Friends, I want to ask you all to go back in time with me. But not too far back…I’m talking probably early 1990s…can’t believe its already been 20 years. I’m asking you to go back in time with me because I had a dream the other night…a dream that reminded me of something I thought had been long forgotten. But really, it can never be forgotten…because it was possibly the most important piece of plastic to have ever graced my hands.
This is the story, of the Majestic Pizza Table.
When I was a little lad, I had a very misinformed idea of what a healthy meal was.
In my head, I thought cheese was the only type of dairy, and thus essential to my diet. I thought bread was an all encompassing food that had to be a part of every meal because it was the largest section of the food pyramid.
Fruits and veggies were my least favorite, and apparently optional, because I would avoid them and still be alive. And, according to my father, protein was the single most important element in the cosmos. My dad would often say things like, “Protein is what makes you strong.” Or “Always put protein on your plate.” And the questionable, “if you forget to eat, just have some protein at least.”
When my brother and I couldn’t finish all the food on our plates my mom would mention something about African kids dying while we wasted food and my dad would bargain with us. “If you can’t finish that’s okay, as long as you eat all the protein.”
Anyway, the reason I’m sharing this with you is to give you some context as to why pizza became my all time favorite food as a child. Pizza had everything. Pizza had cheese (dairy), sauce (tomatoes are veggies), tasty crust (bread), and you could add all sorts of toppings (pepperoni, chicken, beef – protein). In my child-brain pizza was a super food. So when any food decision-making opportunity was presented to me, I would ALWAYS say “pizza.”
You see, my lovely sunflowers, there was something else that came with pizza. Pizza came with a gift. A gift that was always guaranteed to accompany every pizza box. That gift…was the Majestic Pizza Table.
Friends, do you remember that glorious moment, when you opened the pizza box? Your mouth slobbering like a waterfall at the mere scent of it, your pupils dilated as your hands touched the box, your fingers fumbling around as the hot pizza crust burned your finger tips – you knew that shit would burn your mouth but you didn’t care! YOU NEEDED TO PUT IT INSIDE YOU.
And as you munched, and your taste buds dissolved, you laid your eyes on the glorious white plastic, sitting patiently in the center of your pizza box.
There she was. She had been waiting for you. The mini plastic table, with three peg legs and circular top.
The whole reason she existed was to ensure that your pizza wouldn’t be stuck to the roof of the cardboard box. So selfless. The patron saint of pizza boxes.
She was there to make your life easy and wonderful. She understood how much you needed this moment to be perfect. No one could understand you more…than that tiny piece of white plastic.
It has been said that, in the ancient world, that there was a whole civilization that worshiped the Pizza Table. The disciples of the Pizza Table spent hours crafting its likeness from raw minerals, giving it cheese offerings, and immortalizing it through song. Legend says, the people of the Pizza Table were wiped out of existence when its leader, Little Foot, claimed dinosaurs to be the true rulers of the realm.
Pizza Table cursed the land and a giant asteroid destroyed all who were unworthy.
Okay, that’s a lie. I made that up. I’m sorry. I forgot what I was talking about… I’m pretty sure I used to get Land Before Time toys form Pizza Hut and that was my brain’s attempt to remind me of that fact in an imaginative way. Actually, imagination is kind of my point.
You see, the Majestic Pizza Table knew no bounds when it came to imagination.
I was a little kid, staring at this weird Pizza Table, asking my mother if I could keep it because I had plans. GLORIOUS PLANS.
You see, the Pizza Table was perfect for playing games with. I could make my brother’s legos stand around it and talk about world domination.
I could make it a stepping stool for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so that they would be able to reach the exact height necessary to deliver a flying kick strong enough to destroy the evil Barbie empress.
The Majestic Pizza Table was a meeting place for my Troll dolls as they plotted against the evil Cabbage Patch dictator. (I played the shit out of the board game Treasure Trolls)
The Pizza Table was the only holding device able to protect the glowing Gem of Time from evil doers, something that PJ Sparkles had spent her whole life defending against the diabolical galactic Polly Pocket federation.
What ended up happening over time was that we kept ordering more and more pizzas. Which meant that I had more and more majestic Pizza Tables. They started to change slightly in design. Some had four peg legs instead of three, some had thicker plastic, some thinner plastic. But one thing was certain; my majestic Pizza Table army was an unstoppable force. Or, so I thought…
At one point, there was an impressively large pile of these Pizza Tables in the corner of my room. My mother was not pleased.
She made me get rid of my Pizza Table collection. All of them. I could not come up with an excuse that was good enough for her. My mother told me that I was getting too old for those kinds of toys, and then stuffed away my precious plastic friends into a garbage bag. I had no choice but to watch the disposal of my Pizza Tables, because adults ruled the world. But I held onto hope, hope that I could secretly steal a Pizza Table the next time we ordered-in pizza. Not too long after, the time had come, I watched (with great stealth) from the hallway as my father payed the delivery man.
I followed him to the kitchen, as he opened the box. I only had a few seconds until he made the announcement that the pizza was here and my mother and brother would show up in the kitchen. So I popped up from my hiding spot and yelled for my father, “POPIE, THERE’S A SCARY SPIDER IN THE HALLWAY, KILL IT!”
As he groaned and made his way to the hallway, I dashed by him and bee-lined to the kitchen table. I jumped up to a chair, and got ready to claim my prize.
But, to my dismay, I did not see a beautiful white pizza table in the center of the pizza pie. I lifted the hot pizza and looked under it. I searched the corners of the box, I scanned the ground in the off-chance that it may have fallen. I even turned to the trashcan and looked inside, hoping that perhaps my father had disposed of it when he opened the box.
Nothing. Not even a scrap of evidence as to where it could have gone.
My dad came back, with my mother and brother behind him, he placed his hands on my shoulders and told me he couldn’t find the spider, but that if it returned to let him know. I nodded but said nothing. I held back the tears of disappointment. We all ate the pizza and the box was disposed of.
I didn’t sleep that night.
Maybe someone had forgotten to put one in? Maybe it was a new chef (I thought everyone who made food was a highly talented chef when I was little). Maybe the new guy didn’t know the pizza table protocol.
I reassured myself that the next pizza box would have one, so I just had to be patient. But, sure enough, the next pizza box arrived a week later. Nothing. The box after that…nothing.
Box after box arrived to our house, and I realized… the majestic pizza table was no more. Discontinued like a defective children’s toy. It would never return to my hands or my imagination. It was gone forever.
To this day, I still haven’t encountered another majestic Pizza Table.
I mean, I’m sure they were bad for the environment, with all that plastic. Maybe they became obsolete when pizza companies developed sturdier pizza box designs. Or maybe the pizza chefs devised a new cheese formula that prevented it from being stuck to the pizza box.
Whatever the reason, mankind’s love affair with Pizza Tables had come to an end. It felt like I had lost a best friend.
As I mentioned before, I had a dream the other day, where my majestic Pizza Tables had been returned to me, and I dance around in my room, rejoicing with my stuffed animals and toys. I awoke and knew that I had to discuss its legacy with you all.
So this post is my homage to the Majestic Pizza Table. You may be gone, but in my heart, you will never be forgotten.