You know how the anecdote goes: When life gives you lemons make lemonade. Cliché as it is, you’ve probably said it before and you’ve likely wasted precious energy trying to squeeze every last drop out of those stupid lemons, hoping you don’t get any more thrown at you in the process. I’m as familiar with this as the next person. Recently, however – in strange twist of fate which I can only assume boils down to my apathy toward fruit – I’ve been served an entirely different dish: pizza.
Plated in front of me is a piping hot slice of heaven sure to make the jowls of any man drool with anticipation. Steam rises from the clusters of meat and vegetables scattered about a meadow of melted cheese, alerting my nose to the fragrance of a perfectly cooked meal. Unsurprisingly, my stomach lets out a series of howls and moans, begging for what my nose let on too. Damn him and his loose lips! It’s not long before my eyes, too, seek to get in on the action, having overheard the chatter ‘twixt the others. The three of them, united with a common goal, swiftly join forces and – like a cat stalking its prey – prepare to pounce on the unsuspecting victim.
With a powerful leap, they fly through the air, target ever in sight. It’s at the moment their feet touch the ground, however, that a shocking realization sinks in. As is often the case, that which seem too good to be true probably is. Akin to a leopard landing just inches from his target, so too has the sensory trifecta found itself with nothing but fists full of air. At this moment, I take a step back. Life, you brilliant bastard! My lips can barely contain the words. You got me this time!
I find myself overcome with feelings of disappointment at the pizza’s unattainability and awe at the craftsmanship in this slice of happenstance. I mean, in all honesty, that pizza’s probably a lot more effort to create than the lemons I’ve been accustomed to. Yet, much like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I can’t help but wonder if the pizza is anything more than a lemon in disguise.
Now, before I go any further I think it’s important that you understand where I’m coming from. My very nature has instilled in me an undying love for all things Italian cuisine. Of the foods that fall into this category, I find there is an undeniable attraction to that one dish which brings together in perfect harmony the best of all its traits. The result is a song so beautiful it makes sirens ripe with envy. Admittedly that last statement was a bit hyperbolic, but hopefully you see why this new offering was so quick to grab my attention.
This understood, let us venture back to the matter at hand. Much like a child in a candy store I find myself inescapably drawn to that sweet which catches my fancy. Food in sight, I’m faced with a question: shall I further pursue the dish presented to me or shall I settle for another delicious, but admittedly less appealing one? Being a man of logic I realize that, in the long run, more effort may be exerted in this wild pizza chase than the reward may actually merit. But, being a man, my inhibitions are easily crushed by the mighty foot of the sensory trifecta. Determination becomes my middle name – not that Shane doesn’t suit me well; I just feel I’m allowed a few liberties for the sake of the story – but, I digress.
As the colossal foot is removed from atop my body I find myself in hot pursuit. Pounce after pounce the same happens as before and, likewise, the pizza remains just out of grasp, every sense taunted by its presence.
This brings us to the present. That steaming slice of heaven is still at the forefront of my sight and – like a ringing in one’s ears – is likely to stay for a while. I have become increasingly hungry, but stories tell of a man that once went forty days without eating! In this I maintain a sense of hope, however misdirected it may be, that perseverance could ultimately land me that slice of pizza which has for so long lingered in the distance.