Tag Archives: Pizza

The Exclusive Club at the Retirement Home

From our first week here in the retirement home I’ve noticed an exclusive clique that meets regularly and secretly. They gather in the far corner of the coffee lounge, talk a lot but shut their mouths the moment anyone comes close to their circle. Retired members of the secret service, I thought excitedly. I wonder if I could waylay one of them, ply him or her with whisky and get an exciting story for my blog, a plot for a thriller, a script for a movie…

Yesterday I bumped one of them in the elevator and invited him in for a drink. He took 2 sips of whisky and started to talk. I had a tough time getting him to stop. It’s not what I thought, but they are an elite crowd, all right – nonagenarian drivers! These few men and one woman hold regular meetings where they discuss their driving, ask each other for advice on how to renew their mostly un-renewable licenses, make it through the eye test and exchange stories of their conquests on the roads.

When I finally managed to get a word in, I told the guy that I’m interested in becoming a member.

“How old are you?” he asked.

“Eighty-one,” I replied.

“Come back in nine years, sonny! I’m not even supposed to talk to you yet! Say, do you want to come with me? I’m just popping down to the mall to pick up shoes I left for repair. And you can help me into my car.”

He needs help getting into his car but then he’s going to drive it?

His car is old, rusty and battered. “There were a lot of concrete columns in the last place I lived. Not worth fixing,” he muttered, pointing his cane at the bodywork.

With much groaning I got him behind the wheel and I went around to the passenger side. He fired up the engine and backed out slowly. He made a complicated 8-point maneuver to get the car out of its parking slot and then zoomed out into the traffic without a glance in the mirror. Cars racing down the street swerved and hooted and a couple sent messages with their fists and fingers.

“Everyone is so impatient these days,” he muttered. “They shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car at all.”

A pizza boy on a motor scooter shot into the road and my driver swerved towards him. “That’s the third time I’ve missed that guy this week,” he said. “I’ll get him one of these days.”


I Like Pizza; Why Doesn’t It Like Me?

I have been a faithful fan of pizza since I first discovered it on a trip to Italy way back in 1966. At that time the doorman of the hotel promised me: “You will love it, Senor.” Off we went in search of this new dish. At that time I boasted a robust digestive system that could deal with any kind of food. I was always willing to try something new, especially spicy foods and curries. As the doorman had suggested, pizza became a fairly regular meal.

Pizza apparently goes back over 1000 years while my digestive tract has only an 80 year working history and while pizza has developed to new heights by offering new and exotic toppings and ingredients to its basic cheese and tomato history, I gave up trying the new-fangled offerings. As the anti-indigestion pills lost their edge in the pizza fight, I even had to drop a couple of favorites such as onions and roasted garlic. But I still like the basic old fashioned pizza.

A popular urban legend holds that the archetypal pizza, Pizza Margherita, was invented in 1889, when the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honor of the visiting Queen Margherita. Of the three different pizzas he created, the Queen strongly preferred a pie swathed in the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella). Supposedly, this kind of pizza was then named after the Queen as Pizza Margherita.

Today I shared a basic pizza with a grandson. I added green olives to my half to please the old pair of taste buds I use. Between us we polished off a delicious medium size. It was a great meal and grandson went home with a smile on his face.

So did I. But now, 2 hours later, the smile has gone, the pill is struggling to maintain inner peace and stability and I’m wondering if I will issue the pizza invitation again…