Welcome to our first installment of Bite Me, a new series featuring essays from some of our favorite writers and cultural icons on one of our site's most popular topics: food. More specifically, we'll hear about their unlikely food obsessions, controversial food beliefs, and weird food hang-ups. First up, Eliza Skinner, comedian and writer for The Late Late Show With James Corden — and possibly one of the world's only pizza haters.
“Thank you so much for staying late for the meeting, and don’t worry — we’re getting food for you guys!” the email inevitably reads. No specifics, just “food.” But you know, don’t you? Whenever you are doing something you SHOULD be paid for, but instead of money you are given food, it’s always the same food: pizza. Ten greasy boxes of it piled up on the table in the corner.
Yeah, that’s right — I don’t like pizza. I don’t like kids either. Dogs I like, but at this point I assume you’ve already clicked away from this article, muttering; “What an asshole.”
Pizza is the most overrated food since sliced bread. Essentially, it is just melted cheese on bread with some tomato sauce in-between. Okay, fine. Nothing wrong with that. But everywhere you look someone is LOSING THEIR SHIT about pizza — pizza clothes, pizza tattoos, pizza home decor! Pizza has become an identity. I’ve seen more than one online dating profile that listed “pizza” under personality. (And honestly, thanks for the heads up, fellas. I’m not in the market for someone with the personality of a pizza.)
I don’t buy it, and here’s why: adults HAVE pizza money. You can buy yourself pizza any time you want. It’s literally one of the cheapest options in any major city, any time of day. In fact, at many fine establishments, if you buy one pizza they actually ask you to take a second one off their hands for free. Just take it! Jam it down your toilet! Fling it into a river! They don’t care!
But when was the last time you actually bought yourself pizza? Let alone, felt thrilled to do so? BE HONEST. It’s been a while. Partly because it’s not really what you want, and partly because you’re sick of it since every time you turn around someone is shoving a free pizza in your face to thank you for helping them move, or paint a table, or delouse their kid. (Again, kids: ugh.)
People think they love pizza because they used to love pizza, when they were kids. But you’re supposed to outgrow kid food. You’re not supposed to go out to dinner and order tater tots and cut up hot dogs. “Tell me, how does the chef prepare his chicken fingers? In dinosaur shapes, or stars and moons?” I went to high school with a girl who loved to eat baby food. Her hatchback was always full of old empty glass jars rolling around the back, stinking like hot green beans in summer. I bet she LOVES pizza.
I know, I know — supposed to? Outgrow? I sound like a hateful old gluten- and lactose-intolerant bitch! And you know what? I am. But hold on, free thinker: before you run off into the woods to live wild and free with the wolves and the pizza, how much do you know about the APC? The American Pizza Community? It’s the pizza lobby. And I don’t mean the part of the building where the pizza shakes out its little pizza umbrella (But how cute, right? I bet he has a little hat and boots too! Almost makes me like pizza. ALMOST.) I mean the real life organization that lobbies on behalf of all the major pizza companies — Domino's, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Godfather’s Pizza, and Little Caesar’s.
The APC has done a lot of strategizing to help make pizza popular and easily accessible. They lobbied to get pizza counted as a vegetable in school lunches, because all that highly nutritious tomato paste is so important for growing bodies. Also because when you get people hooked young it’s easy to keep pushing your dope on them. So are you sure you love pizza? Or is that what The MAN wants you to think? According to the Center For Responsive Politics, in 2012 Mitt Romney received $110,807 from the APC. Mitch McConnell got $20,350. PIZZA IS REPUBLICAN.
My last gripe about pizza is a very specific one, but as long as I’m laying it all out on the table I’ll mention it. I work in TV, which means I’m often on sets full of hardworking people who need to be fed quickly and cheaply, and pizza is always the easy answer. It’s not a healthy answer, but the crew can fart through the last half of the day and still get the job done. What bothers me is the actresses. The same job that asks actresses to give in to unreasonable societal beauty standards also regularly asks them to smile and say thank you for pizza. That makes me want to set a soundstage on fire. It sucks to try to maintain perfect skin and perfect figures and perfect lack of bloat all day every day — piling a few slices of pizza on top is vicious. But having a problem with pizza might make an actress seem difficult. Don’t be difficult! You should be fun! Pizza is fun!