I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Monday, December 12, 2005

An Open Letter to Gino's Pizza on Alton Road Between Sixteenth Street and Lincoln Road

Dear Gino's Pizza,

God. This is so hard. I -- I really hate giving ultimatums. I never want to feel like I'm trapping someone in a corner, and I really don't like putting myself in a position where if a battle of wills results, I'm just cheating myself out of something I really want...

But I have to get this out. So please... hear me, and please, please, PLEASE do not underestimate the gravity of this plea...

Okay. Here goes. I'm going to start with the good...

Gino's, you have really amazing Pizza. It's mind-blowingly good, as are your garlic rolls. Because your pizza is delicious when I have not imbibed $200 bucks worth of cocktails in a night, it stands to reason that when I have, your pizza is orgasmic. I really just want to get that out there... I really, really, REALLY love your pizza. Do you feel okay? Good.

Gino's...despite the fact that I have just avowed to you my Katherine-Linton-esque love for your product, I am at my wit's end.

For the love of Pete, Man, why can't you just get it together!? HONESTLY!!! You. need. a. system. Do you remember about a month and a half ago, when I ordered a whole white pizza with tomatoes, garlic and basil on it, at 2:30 in the morning, at a cost to me of about twenty five dollars? And do you remember how I had to fight to order that pizza, what with your disorganized ordering system? And do you remember how it was no problem to pay for the pizza? And do you remember how I watched the pizza go into the oven, and then come out, and how I asked, "Is that my pizza?" And do you remember how you said, "No, that's for someone else," and do you remember how about 10 minutes later, I asked someone else, "Is that a pizza for J," and they said "Yeah," when referring to the pizza that ten minutes prior, I had indicated was probably mine? And do you remember how I asked you to make me a new pizza, seeing as how I had been standing there for 15 minutes after my pizza had finished baking, watching my pizza grow soggy and old on top of your oven? And do you remember how you refused? And do you remember how I got into a yelling match with the fat, bearded, asshole jerk behind the counter who was only too glad to refund my money and let me storm out of the store? And do you remember how I then got in a fight with Stephen and stormed to the little grocery store near Gino's and bought a bottle of Powerade, which I drank too quickly, and then it gave me a stomachache? And do you remember how once I finally got overmyself and stumbled back to Stephen's, I had to lay on his balcony, gripping my stomach because I drank the bottle of sweet Powerade too quickly, and I thought I was going to die?

Yeah, I remember it too.

Listen. I know your scheme, and I've figured out how to order your pizza, and how to tell when my order is done, but really? Getting a pizza shouldn't be an aggressive game of chess, detail, and will. There should be a system -- an easy system. A system like this: We should order at the front, pay at the rear, and when an order comes up, you should yell it out of the oven. You take the orders at the front, pay in the back, and yell when the order comes up, okay?

I mean, it sounds sooooooo easy, but like everything else in Miami, it gets gummed up by the absolute retards who you employ. I know, it's hard to get a 16 year old, who doesn't speak a lick of English, to work the shift between midnight and seven a.m., but c'mon. Can't you do SOME sort of drug-testing, so that all of your employees aren't stoned or drunk, or just plain too stupid, or all three at once, to handle, "Take first customer's order, let first customer pay, give first customer their pizza."

Buying a pizza shouldn't elevate one's blood pressure. It should elevate one's drunken stupor. I'm not even going to go into prices. Okay, I am... a bit. FIVE DOLLARS FOR A SLICE?! You have got. to be out. of your fucking. mind.

The best is that you have the chutzpah to put a tip jar on the counter. Next time I go, I'm half-tempted to bring some catshit with me, and put it in your "tip jar." Or better yet, here's a goddamn tip: Stop. Being. So. Fucking. Stupid. And. Disorganized. And. Hectic. And. For. God's. Sake. Implement. A. System. We may be drunk, but we're not retarded, and if you start doing things consistently, guess what? We'll learn! But your system has to make sense, and not be haphazard. Serving every third customer at the back, and one out of five in front isn't a system. And when people leave your store in disgust at the confusion, sans pizza, that's a problem. It's not like buying drunkfood is as intellectually taxing as completing a calculus problem. I shouldn't have to make eyecontact and wave a $20 in front of your face to get a slice of pizza. And I shouldn't have to elbow greasy people out of the way to get there and get my slice.

Really, Gino's. I'm mad. I'm mad as hell, and I'm about to go back to Pizza Rustica. No, okay? Their pizza isn't as good as yours! But guess what - you get a whole lot more for your money, AND, they have a system! Those winding-airport-check-in partitions that they put up? They work! People come in, order, filter off to the sides, pay and get their pizza! Minimal fuss, cheap pizza, and everyone leaves happy!

You've got three strikes, Gino's... But I'm willing to give you one more chance. I swear to God, though, if you continue to blow it... Well, I don't really even want to think about that.

Now wipe away those tears, I know this was hard for you to hear, but I'm only doing it because I want our relationship to be a long-lasting and mutually beneficial one, okay? So, what are we gonna do, huh? Huh, Gino's Pizza on Alton Road in Miami Beach, Florida? Are we gonna put in a system? Good. Go clean yourself up.

And I want a large white pizza with garlic, tomatoes and basil, to go. Yeah, I want my four garlic rolls, and I want the scratch-offs too. You've got 20 minutes, and I'd better walk out of here at that time with the pizza in my hand...

And this one's on you.