Writing’s on the Cartop Sign

I’ve written about superstition. 

Writing superstition.
Trying to conceive superstition.
Vehicular superstition.
Weather superstition.

I thought I’d written about pizza delivery superstition, but it would seem that I have not.

So I will. 

See, there’s a big difference between the facts of pizza delivery and the superstition of pizza delivery, although many of them are easily conflated. 

It’s a fact that American pizza drivers depend on tips–just ask the IRS. The government wants its cut of those tips as well, so you’d better claim some, or face an audit. 

It’s superstition that a dollar is a fair tip. While drivers must be compensated for mileage, the amount paid by most, if not all, pizza chains doesn’t even cover half of the drivers’ operating costs. It’s not just gas; it’s tires and oil changes and wiper blades and maybe even a window every now and then. 

What’s that? Everyone who drives has to purchase those things? You’re right, that’s true, but how often do you buy tires? If you’re not buying one or two a month, it doesn’t really compare. And oil changes every three months? When I was delivering, I was overdue after three weeks.

It’s superstition that the company provides a cell phone or GPS. That’s far too much money that could be lining the owners’ pockets instead. 

It’s superstition (now) that if you don’t get your pizza in less than thirty minutes it’s free. It’s a fact that if a driver is in an accident they’re trained to first remove their cartop sign so no one knows a professional was involved. 

The biggest superstition that plagues poor pizza delivery drivers, however, is that they can do anything at all at the door if you check your pizza and it’s wrong. Pizza drivers do not have an oven in their car. They do not have spare pizzas. If it’s wrong, the one and only thing they can do is the same thing you can do: call and complain. So don’t hold them up. Just check it inside and make that phone call yourself. The pizza drivers will appreciate that. They’ll appreciate it more if you tip them for a second trip with the correct order, but they’ll still appreciate not having to stand around while you try to open and close the pizza boxes while inexperiencedly juggling them. 

Anyway. 

How about some driver facts and superstitions?

  • Lucky cartop signs are a thing. I have witnessed physical fights break out over who gets which sign. 
  • If the first run of the shift tips well, it’ll be a bad night for tips. If the first run stiffs you, you’re gonna make a killing. 
  • Lucky socks are also a thing. 
  • Female pizza drivers make more tips than male pizza drivers. 
  • Obviously-pregnant pizza drivers make more tips than anyone. 
  • If you tip well, good pizza drivers remember you. They will go out of their way to make sure you get your order first. 

Tues Truthiness at TBP


Somebody’s Watching Me

When I woke up this morning I could feel the eyes on my skin, crawling all over me, making sure nothing I did was missed. I don’t like the feeling. I showered as hot as I could stand it to force my body to forget about it, but that didn’t work. I pulled my clothes on my still-damp body and headed for the kitchen for breakfast.

The meatloaf had eyes in it. I decided to pass on breakfast. 

I flopped on the couch and dug the remote from under the cushions. I hit he power button and tried to zone out in front of daytime television. It didn’t work. Court shows are only so distracting. 

When I signed up to be a guinea pig for this experiment, I didn’t think it through; it just seemed like an easy way to take a year off. I should have read the fine print telling me that I never got a day off. 

After nineteen weeks of being watched, I can’t escape it anymore. Cameras and sensors and mics, oh my.

Fiction for Tues Truthiness at TBP


Punching Judy

My parents don’t get along.

Well, I’ll take that back, a bit. My biological parents get along tolerably well when they’re in each other’s actual, physical presence, at least, since a few years after they divorced. They’re quite civil with each other, and I’ve never heard my father speak ill of my mother. When we talk on the phone, he asks after her wellbeing, and listens to my answers. He even asks after my half-brothers, because they’re my family. https://ericwedwards.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/punch-and-judy-1880.jpg?w=500

My mother is a different story. Once I was ‘old enough,’ however she defined that age (she never told me; I never asked), the words that she’d held back for so many years came tumbling out. Before then, her communications were limited to eye-rolls and sighs of disgust.

Now, it’s one thing for my best-friend-since-we-were-eleven and I to laugh bi-annually when I received my birthday and Christmas packages from my father; a quick summation of his gifting skills is secondhand, cheap, and/or quite odd. Not that secondhand is bad, necessarily, but when it comes to an address book or a calendar, it does subtract from the usefulness of the item in question. So. It’s one thing for us to do that, and we certainly do. My bestie awaits those packages as excitedly as I do.

But it’s another for my mother to tell me that my father, who always paid his child support the month it was due, if not generally the day it was due, who never struck me, who, as a creative artist, supports my own creative and artistic endeavors, is a sorry piece of shit. It’s worse than the pot calling the kettle black–I don’t know how many times she hit me, and she has often ridiculed my artistic ambitions.

The thing of it is, she’s proud of being that person. One of the (admittedly few) stories I’ve heard of when she and my father were married is about her shrewishness: once, my father simply stated boogers are salty. She promptly and furiously contradicted him: no they’re not! But when she tells this story, she can’t leave it at that; she has to boast that she’s so contradictory and argumentative that even an example like this is a source of pride to her.

My mother collects negativity and misfortune and hoards them, only to pass them out when she needs to one-up someone, anyone. She doesn’t feel the hurt of these things as everyone else does; they’re good things, to her, because she can use them as building blocks to raise herself up to martyrdom, above everyone else’s suffering.

She’s built up this cult of anger instead of personality, and my stepfather bears the brunt of it now. All four of her children have tried pointing this out to her, pointing out her pettiness and her belittlement of him, and all it’s done is make us notice more.

But sometimes, now, he gets angry back, and they will scream and fight and blister each other with insults until one of them gives up; not verbally, but physically leaving the room and locking the other out.

It’s uncomfortable, to say the least. And yes, tremendously awkward.

And I’m afraid it won’t end until one of them is institutionalized.

Tues Truthiness at TBP–from a few weeks ago


Pretty Girl

We have three cats; you may have seen them down and to the right, on my Instagram feed. Waffles joined us nearly a year ago, and there’s Kitten, the explorer, but Amarillo is my cat.

   
 

They’re cats, they sleep a lot.

Four years ago, I talked about how Amarillo came to join us:

I  brought Amarillo home about two years ago. I was working about 80 miles away for seven weeks, helping the company out by running a store while they trained the new manager (but that is a whole ‘nother story, fo sho), and Amarillo started showing up about an hour before close for the last two weeks I was there. My last night, she came home with me. Rode halfway home in the passenger seat, and halfway in my lap. I have never had a cat who was such an angel in the car. Anyway, she is the underdog (undercat?) of the family. She’s the one who gets picked on and abused when the other two are in a bad mood. She’s quite happy to curl up in a quiet corner and nap all day. Amarillo is my ‘pretty girl,’ and she loves her some petting.

She’s still the underdog, and she’s still my cat, although she’s gotten a little more lovey towards Ian in recent months. Sometimes.

I’m still the only one who can pick her up whenever, and to whom she always comes when beckoned or kissy-noised at.

And she still enjoys sleeping with her face against things.

For Tues Truthiness at TBP