidiness issues, but really, all it takes is your hand and maybe a napkin. Done.
7. Clean-up is a breeze.
You first pick off the still-warm but slightly-crusty cheese that is clinging to the top of the box, sample that, go after the little sausage pebbles that might be rolling around in the lower half of the box, and munch on those as well. Then throw the oil-stained box in the trash. Done, Part II.
8. Pizza re-heats relatively well.
Just throw it in the microwave and get that thing ramped up until the grease is popping and sizzling. Tastes almost like it was fresh. (Unless some fool ordered a topping that doesn’t perform well during the second act, like extra tomatoes or the mystifying pineapple pieces. Those things have some type of satanic acid in them that leave wet spots that don’t win any awards. Then again, wet spots are never pleasing, whether in crust or bed linens. Avoid the noid, sayin.)
9. In fact, pizza doesn’t even have to be re-heated, if the conditions are right.
You’ve been out partying deep into the night, with your friends taking you to skanky bars where you might have flirted with a person or twelve, it’s not clear, too many Banana Boinker shots. Somehow you’ve made it back to the house without police intervention, and now you’re standing in front of the open fridge, swaying a bit, bleary eyes trying to focus on something that might soak up the sloshiness in your belly. And you spot a slightly dried-out slice. You go, girl!
10. Pizza can stop annoying disputes in your family.
Billy Bob: “Mom! Sally just threw my model airplane into the ceiling fan and one of the flying pieces knocked over Granny Mae’s urn!”
Sally Sue: “But, MOM! Billy tried to drown my Sarah Palin Barbie doll in the toilet and now it won’t flush!”
Mom, medicated: “Don’t worry about it, sweeties. The pizza is here!”
Two seconds later, the only sounds in the house are chewing, gulping, and grease dripping off chins. Mom smiles and goes into the den to watch a little TV in peace. She’s fully aware that the hurricane of sibling rivalry will return soon, but in the meantime she needs to catch her some Oprah…
(Originally posted in “The Sound and the Fury” on 03/22/12.)