*Or… Because My Brain Is Numb, I Shall Allow you to Laugh At Me

My mom made the World’s Best Pizza™ and it was so good that I had never, not as far as I can recall, had a slice of anything different. As I grew up, if we wanted pizza, we had her pizza. Completely homemade, sausage¹ and green pepper. To me, that was pizza.

Oh sure, once in a while we had pizza from somewhere else, but it was always sausage and green pepper.

Then came 7th grade and some school function for which we had a field trip that kept us out long past dinner time. I think—not sure—that it was the time Mrs. Cheshier, our English teacher, took a bunch of us to see Hal Holbrook perform as Mark Twain. It was awesome, even for a group of idiot 12 and 13 year old kids. It was made even more awesome by a stop to Pizza Inn, whereupon I was asked, “What do you want on your pizza?”

On it?
There are only three things on pizza.
Cheese, sausage, and green pepper.
What do they all mean by “what do you want on your pizza?” Pizza just is.

Yes, I was 12 years old and clueless to the sheer variety one could have on a pizza.

And you know what made even more stupid? I had two sister who worked at the freaking Pizza Inn. I’d had pizza there before. But I’d always had sausage and green pepper. I’d never looked at the menu. Pizza was sausage and green pepper, and that was all there was to it.

Now, I was stupid, but not stupid. A little bell went off in the back of my head warning me that other people obviously put other things on their pizza. I couldn’t fathom why they would do that, but some kids wanted pepperoni, others wanted mushrooms, some just cheese. No one wanted sausage and green pepper.

Except for Mrs. Cheshire, who smiled and said “I’ve never had green pepper on a pizza!” She nudged Mr. Cheshire and said “We’ll share a pizza with her. It sounds good!”

It kept other kids from laughing at me, or the surprised look on my face.

My culinary world changed that night. As did my self perception. I knew I was smart, but I realized then, as the little bell went off and all that pizza could be occurred to me, I could be really, really dense…²

I'm not sure I've had sausage on one since then.

¹No, my mother did not go out and kill a pig and make that from scratch…I don’t think.
²Shut up, Murf.

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