Thursday, December 17, 2015

& Then There Were Pizza Tats

Listen I love pizza. My appreciation has grown leaps and bounds since I signed on with PMQ Pizza Magazine just one year ago. And NO, it’s not because they pay me to like it. As a 7-year-old at my Knights of the Round Table-themed birthday party, I scarfed down the better part of a whole pepperoni pie. Of course I hurled buckets and it was some pretty traumatic comeback sauce blended so noxiously with all that purple icing and the chocolate milk half gallon chaser. Nope, even that didn’t put me off pizza. But I didn’t fully appreciate it, yet.

I ate a lot of it in college and ordered a ton of it for my kids after I richly earned my status as a single parent, twice. The history, the tradition, the Roman legions, the difference between a Chicago Deep Dish and Neapolitan, between pecorino Romano and buffalo Mozzarella, between  a peel and a spoodle.  Learning just a little about dough and ovens and regional styles and sockeye salmon-topped specials makes me dig it all the more. No pizza love deficit from me. Still, got some news for you—I’m not about to brand myself with a tattoo of my favorite slice or even the name of the international pizza communication company that employs me for that matter.

I love my job. OK, not as much as pizza, but the team at PMQ is a swell bunch of folks with some very talented writers, editors, graphic designers and videographers. Even though we have an impressive logo that you’ve no-doubt enjoyed yourself as a loyal PMQ reader—you know, the cute little slice triangle arrowhead injecting the Q tail thingy (printers terminology), it ain’t ever going on my shoulder, or forearm or butt.  I won’t be following in the needle-chiseled path of those dudes and dudettes who work at this happenin’ pizza joint in our nation’s capital called &pizza. The passionate ”pie tribe” (yep, that’s what they call themselves) can’t wait to meander a few blocks down the street in their little bohemian section of D.C. to acquire their free tattoo courtesy of their generous, some would argue visionary, bosses. Yes, I too thought D.C. was entirely populated by up-tight politicians and lobbyists. Who knew it boasted its own Haight Ashbury. Turns out &pizza will even throw in a free tat for customers who purchase $1,500 worth of pizza. Their customers literally sign their loyalty in body ink. Who needs coupons?

Yes, ampersands are cool, I guess. I’ve worked more than 33 years in writing and publishing and I do admire a well struck “Special Character.”  The flowing Ampersand might even be my favorite in tight competition with the elegant, but emphatic, exclamation mark.  Much as I adore typography, for my taste, paper is the proper medium for all those noble typefaces, not skin.

But that’s just old-school yours truly. I have an ex wife who shocked me one evening by revealing the tiny, tantalizing rose tattoo just south of her right hip—and this is a Republican, Chamber of Commerce-connected  WASP  mother-of-three. I liked it. A lot. On her. That tattoo didn’t save our marriage, but it did open my mind a bit to the value of body art in certain contexts. The thing is, though, you better pick your epidermal tracings with the judgment of Solomon, with an eye toward eternity, or at least your own personal expiration date. OK, maybe I’m evolving on tattoos, but I’m just not ready! Great place for an exclamation mark.

Here’s the bottom line: What’s going to endure? Your girlfriend, your wife, your country of origin, your puppy, Justin Bieber, your workplace, your favorite food? None of us really know—but if I had to stake my next child support check on it, my money’s on the cold pizza. Come to think of it, for a modest ($20,000 smackers) bonus from my wonderful bosses, I might be motivated to visit my local tattoo parlor and affix my undying PMQ devotion to my left butt cheek. If I ever get married again, I’ll tell her it stands for primordial magical quest?  


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