Pizza Delivery – a true story

Here’s a little story of something that happened to me when I was living abroad in Slovenia – July turning into August – when the thunderstorms came marching across the Ljubljana plains seemingly every few days.  Very inspiring for working on my thunderstorm novel GROM if nothing else – and I loved it.  On this particular day, it seemed that another was approaching, but I was almost getting dulled to them now.  Flashes lit up the clouds in the distance and a faint rumbling was echoing down to me across the city.  And, because I was preparing to make a night of writing and perhaps try and finish off a few stories (which would be a very rare and special thing to achieve), I decided to order in a pizza from Papino.  I like those pizzas.  They have a very nice one called the Bolognaise Pizza which I haven’t seen anywhere else and I sometimes made use of them when I couldn’t be bothered to cook.  This time though I called in just before closing time and started negotiating my way to ordering something from the rather tired woodbine-alcohol-lady voice that answered.  She sounded bored and she started talking.  Asking me where I was from and what I was doing.  I explained I was writing a book and would be working all night.  She asked if I was alone (question mark) and if I wanted some company (double question mark) – and I joked that if it would help finish this damn book of mine then any company would be very welcome!  That was it and I awaited my pizza and carried on working – and all the while the storm was building up and creeping closer.  In due course the pizza arrived and I settled down to eat half of it before stashing the rest till later.  I chuckled at my conversation on the phone and reflected that taking orders for pizzas must rank as one of the most boring jobs there were in a world full of boring jobs.

But then the phone rang again.  Damn, I thought, quickly saving the document I was working on and putting child rape and nuclear power stations out of my head for a while.  Who on earth?  My friend Aleksandra finally breaking the silence?  My parents making a late night phone call?  I answered cautiously.  And what do you know?  It was the same familiar lady-voice – asking if my pizza had arrived safe and sound.  I wasn’t used to such service from a Pizza delivery firm and I cheerfully explained that it had and that it was delicious and that it would do a good job of lasting me the night.

Then the voice suggested meeting up over some wine.

I thought . . . now wait a minute here.  Why was this lady, who sounded as though she had smoked too much since a very young age, wanting to meet up with a young English horror writer.  I hummed and hawed and then, out of pure curiosity if nothing else, said yeah, sure!  Why not?  One day.  But she insisted that she was going away for two weeks tomorrow.  (Pressure tactics.)  Was I busy tonight?  Was I going to sleep?  I hummed and hawed a bit more.  Working – deadlines . . . but I never have been too good at refusing people things.  And I thought to myself, why not?  Perhaps she could answer a few questions for my Slovene novel.  But I was suspicious.  Something here was not kosher.  Why did I have the strong feeling that she was lying about something.  And as soon as I had put the phone down I was starting to get a little bit nervous.  Was this some sort of setup of some kind?  It didn’t make sense?  Either that or pizza delivery was a REALLY boring job.

Well – outside the storm broke with gothic fury and I remained there staring out into the wild night, uneasily awaiting whatever it might bring.  Munching on a pizza that had rather lost its flavor.  All sorts of odd scenarios were going through my head – and at one point I even hid my wallet carefully behind my books, just in case anything really nasty happened.

Eventually of course, through the teaming rain, the bell rang and I jumped slightly, but went to open the door.  The trouble was, there was no one there.  No one except some guy with a bag and his huge dog sheltering from the rain.  The dog immediately ran inside – very eager to get somewhere dry.  I tried to give a covert glance round without making a fool of myself, in case she was sheltering somewhere out of sight – but there was no sign of her anywhere.  I was bewildered but not very disappointed.  Then I glanced at the man in the porchway, to see if he wanted to come in or not.  He glanced at me.  We stared at each other for quite a long moment.

Oh no, I thought – quite distinctly.  Oh no.

He was about six foot tall and didn’t seem to have much hair.  Cut short, I suppose.  The bag contained a bottle of wine.

He broke the silence.  “Er – did I speak to you on the phone?” he managed, he face beginning to fall.

I nodded slowly.  There was a silence.  He obviously didn’t speak English very well – and this shock stretched his linguistic skills to the limit.  “I thought you were . . . woman,” he said, beginning to back away.  I stammered something dumb that I cant remember.  “Are you guy?” he asked.

“Am I what?”

“Guy?  I mean – homo . . . sexual?”

I shook my head urgently.

“Er – sorry,” he muttered.  “I make mistake.  I will go . . . do you like tiramisu?”

“Yes,” I said, uncertainly.

“Do you want one?”

“Ok,” I stammered.  “Thanks!”  And to complete my astonishment he thrust a huge tub of it into my hands – and then a very embarrassed six foot tall Slovenian guy slunk off into the stormy night.

I went back to my apartment . . . and cracked up.  He thought I was a bloody girl.  I thought he was a bloody girl.  What the hell are the odds of . . . In my innocence I must have given every come-on and green light that a bored pizza man could possibly want from a friendly English girl.  What had I done?  I had been seduced – completely.  No doubt he pictured her alone in a strange land and pining for a tumble in a cheap bed-settee.  I must have seemed like a dream come true.  And instead all he got was a fat Englishman with a black night-robe and sideburns.

Well, I thought, when I had stopped laughing.  At least I was richer by one tiramisu.  Shame he didn’t leave the wine as well.  I could have used that to get through that dark and stormy night . . .

The dog spent all night lying in the corridor outside my apartment.  Must have been a stray.  Very early next morning it followed me outside and strolled away, never to be seen again – but it left a stink behind that lingered for a long time.

I was so confused though that I cant even remember what his/her voice sounded like very closely – so gawd knows how many pizzas I ordered from him subsiquently!  I wasn’t abandoning that bolognaise pizza for anything!

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Published in: on August 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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