Kirk Novak: TRUE TALES OF A FORMER PIZZA DELIVERY DRIVER, chapter one

Every pizza place that delivers is characterized by its delivery area. I imagine that not all delivery areas carried the same diverse landscapes as the one in which I worked, but our customer base placed orders from locations as varied as dank rent-by-the-hour flophouse motels off the main drag, to brightly lit 25 room manses on huge plots off gated streets. Within the delivery area of the pizza place where I worked was a particularly dark and winding road with a name that phonetically sounded like “party,” wherein I was forced into a party that I will never forget.

It was near the end of my shift on a brisk and stormy evening during early fall in St. Louis County amidst the glory days of the 1990s, when we received an order for the party street. The party street houses are all on big lots and everyone is set pretty far apart from one another. This part of the delivery area felt more rural, and much less suburban than its surroundings.

There was minimal lighting and no street parking. A darkened driveway and an uphill slog through someone’s near blackout dark yard was often the order of the day when trying to decide which door to knock on during a delivery. The order I was delivering that evening was nothing particularly burdensome. I think it was only a 16″ one topping of some sort. It was piping hot and packed into a pizza delivery bag. I stepped out of the driver’s side door, grabbed the pizza from the passenger-side, and began to walk the delivery to the customer.

Step aside with me for a minute: If you recall from the preface, I essentially described St. Louis-style pizza as “soup on a cracker.” It is termed thusly because it has a liquidity not shared by other regional varieties of pizza. A piping hot pizza for your mouth has a tendency to slide into one corner of the box as it is jostled about for delivery, which results in significantly decreased customer satisfaction. It can be difficult to successfully deliver a pizza that has not sat long enough to properly congeal, and all manner of contraptions to keep a pizza level and stable during transit are engineered through a thick cloud of marijuana smoke. Hot sliding pizzas. Keep this in the back of your mind. Always keep this in the back of your mind.

I walked up the steep front yard, straining my eyes to see where I was going, while precariously balancing the pizza in my outstretched right hand. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a dark shadow move against the fall foliage swept up in the rustling wind. The shadow moved towards me, and as it came into focus I saw a massive German shepherd take shape. I tensed and stopped dead in my tracks. The dog came slowly up to me, and began to smile and wag his tail, generally adopting a demeanor of friendliness and approachability. I breathed a deep sigh of relief and muttered something about a “good boy” before I continued to walk up toward the house.

The German shepherd then circled around and cut me off. I did not feel threatened, and assumed the dog simply wanted my attention. I am a lover of animals, but I was here to do an important job. As I started to walk around the German shepherd again, it stood up on its hind legs and proceeded to plant them firmly onto my chest and push me hard onto the ground. The cracker-ass pizza with its viscous toppings went flying from my hand, spiraling onto the lawn somewhere out of my reach.

Stunned, I lay in the sharp grass and struggled to get my bearings, I felt the dog on top of me, pinning me to the ground. The German shepherd proceeded to furiously, gleefully, forcefully hump my leg. I was powerless against the strength of this beast and could only impotently struggle by limply rolling as the dog thrust repeatedly against my kneecap.

I began screaming at the top of my lungs, “HELP! HELP! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! SOMEONE! PLEASE HELP ME!”

Soon after I heard frantic footsteps, a commanding voice, and then felt the dog release me from its hold. It was the owner, of the dog and the home, and the customer who had ordered the pizza. He asked if I was okay and I responded that I was, despite a nagging feeling that I might never be okay again. I stood up and dusted myself off, picked up the pizza and started to follow the customer to their door. I didn’t really give a shit if the toppings might be sitting in a goopy pile in one corner of the box. The dude could eat it with a spoon or feed it to his dog for all I cared. I imagined the dog was pretty hungry now. Hungry enough to eat a St. Louis-style pizza, even.

We got to the side door of the house, which was not where the horny German shepherd had sprung from, nor was it the door that I would have eventually chosen to try first. The customer and I exchanged money for goods and services as is routine during a transaction of this nature. I got a substantial tip for pizza delivery and K-9 companionship, and neither of us acknowledged that I had just been fucked by his dog or that his pizza was probably a drippy puddle in the corner of that pizza box.

1465794_10201985800060529_103321392_oI turned around and headed back to the restaurant to grab another order and head back out onto the streets as a changed man.

This was just one story from this delivery area. There are at least 5 or 6 more…

TRUE TALES OF A FORMER PIZZA DELIVERY DRIVER.

Enjoy your delicious moments.

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