I wrote here a few weeks ago that in a much-publicized national survey of pizza chains, Domino's had tied with Chuck E. Cheese for the absolute worst tasting pizza. And I can now confirm that myself. Boy was the pizza at Chuck E. Cheese poor. Just how bad? Well, let me tell you a story.
Over 20 years ago, when I was a sophomore in college I spent Halloween weekend with a buddy of mine who was attending UC Santa Barbara. Back then, UCSB held a huge annual Halloween party that would attract college kids from all across California. (Though even in my time the authorities were already cracking down.) Anyway, the night before Halloween my friend and his roommates (he lived in an old house with five other guys) threw a party. It started with an afternoon BBQ and rolled on into the night. Indeed, our little BBQ was quickly overwhelmed just after dark by scores of invited and uninvited guests. This happened so quickly that one of the steaks we were grilling on the front patio ended up falling on the ground just by the front door. And it just stayed there, being trod upon by guest after guest all night as they came and went.
Well, the next morning I was the first one in the house to wake up. I was pretty "ragged" and really hungry. I didn't have a car (or any money left anyway), so I began rummaging in the kitchen for something to eat. But it had clearly been picked clean the night before. So I just grabbed a Pepsi and walked outside to get some air. As I opened the front door, I saw it. The steak. It was still laying there.
Now, we all know that there are a few pivotal moments in any person's life where they are forced to make choices. Tough choices that can define you as a person, or maybe even change the whole course of your life. This was clearly one of those moments. I was just barely 19 then, but I easily recognized this moment anyway. Would I be the type of guy who would kneel down and eat that steak? Sure, I was hungry. Really hungry. And maybe even a little curious. But I also knew it would be dirty and 'wrong' to eat that steak. But there it was. No one else was awake, I thought to myself, so no one would ever know if I had a taste. Just a little taste. But I'd know. I'd know.
What did I do? I'll never tell. But if I was forced to choose now, I'd rather go back in time and eat that whole steak than have even one more slice of the pizza I had today at Chuck E. Cheese.