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The pizza zombies are coming. December 2, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. I was reminded yet again that I don’t get out much when I read an article in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) called “Slice of Life: a Quest to Try Pies in the Big Apple.” The story followed a 28-year-old Brooklynite, Colin Hagendorf, as he sampled pizza-by-the-slice at 362 Manhattan pizzerias. (Had it been me, I’d have gone for a nice, year-end total of 365 slices, but hey, everybody’s a critic.)

Anyway, I was looking forward to another fun Wall Street Journal food read, and launched into the story with gusto. (So to speak.) Then I stuck my finger in the socket of culture shock: “[Mr. Hagendorf] scribbled notes for a review to be posted on his blog, where he chronicles his pizza forays and rates slices on an eight-slice scale.” Pizza blog? There’s a whole blog just about pizza, and it’s made the front page of The Wall Street Journal?!

To say that I was a bit jealous doesn’t even begin to cover it. My face probably turned as green as a pesto pizza. But the shocks were only beginning. I thought the name of Mr. Hagendorf’s blog, Slice Harvester, was unnecessarily obscure. (Perhaps that’s because I grew up where no pizza was ever called a pie, and you ate a piece of pizza, not a slice.) But reading further, I realized that the name had been chosen to distinguish the blog from an existing website devoted to New York pizzas and simply called Slice. 

Then there was “Scott Wiener, 30, who runs New York pizza tours…” New York pizza tours?!! And “Michael Berman, a Brooklyn-based photographer and pizza-focused food writer.” Uh, “pizza-focused food writer”?!

Okay, we now had a pizza blog, a pizza website, a pizza-focused food writer, and pizza tours. Clearly, a whole world had eluded me here, and I was determined to find out what I’d been missing.

But before I get to the dead pizza, the WSJ article, by Aaron Rutkoff, is hysterical and well worth reading. You’ll discover what a good slice of pizza and Johnny Cash’s nose have in common, as well as Mr. Hagendorf’s top-rated pizza joint. (No, I’m not telling.) You’ll also discover—perhaps the greatest shock of all—that New York City has a Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. I’m not sure what Mental Hygiene is; maybe the city’s just trying to clean up dirty minds. But I digress.

For once, I managed to recall my fascination with the concept of pizza blogs long enough to Google “blogs about pizza” today. In addition to pulling up a plethora of individual blogs, it also gave me two sites that ranked the top 10 and top 24 pizza blogs, respectively. The top 24 pizza blogs?! Mercy on us. Opting for an easy intro, I clicked on the link to the top 10, at which point I received the final shock (an aftershock, if you will) that I plan to endure in this pizza-blogging adventure.

“They Are Back! Enjoy a dead pizza for 3 bucks Wednesday,” the Punch Pizza blog (http://minnesotapizzablog.com/) proclaimed. “Enjoy” and “dead pizza” are not words I would normally put together, let’s just say, bringing to mind as they do images of molding cheese and rotting pepperoni. (Assuming pepperoni ever actually rots; it may be the ultimate survival food.) I had to find out more. 

Clicking this link, I was shown an image, sure enough, of mummy-wrapped pizzas marching forcefully forward, one brandishing a pizza slicer, with the caption “DEAD PIZZAS: Eat them before they eat you.” Pizza zombies! The pizza zombies are coming! Get out your knives, forks, and napkins, and prepare to defend yourselves!

Reading a bit further before fleeing for the bomb shelter, I saw that on October 26th, Punch Pizza, which originated in the Twin Cities (that would be Minneapolis/St. Paul), was offering $3 deals on pizzas that are no longer on their menu, aka dead, defunct, kaput, croaked, um, retired. “Dead pizzas only,” the poster reminded us.

Well, tough luck for me and our friend Ben, here in scenic PA and already into December. No Punch Pizza, dead or alive, for us. Fans of Punch, please tell us what you like! Fans of zombies, add “October/Minnesota” to your calendars.

As for my ventures into the oozing underbelly of pizza fanaticism, I decided that “Dead Pizza” was a good place to stop. I doubt I could top it—pun intended, of course—no matter what I tried. But I’m already working on an idea for next Hallowe’en… 

               ‘Til next time,

                          Silence

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