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Salt Lake City

An Open Letter to the Pizza Cook at Whole Foods

Dear Bearded Pizza Cook:

I probably have nobody to blame but myself for stepping foot into your Whole Foods supermarket at Sugarhouse today. I was running errands and needed to get a quick bite to eat after buying dog food at Petco and scented candles at Bed, Bath and Beyond. For the record, I have not found the ‘beyond” at the home accessory store but that is another letter.

It took a lot of courage for me to wander into your Whole Foods for a lunch on the run simply because your managers have devised a simple plan of empting my wallet every time I go through your doors. Is it my fault that I love over-priced soup or your mediocre sushi? Who do I blame for buying pot stickers at a rate much over market price? Who is at fault for my random purchases running from $3 bananas or a $9 smoothie? Who I ask, who?!?

Of course it is mine.

Whole Foods should be renamed Middle Class Guilt and Beyond but that is wordy. What isn’t wordy is what you said to me about that pizza which had dying under the heat lamp as I approached the counter. I asked what sort of pie the chicken laden slice was and you responded with pride that it was a Mexican pizza.

Mexican pizza? Two of my favorite culinary culture treats on one piece of flatbread? Damn you for tempting me with labels that I support and even encourage. I love Mexican food and pizza is in my top four foods after shrimp, cold cuts and Sloppy Joes. Yes, bacon is number five on the RFPR (Raskin Food Power Ranking) with tacos, smoked trout and hot dogs filling out the bottom eight but Mexican pizza?

Well played, food handler that could never pass a drug test, well played.

I asked you to your face if the Mexican pizza was any good and you looked me straight in the eye without any hesitation and told me it was excellent. With a recommendation like that, how could I not buy over a pound of your Mexican pizza? I am merely a man, not some sort of automatized robot with restraint when it comes to Mexican pizza.

Well, I am here to tell you that it wasn’t excellent. In fact, it might have been the worst pizza I have ever had in my life. I assumed from your heartfelt recommendation that you knew what the word excellent meant but clearly you did not. Excellent is reserved for the slap hitting of Tony Gwynn or Eddie Veddar’s haunting rendition of “Release” from Pearl Jam’s first album. Excellent describes Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood or watching Stockton and Malone execute the pick-and-roll. Excellent is watching Peregrine falcons take down their prey in midair or a supped-up El Camino do donuts in an abandoned parking lot while people drink beer.

That Mexican pizza was not excellent—it was gross. So gross, that I had to feed it to my dogs who ate it begrudgingly because they lack the ability to talk and frankly, they are simply dogs.

Damn you for making my dogs eat bad pizza.

You, Sir, have no idea what “excellent” is. In fact, I am going to risk proposing that you lied to me about that Mexican pizza. You are either stupid or a liar because no sane human being could suggest that the Mexican pizza was “excellent.” It stands as the single worst pizza I have ever had and falsely giving me faith that Little Caesar’s actually knows how to make a pizza pie. Their $5 Hot and Ready have never, never, never caused me to turn into a gurgling mess and wish that I would simply die—simply die.

As I ruined my underpants throughout my shift at the bar, I burped and grappled with the wild indigestion I developed from your pizza. I felt cramps reserved for childbirth. I wasn’t pregnant with a human baby but a poop baby spawned from your horrific pizza.

The fact that I am able to write this letter to you, Bearded Pizza Maker at Whole Foods, is both a miracle and a testament to my body fighting through God awful meals. You should be ashamed of yourself for suggesting that the Mexican pizza was anything more than a step above the Alpo my dogs enjoy twice a day with dry food mixed in with the occasional human food because they are both really good girls.

You, however, are not a good girl. You are a bearded liar that doesn’t know the first thing about excellent Mexican pizza. The thought that you might actually try making this kamikaze pizza and risk other with the bile-filled disgusting mess called Mexican pizza is enough to keep me up at night and consider calling my state senator. You’re lucky I am lazy and stuck on a toilet.

But rest assured, I will get off of this toilet at some time. I’ll get off the toilet and stand in front of you with the same rage that I experienced as I took the first bite of that wretched slice. I hope you learn a thing or two about excellence and apply it to the next pizza you make.

If not, you’ll have more to fear then my sharp pen—you’ll have to live with the fact that I am going to have to make two trips the next time I hunger for a Mexican pizza: Taco Bell and Little Caesar’s. I’m sure I could make a home-made Mexican pizza in my truck from a Bell Beefer and a $5 pepperoni that would be superior to your crap.

Thanks for ruining my faith in humanity. I hope you get arrested and are forced to take a shower.

Cordially, Ben Raskin—concerned citizen.

Ben Raskin works at Keys On Main Wednesday through Saturday. Follow him on Twitter @BennyRaskin. The Sidecar Podcast is in the works. He literally wrote 2/3rds of this blog on the toilet eating a Sloppy Joe, #3 on his RFPR.

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About Ben Raskin

Born in El Cajon, raised in Las Vegas, educated in Reno and living in Salt Lake City. I bartend, write, box and live in Sugarhouse UT.

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