At my pizza restaurant, all first responders who dined-in, picked up, or had their pizza delivered were given a sizable discount for their service to the community! Police, firefighters, and paramedics were all given 15% off the bill, which is sizable sum to a person on a civil servant’s salary in the early 1990s. A true gesture of gratitude for our local heroes.
I am pretty certain that it was largely to keep the cops from ticketing the delivery drivers for the restaurant. I think they included paramedics and firefighters in the interest of absolute transparency and good old fashioned gumption. Maybe to keep the firefighters and paramedics from backing over our charred bodies with their vehicles if we caused a horrible accident.
The graft from pizza discounts created an unwritten law where pizza delivery drivers from our restaurant could run roughshod in their barely legal automobiles all over this nice little suburban St. Louis community!
Many of the streets in the delivery area were thinly veiled speed traps with posted speed limits 10 to 15 miles per hour under what was reasonable. At least reasonable to an 18 year old in a 1994 Chevy Cavalier with a Dugout full of ditch weed and a burning desire to deliver pizzas in a timely fashion.
One time I was cruising down a neighborhood street at a leisurely 20 MPH over the speed limit when I passed a cop shooting radar. He quickly pulled out, turned on his lights, and pulled me over. I watched in my rearview mirror as he excitedly sprang from his patrol car and bounded toward my driver’s side door. I recognized him as a regular customer. I saw disappointment strike his face as he noticed the pizza bag sitting in my automobile.
“Oh man,” the officer shouted and threw his hands into the air. He muttered, “I never give you guys tickets,” as he turned around, walked back to his car, got in and drove away.
That was the first time I truly recognized the awesome power of the pizza bag. Thereafter, I would always keep one in the back seat of my car.
In another incident, I had two passengers in my car as I was delivering an order. We were openly consuming something that is preposterously classified as a Schedule I drug, because there aren’t too many other reasons that a pizza delivery driver would take along passengers. A cop pulled me over for running a flashing red light (which I insist to this day was a functioning green light). He soon realized that I was a pizza delivery driver, above the law. The officer had to do something about pulling over three guys that stink like shitty weed running green lights with smoke pouring out the windows. The awesome power of the pizza bag compelled him to give me a written warning and send us on our merry way to fire back up that bowl and finish delivering that piping hot pie.
If you had the bag, it didn’t matter if you were working. It didn’t matter if the restaurant was even open. You could be speeding through town half in the bag at 2 AM and the awesome power of the pizza bag would set you free.
This was just one more story. There are at least 4 or 5 more…
TRUE TALES OF A FORMER PIZZA DELIVERY DRIVER.
Enjoy your delicious moments.