My mother gave me a call a few weeks ago, “I heard you vaz gonna be in town tomorrow. You vant to go to the Buffet?”
“Actually, I’m not passing through Piscataway, Anyu. I’m heading straight to New York City to see my friend’s gallery show.”
“Oh, noooo! New York is dangerous!”
“I’ve been to New York a zillion times. I’ll be fine.”
“Didn’t Anita get mugged last time she was in New York?”
“First of all, that was TEN YEARS AGO. And you are incorrect. She was in Piscataway at the time. See? I’m safe in the City while all you scaredy cats in the suburbs get held up for your hoagies.” (read about the mugging here)
“Make sure you vear your glasses so you can see if somevon is mugging you.”
“Anyu, I can see perfectly fine without glasses, I wear contacts.”
“I hate dose tings! Your eyes need to breathe more. Promise to vear you glasses.”
“Fine, I’ll wear my glasses.”
“Vell, just be careful. Are you brinking a man vit you for protection?”
The next day, my friends and I took the train in to New York and I could not stop thinking about delicious New York City-Style pizza, where the slices are huge, the crust is thin, and the sauce is perfectly sweet. We walked for blocks and blocks and could not find a single “mom & pop” pizza shop.
“How is it possible that we can’t find a pizza place in NEW YORK?” my friend asked.
“Because weird, annoying, and inconveninent stuff always happens to us,” I replied.
Just as we were about to give up our search and grab some Chinese, we saw a sign for NYC-Style Pizza. The rickety sign and crumbling brick facade was nothing to write home about, but it was the warm, garlic-scented air that lured us inside (Editor’s Note: Although my family is from Transylvania, I have no qualms about garlic. That’s a rumor).
“How is your food?” the Owner asked as we took our first bites.
“Spaghetti and meatballs for Table 2,” he waiter replied blankly.
“He asked for a little bit of spaghetti with ONE meatball. Not this! This is three god-damned meatballs!”
“No, I thought he orderd-”
“No, no, NO! I know what he ordered, I was RIGHT THERE! They come in here ALL the TIME and he NEVER orders three meatballs. Are you freaking CRAZY? Maybe if you payed some damned attention, you might have noticed what my customer freaking ordered before you bring him three freaking meatballs when he said he only wants ONE!”
The pizza boy silently walked to the back of the restaurant with his head hung.
The Owner looked back at us.