Building The Perfect Panic Pizza

I’m not particularly skilled at this thing called “cooking”.  I appreciate your attempts at being polite when you pretend to enjoy the frozen pizza I made you that is somehow completely burned on the edges and bottom yet still frozen in the middle.  It’s a magical skill, I know.  How does one even accomplish that in a conventional oven?

That being said, there is one kind of pizza that I’m actually pretty good at making:

The Panic Pizza!

Oh, you don’t know how to make a Panic Pizza?  Well hot damn!  Let’s start the Home Shame Economics cooking class!

The first and most important ingredient in a Panic Pizza is the human-shaped dough glob that is you.  Hopefully, you’ve mixed and mashed yourself with so much alcohol and so many carbs the night before that by morning, you’re ready to be scraped off the couch and rise, get punched a few times in the gut, and then tossed up like so many cookies into the air of daylight.  After all, it’s another day for you to try your best at not being a shit show.  Good luck with that, paisan!

Now your dough is ready for sauce.  Since the jar of sauce is too hard to open and you don’t feel like walking all the way over to the cabinet that’s four feet away to get the jar opener thingy, you decide this Panic Pizza will be sauce-less.

You trailblazer, you.  It takes a lot of guts to have that kind of Lack of Motivation, which brings us to our first topping!  Lack of Motivation!

Hang on.  Now you’re picturing a loved one trying to chew the dry, sauce-less pizza and then they get the hiccups when they try to swallow a particularly large and dry bite, then they start choking, you totally suck at doing the Heimlich Maneuver, and then the morgue comes to take their dead body away because you killed them with your dry pizza because you were too unmotivated to get the jar opener thingy.  The hearse will pull away and you’ll be inconsolable, crying, “Why couldn’t I just get the jar opener thingy?  I should have seen this coming!”

Sorry, Lack of Motivation, but the first topping on this Panic Pizza is Anxiety.  Rookie mistake!

So, first layer on some gloppy Anxiety, then Lack of Motivation.  Our Panic Pizza is starting to really take shape!

Now that you’ve got Anxiety going, you can sit back and put your feet up for a while.  It’s time for Anxiety to take over, which means Anxiety gets to pick the rest of the toppings.  That’s what you get for letting Anxiety into the kitchen.  Once that guy comes into the picture, he takes over EVERYTHING.

Anxiety wants you to feel pretty bad about what a bother you are to everyone when you act like this, so let’s liberally sprinkle some Guilt onto the Panic Pizza.  You want to take it right up to the edges so you don’t get a single bite without at least a little of that zesty Guilt flavor.

Now Anxiety wants you to feel really weak for not being able to control Anxiety, so you slice up some Shame and lay it out on the Panic Pizza in concentric circles.  Those circles better be perfect, because if they’re not perfect, then nobody will like you…

…which is just in time to add Insecurity to the Panic Pizza!

Insecurity gets sprayed onto the pizza from an olive oil mister so that you can be sure it’s evenly coated all over the Panic Pizza.  Oh man, despite all your preparation, it looks like you missed a spot.  It’s probably because of the next topping going on the pizza…

…and that topping is Stupid!

Really, nobody could confuse it for anything else, seeing as you’re a grown adult with adult responsibilities who should be more than capable of handling your own jacked-up and self-destructive thoughts by now, but since you can’t, I guess that means you’re just Stupid!

You know what?  Let’s not render the verdict on that one yet.  Maybe you just haven’t tried therapy, religion, yoga, meditation, herbs, oils, deep breathing, visualization, and grounding techniques yet!  Maybe you just need to try harder to defeat your anxiety disorder!

Oh wait.  You have tried?  Tried and failed, you say?  Then go ahead and toss some Stupid onto that Panic Pizza, then pop open that smoky bin next to it, and LAYER ON THE FAILURE.

The only thing left to add to your Panic Pizza is the cheese of Anxiety’s choice, which means you don’t get any cheese, because Anxiety thinks you don’t deserve any.  Instead, Anxiety will give you the last topping in the form of a little cup of that garlic butter “sauce” from Papa John’s, because if that shit ain’t Self-Loathing, I don’t know what is.

Mamma mia!  Anxiety make-uh you the perfect Panic Pizza pie-uh!

Related, I found this at Wal-Mart this weekend.  Feel free to mark this on your calendar as the day humanity officially gave up.

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This is not okay.

 

 

You’re Too Soft for That Hard Reality, Taylor: Part Three

Now that we’ve determined that you’re not Daryl, let’s talk about the lack of decent accommodations in the post-apocalyptic zombie world scenario.  No restaurants, no air-conditioning, no television?  What are you supposed to do all day?  Sweat?  Entertain yourself?!  WALK?  Ugggggh.  It’s like camping in Hell – and that’s before you even add the zombies-eating-your-face factor.

And even if the zombies all of a sudden died off simultaneously from some sort of disease, can you imagine the rebuilding process?  All that infrastructure that would need to be repaired or replaced before things got up and running again?  Who’s going to do all that work?  You know probably half the population got wiped out, taking out untold numbers of skilled service technicians.

As it stands today, when I call Comcast to come out and fix my high speed internet, they send someone out in three to five years.  I can tell you this much, it’s gonna be at least fifty years before you get streaming Netflix back, and I don’t care to even think about having to live in that kind of world.

Are you prepared for the return of dial-up internet?  Adjusting the tracking on your VCR?  Making your own avocado toast?  Because I’m looking at your wireless bluetooth earbuds and Starbucks Venti Mocha Lowfat Half-Caff Macchiato right now and I don’t think you are.

You couldn’t even deal with getting thrown back to 90s technology.  The zombie apocalypse?  Please.  You’re too soft for that hard reality, Taylor.  Own it.  Own it like a cashmere sweater wrapped in Charmin.

You don’t even know what a Motorola pager looks like, let alone how to work one.  You probably think Motorola is some kind of flavored seltzer made in Detroit that’s trying to compete with La Croix.  The kind that you’d drink with your “squad” while Instagramming photos of yourself wearing an ironic Dwight Schrute one-piece bathing suit, hanging out on the lake on a giant inflatable pizza float.  You woke up like dis, etc.

Even if you managed to survive the zombie apocalypse, you’d just be dead weight to the rest of the survivors.  You’d be too busy trying to break into the Sallie Mae office to destroy your student loan records to even bother helping everyone else forage for loose guinea pigs to eat.  Then, as previously discussed, you would shoot yourself in the face with a crossbow and ruin a perfectly good crossbow arrow.

Quit being so selfish and learn your limitations as a human being.  Take yourself out, Taylor.

Oh god – and the cleaning.  The cleaning!  Let’s just say they manage to get power back up and running to the local Cracker Barrel.  Do you know how much blood and guts and trash will have to be cleaned up in that place before you’d feel comfortable eating hashbrown casserole there again?

Okay, not actually that much for me, because that hashbrown casserole is so good I would inhale it from a possum’s belly button like it was a body shot on Spring Break, but for the rest of the people??

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People get uptight about finding an errant hair in their food.  Can you imagine how thrilled they would be to have to flag down a server to say, “Excuse me, but there seems to be half a rotting human face mixed into my hashbrown casserole?”

No thanks.

Finally, let’s talk about the catastrophe co-opter.  We all know this asshole!  This is the person who didn’t actually have anything bad happen to them, but still insists on interrupting everyone else’s actual grief so they can be upset about something bad that happened to their neighbor five doors down who they didn’t even know.

There’d be some poor woman with no legs, one eye, and 3/4 of an arm, crying and telling a reporter about how zombies ate her various appendages and all her babies, and the catastrophe co-opter would bust in like, “Oh yeah?  Well I lost my neighbor from five doors down! I lost MY neighbor!  You’re not the only victim here okay, Kathy?!”

The zombie apocalypse is so annoying.

You’re Too Soft for That Hard Reality, Taylor: Part Two

In case you missed Part One, you can either scroll down the page, or if you are as lazy as I am and can’t even bear the scrolling for god’s sake, you can click here you useless so and so.

Let me tell you something else, soft-shell.  This is going to be difficult for you to hear.

You’re not Daryl.

No matter how much you think you’re the Daryl of your friend group, you’re not Daryl. 

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Judith, the actual infant on The Walking Dead, has a better chance of surviving than you do.  If someone gave you a crossbow, you would pick it up and be like, “How does this thing…where is the…how do you…” and then accidentally shoot yourself in the face with it immediately and you know it.  I can practically hear the “Fwoop!  AHHHHHHHHH!!!!” sound right now.

You know who you really are?  You’re Carl’s backup hat.  You’re not even the real hat.  You’re the hat they use for far away stunt scenes.  Know who you’re not?  You’re not Daryl.

Maybe if you had spent more time being a degenerate growing up and less time on your “thesis” you’d have a leg up, but noooo.  You decided that your late teens and early 20s would be better spent getting an education than being a dirtbag in the woods, albeit a dirtbag with a heart of gold.

That’s the thing, too.  Everybody wants to be Daryl, but nobody wants to put in the prerequisite dirtbag work to get there.  People are just like, “Oh, I have a feeling that I would be good at survivalism in the woods!” as they put a ramekin of artisan hummus into their smart-fridge and cozy up to a loved one on the chaise lounge they were finally able to track down from that Pinterest page.

You want to be Daryl?  That means you have to spend your formative and adult years living in the gutter with MERLE.  You can’t be Daryl unless you’ve done your Merle time.  It’s just not possible.  Just like you can’t hunt squirrels for dinner with a crossbow with such precision unless, prior to the zombie invasion, you actually had to hunt squirrels for dinner on a regular basis.  No amount of present-day zombie fighting is going to magically transform your liberal arts degree into 35 years’ experience of living in abject poverty – with MERLE.

What I’m saying, is that I’m looking into the zombie apocalypse future, and you’re definitely drying your tears with a diploma from a small college in Vermont, while the actual dirtbag grown-ups are trying to pull a crossbow arrow out of your face.

Also, just throwing this out there, but growing up as a dirtbag does not typically lend itself to becoming Daryl – Merle experience or not.  Daryl is an anomaly.

Daryl is, perhaps, the most anomalous character who has ever existed in the history of the world.

As a dirtbag myself, I knew many a potential Daryl in my youth.  Poor, dirty boys shredding at a flattened roadkill raccoon with their pocket knives and then chasing each other around with the raccoon dick bone.

Stinky-assed moppets covered with impetigo, with globs of snot perpetually underneath each nostril like slimy, green Chiclets hanging out of their nose, who always, always had that weird white stuff in the corners of their mouths.

Boys who were left to fend for themselves because their parents could only ever be found either at the bar or in lock-up.

Boys who ate their own scabs, who when asked what they would wish for if they found a genie in a magic lamp, would take a moment to glance around and study the squalor they lived in and then definitively answer, “I wish I could kick Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan in the nuts.”

Had the Walking Dead been on television back then, every last one of those boys would have told anyone who would listen that they most certainly, most definitely, most absolutely were the Daryl of their friend group.

***Spoiler alert! ***

They all grew up to be MERLE.

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion in Part Three…