I was going to go off on a rant here about meeting leftovers, and the “lone wolf” approach given here versus the idea of forming a food notification network with co-workers. But instead, I’m going to get nostalgic about free pizza.
When I was a teenager, the Little Caesars in Palmer, MA had a Simon-like pattern repetition game that you could play for a quarter, and if you got a high enough score, you could win two pizzas. I discovered rather quickly that I was exceptionally good at this game, and could win the pizzas nearly every time I played. After a while, the people working there started making my pizza as soon as I came in the door. My friends and I would generally consume my winnings in the parking lot, as Little Caesars had no seating area. Eventually the store instituted a rule that you could only win once a week, and a while later, they wised up and disabled the sound on the machine, which ended my streak – I could play the game with my eyes closed (and had at times, to impress my friends,) but I couldn’t do it without the sound. A nearby Papa Gino’s had a similar game, but I couldn’t win that one because the pitches of the sounds the buttons made weren’t in ascending order (i.e., the tone the second button made was higher than the first, but the third was lower than the second.)
A while later I moved to Syracuse, and lo and behold, there were *TWO* Little Caesars in the area, and each had a machine. One of them required getting a disturbingly high score in order to win, and I couldn’t quite do it. But the other was the same as the one from Palmer, and I could once again win a pizza every week. Between that, the local Chinese buffet, and the McDonald’s with all-you-can-eat pancakes, my roommate and I ate like kings. I later used my pizza-acquisition skill to impress my girlfriend, with surprisingly-successful results – she apparently recognized this as a modern hunter-gatherer skill, as natural selection kicked in and she eventually married me and bore my spawn, who is also rather good at Simon.
I haven’t seen one of these machines in a long time. But every time I see a Little Caesars, I slow down and gaze wistfully in the window. The employees, who aren’t used to wistful gazes being directed at their establishment, generally eye me with suspicion.
PLUGGERY: On a completely unrelated note, my wife has put together another stop-motion video to plug another piece she made. It’s awesome, and it features a whale.