Monday, January 23, 2006


There are certain questions that help us see where we stand in the Cultural Landscape.

I was thinking about this as I was going out to score some Take-Out Pizza. Today is National Pie Day, and She Who Must Be Obeyed and I were determined to observe the occasion appropriately. Pizza is probably not the kind of pie the American Pie Council had in mind when they signed the august documents that created National Pie Day - they being more of a Flour-and-Shortening kind of outfit versus a Yeast-Risen Dough operation - but Pie, at the end of the day, is Pie.

And Greenwood’s on Green Street was closed, which meant that there would be no Serious Chocolate by Gawd Cream Pie at the end of this day.

So Pizza it was.

Now, I’m an inveterate Neapolitano when it comes to my Abeetz. I like that nice, thin, floppy crust, with the cheese and tomato in a perfect marriage of oragey, oily goodness. Plenty of oregano undertones. Aaaahhh. It’s the New York upbringing, you see. Where I come from, the only real Pizza Decision was whether you wanted the round, thin-crusted Neapolitan pie or the rectangular, thick-crusted Sicilian. Toppings were a secondary consideration; the key issue was the Basic Pie Configuration, and for me, Napoli beat Sicilia hands down, every time.

But, many years later, along comes this Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza, and suddenly the gulf between Choice One and Choice Two is a lot wider. Napoli and Sicilia are in the same country, but this Chicago business, it’s on a whole ’nother fucking planet.

Chicago-style pizza is fine, I suppose. I’ve had it right at the source, at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago - but as good as it might be, to me it’s not pizza. More like some Alien Pizza-Like Device, packed with enough cheese and meat to feed an entire city block. I’m on the other side of the Pizza Divide, along, I suspect, with most of my New Yorky compadres.

There are other Fundamental Dichotomies in life, as well.

Just as the ophthalmologist gives you choices while fitting you for your glasses, there are some issues that demand a decision: no fence-sitting permitted. A, or B. This one, or that one. One, or two. The eye-doc fits you with glasses or contact lenses, but your stance with respect to the Fundamentals tells you where you stand in the world.

Dunkin’ Donuts, or Krispy Kreme? Dax and I were discussing this last week in the context of his Jelly Donut Post. Both he and I are dyed-in-the-wool Dunkin’ Donuts men - surprisingly so in his case, given that he is a Southron Boy.

[Krispy Kreme rules the South, of course. I wonder if, back in the bad old days of cross-burnings, whether hooded and robed Klansmen would stoke their internal furnaces with a few dozen Krispy Kremes before an evening’s Race-Baiting. Putting the KK in the KKK, as it were...]

Cakey, leaden Dunkin’ Donuts sinkers, or hot, fluffy Krispy Kremes? Gimme the sinker, every time.

More Fundamental Dichotomies follow. Which side are you on?
  • Betty, or Veronica? (For the ladies: Archie, or Reggie? Minus ten points if you picked Jughead.)
  • Elvis, or the Beatles?
  • Playboy, or Penthouse?
  • Pancakes, or waffles?
  • Chocolate, or vanilla?
  • Dick York or Dick Sargent?
  • Nicklaus, or Palmer?
  • Mets, or Yankees?
What other Fundamental Dichotomies do you know about?

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