Accidentally order pickup instead of delivery for Papa John’s online. Immediately call to correct, get put on hold thrice: once before anybody even picks up, and then twice during the call itself. And yes, I mean that instead of the phone just continuing to ring, I get this peppy voice over artist selling me specials. Which is the only hold they have. You don’t even get shitty music. I’m at my family’s place when this happens, the only time I have with them all week, and everyone is waiting for me to be done so we can continue watching “Indie Game: The Movie” special features. 50 minutes pass and the pizza doesn’t arrive. I call again. The person on the other end assures me that the driver will be there soon. He shows up a few minutes afterward. I leave the front door open as I walk out to greet him. He hands me the pizza.
“I already paid for it.”
“Huh? It’s fifteen dollars.”
“I paid online. I used a credit card. It already went through.”
“Oh, hold on. Lemme call. One second.”
He dials the Papa John’s store, on speakerphone.
He gets put on hold. There is no skip sequence dialed as with a Comcast technician. The cheerleader voice tells him how they are open late. He turns his back to me and stares into space.
I am standing on my front porch, holding a pizza, waiting for him to confirm that I have already paid for it.
Oscar, the stupidest cat in the world, second only to his brother James, runs out onto the porch. I put the pizza down, so as not to seem like I am attempting to steal the pie, and rush after him. When I turn the corner though, he’s gone.
I alert my family inside: “Oscar escaped again!” so that someone might go looking for him while I deal with the pizza guy.
Somebody finally answers the phone. The pizza guy doesn’t even bring the phone to his ear right away. His reaction time is sloth-like. Surely he’s stoned.
“Yeah, I’m at [Street Address], he says he already paid online.”
Clerk: “Hold on, let me check. … Oh, yeah. He’s gotta pay two fifty.”
To me: “It’s two fifty.”
I run inside to retrieve some cash.
A family member: “Did you get Oscar?”
“No! I thought somebody else would do it. I gotta go deal with this *guy*.”
I shuffle through my bills. Do I tip him? He was not punctual but the clerk shares some blame as well for not canceling and reissuing the transaction to accommodate for delivery fee; I bet also that the driver could have been dispatched late; is it my place as an upper middle class white person to deny a low-income worker of their primary income source because I’ve been inconvenienced in having overpriced junk food *brought* to me?
I hand him a five.
I am so hangry at this point that I devour the small pizza with jalapeños, mushrooms, beef, light cheese, and extra sauce in silence as my mom and brother Oliver sit on the adjacent couch, dead-eyed.
Once finished I join my other brother Austin in the search outside. Oscar’s in none of the usual hiding spots. A black cat, in the dead of night, against cell phone flashlights. It’s futile. I’m tired. I was up early to take care of an emergency bug at work that stopped being an emergency when I got there. I have jury duty and a 3 hour movie date tomorrow. I have to get home and to bed.
I’m sorry Oscar but this was your choice. Hope you don’t get eaten by raccoons.