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The Perfect Pizza

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“Hey, Mike!” They called from the car. “We’re going to town for pizza. Want to
come?”

I wasn’t sure if I liked pizza, but I was pleased to be included in their plans, so I
said, “Sure!”

We lived in a small fishing community without a pizza place. My parents never
brought pizza home. I only knew what I heard about it. Everyone liked pizza. I was sure
I would too.

An hour later, we sat in the parking lot of the pizza parlor. They opened the box.
Pizza smell filled the air. My stomach growled. “Here, Mike. Have a slice.”

I selected a slice from the box and took my first bite. It was good, but not what
I expected. From all the hype I heard about pizza, I expected to be overwhelmed with
flavors. It was a disappointment.

Years later, I was married and living in Tantallon, Nova Scotia. A mile from our
home was a local store called Ricardo’s. Besides selling essentials, they made pizza.
Georgia and I ordered one. My first bite made me a believer. The handmade dough was
thick, chewy and covered with toppings. Never had I tasted anything so delicious.

When we could afford it, we got a Ricardo’s pizza as a treat to ourselves. My
favorite toppings were: mushrooms, pepperoni, green pepper and ground beef. I savored
every bite.

Things change. We moved to a new city in a different province. The search for a
good pizza, one like Ricardo’s, was on. I tried one pizza restaurant after another and
could not find one I liked.

We moved to Ohio. There were no pizzas I liked there either. The crusts were thin
and not handmade. The toppings were evenly spaced. These were pizzas you’d assume a
machine made. They were tasteless.

Our next home was in New Jersey, right across the Hudson River from
Manhattan. I was excited. New York style pizza! It’s famous. Here I would find a pizza
to suit my tastes.

I was wrong. They had thin crust and skimped on the ingredients. I’m sure there
were places that made the pizza I craved, but in a city that size, they were in places I
never found.

We moved to Idaho. The search continued. A year and a half after moving there,
my daughter came home with leftover pizza, she and her husband picked up at the Flying
Pie in Boise. The restaurant was once featured on the show “Man Versus Food”. I heated
a slice, took a bite, and smiled. “This could be it!” I thought. The pizza I searched for
might be in my hand. A month later, while at work, leftover pizza from a meeting was
left in our lunchroom. It too came from The Flying Pie. I heated a slice. The ingredients
were almost the same as I would have ordered.

Two bites into it, I knew my fifteen year search for a great pizza was over. This
was it – the pizza I dreamed off. I emailed the Flying Pie and thanked them for ending
my search.

I had a goal, never gave up, never settled for less, and never let the search get me
down. I look at every goal the same. They are all a search for the perfect pizza.


Michael T. Smith

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