Friday, July 17, 2009

Pizza Time? Radical!

        It turns out ordering pizza has changed a lot over the years. Usually I just make my own pizza, but I had assembled the three prerequisites to pizza ordering: hunger, laze, and coupons. A powerful combination. For some reason my coupon was only valid for online order. For the life of me I can't really figure out why they'd be shooting for an increase in online orders. Although since throughout my life any time I've called a pizza place I've been put on hold, I really shouldn't be too surprised that they'd try to promote an alternative. So I gave online ordering a try for the first time in a long time. Like any time you try something slightly new, it was like taking a journey down the rabbit hole. Everything is different and nothing makes much sense.
        There seems to be a affliction in our world where people feel the need to use any technology available to them as much as possible; simply because they can. You can see this every time a homemaker decides to use Papyrus for their Christmas cards. Every time a web site decides to see how much flash they can cram down the internet's throat. Every time a pizza site let's you view your virtual pizza. For some inexplicable reason next your selection choices the haunting image of a pizza floats about, following your every move. If you select mushrooms, suddenly your virtual pizza has mushrooms on it. If you select pepperoni, there it is! Exactly what purpose this serves is beyond me. Well, I suppose there are a few groups of people who would find this feature quite handy: people who aren't exactly sure what a pizza is and people who have absolutely no ability to imagine even the simplest of things.
        After "designing" your pizza you need to give "delivery instructions". Mine were to simply ring my doorbell, but the limits to this idea are boundless. Could I, in theory, get them to crawl into my house through an open window to deliver my pizza into my waiting arms, thus negating my need to leave the couch? Sure I could leave the door open just as easily, but where's the sport in that?
        The next stage of weirdness comes after you've placed your order. While you might have expected to be shown a confirmation page of some sort, your expectations would be outdone. Instead of a blasé confirmation page you are whisked away to what confirmation page children surely dream of becoming. It has polls, comments, and a real time update status of your pizza. My pizza has just been topped with toppings? Good to know. Perhaps the site itself can say it best, "The delivery experts at [Pizza Chain] have specifically engineered the Pizza Tracker to keep you up to date on the status of your order from the moment it's prepared to the second it leaves our store for delivery."
        All this technology is enough to inflame the senses! And what is this? It would seem that Damian has begun "custom-making" my order. I'm not sure if a one-topping pizza really counts as very "custom", but it doesn't matter! You can tell you're in good hands when the store cares enough about you to try to deceive you. They aren't just paying some teenager minimum wage to make you a pizza, not at all. They have staffed an elite team of delivery experts to engineer your pizza to your specifications.
        Luckily my delivery expert Blake couldn't find my house and had to call to ask where it was: a welcome reminder that while things may change over time, underneath it all most things stay they same. We're all still human after all. The next time I order a pizza I'm sure they'll have upped their game even further. The word "order" will have been changed to "satisfaction investment". There will no doubt be a live webcam of my pizza being made. But when you peel back the layers of technological flare, a pizza is still just a pizza.

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