2018

15 March 2017: Of pineapple, pizza, and the Ides of March

Can we talk? There’s some heavy stuff out there needing attention, so much so my head does Linda Blair “Exorcist” revolutions, a veritable whirling dervish, trying to get around them. So much so, I was fumbling and bumbling about where to start, about which topic to zero in on.

There’s the issue of our feckless but fearless leader, an unstable ion in human form, discovering Obama had furtively implanted bugs in his Tower to uncover, one supposes, the secrets to the bromance between him and Putie. I keep picturing Barack slinking under the cover of night in a dark suit and shades slipping through an aperture the width of a coin slot to confirm whether the aged ones used Cialis.

Then, I’m thinking about how Republicans are now concurring with Democrats about the status quo ante—my eternal gratitude to Condoleezza Rice for implanting that phrase into my brain during the War in Iraq—of the health insurance industry ante Obamacare. Because, if that status quo ante—Latin for the good ol’ days—was so great, they, being men and women of principle, would simply repeal it. No equivocation. No Obamacare lite. No Obamacare 2.0. Simple, flat out repeal. Get back to the days of yore. They got the power, after all. But then, there’s a sizeable difference between having power and being a weenie when it comes to using it. Talk big, but carry a popsicle stick.

But in my research, I came across another topic near to my heart, one into which I can sink my teeth, one so pressing and timely that it warranted me to put the Orange One’s emotional instability and possible ED and Republican weenie-ism on hold.

It was a treatise in the Washington Post by Ben Adler that spoke to not only my heart but to my palate. The headline read, “Iceland’s president is a hero, because pineapple on pizza is an abomination.”

“Oh yeah!” I thought. “This is it. One of food’s great desecrations, a Thou-shalt-not inexplicably left off the Big Ten. God, what were You thinking?”

For years, I wondered what moron concocted what is irreverently called Hawaiian pizza, which has nothing to do with Hawaii—the Aloha state not having a monopoly on pineapple—or Italy, a lovely land devoid of such fruit. Well, it turns out it was not a baker concocting a dish to celebrate Don Ho marrying Sophia Loren, but a man presumably of Greek descent from the genteel land of fish and chips and Canadian bacon, a two-word euphemism for thick, salty ham. Apparently, one day Sam Panopolous asked why not, did, and started a craze.

In a breathtaking account of his intrepid foray into making pizza history, Panopolous said, “We tried to make some pizza. Along the way, we threw some pineapples on it and nobody liked it at first. But after that, they went crazy about it. Because those days nobody was mixing sweets and sours and all that. It was plain, plain food. Anyway, after that it stays.”

You’re kidding me, right? What’s next? Chocolate? Dark or milk? Perhaps, Hershey Kisses atop pepperoni slices, which, during the baking process, would ooze into the mozzarella, assuming it remains the cheese of choice, to form a chocolate-cheese sludge resistant to the most virulent strain of Lipitor? Perhaps, chased by a pina colada with a tomato twist and mushroom and pepperoni chunks?

In New York City, where, believe me, more Italians live than in Italy, Sicily, and Boston combined, a congeries of pizza purists formed to lend their support to Iceland’s President Gudni Th. Johannesson.

“Pineapple pizza is a blight on society,” Mae Barber, a former Brooklynite now in Florida, declared.

“Amen, sister,” I rejoined.

Blight, indeed, symbolized by sinewy, tart-but-sugary yellow interlopers desecrating sacred ground. Tacky beyond gauche. A wretched defilement requiring one fitting response: A hand gesture raised to miscreants who perpetuate such an abomination.

And speaking of Italians: Beware the Ides of March.

On this say 2,161 years ago, Ol’ Julius met his Waterloo four years after crossing the Rubicon. He came, he saw, he conquered, and then he lost it. It seems Romans were also a little sensitive about their republic’s fate. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late for them.

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