Pizza delivery boy encounters strange customer
March 4, 2016
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I open the door of my car, grab the black, insulated delivery bag and jog into Domino’s to await my next delivery. The sun has long since descended, and the restaurant’s atmosphere has become lazy with anticipation for closing time.
As I dutifully scrub away melted cheese from tarnished metal pans, I see a delivery appear on the screen in front of me: Candle Ridge Cove. A single small, gluten-free pizza. With 22 packets of red peppers and 12 of parmesan cheese.
My skepticism turns to intrigue, as my coworkers know exactly who the customer is. Evidently, the eccentric old man from Candle Ridge Cove is a regular client of Domino’s, ordering the same pizza with the same irrationally large amount of peppers and parmesan with each purchase.
Everyone in the store bombards me with advice. “If you hand him the pizza after you take his money, he will yell at you.” “I guarantee he’ll call the store if you don’t grab enough peppers and cheese.” And most importantly, “If you do everything right, he’ll give you a huge tip.”
Head swirling with nervous excitement, I grab the small pizza and load a bag full of peppers and cheese (adding an extra handful of each to be safe).
I pull up to a swanky house in a swanky neighborhood and walk to the glass door expecting a crotchety old man ready to scrutinize my delivery tactic with the hope of finding some reason to be angry.
Instead, a lanky figure well over six feet tall strides to the door. His age is an enigma, anywhere between 45 and 70 years. His hair is completely white and heavily greased. His face, quite possibly the product of several botched plastic surgeries, looks almost extraterrestrial — a long, thin slit of a mouth completely devoid of curvature, skin unnaturally stretched across flat cheekbones. I don’t doubt some distant relation to David Bowie.
His attire somehow matches his face in uniqueness. He sports a light-pink bathrobe, not quite fitting his lengthy stature, and a pair of dark, plastic sunglasses. Did I mention the sun set about five hours ago?
Though stunned, I am able to greet him normally. I received a muffled grunt in return.
Quickly, he snatches his $20 order, hands me two $20 bills and, as I ask if he wants any change, shuts the door.
I walk away from his house with a smile, a $20 tip and a new role model.