Preshrunk? Or pre-STUNK?!

To Whom It May Concern:

Webster’s Dictionary defines “pre-” as a prefix meaning “earlier than” or “prior to.”  In my heart of hearts I knew that to be true, but I had to do my due diligence to double check the definition.  I was vindicated.  You see, I understood the implication of adding “pre” to a word.  I presumed that everyone did.  It appears that you, on the other hand, did not.

In the not so distant past, I had previously purchased one of the comfiest shirts I have ever owned.  It was a short sleeve tee for one of favorite bands to listen to when I’m pregaming to hit the hottest LA spots: Turnover.  The comfort reminded of being a prepubescent child in a king size bed with a down comforter to match.  I thought to myself, “Damn, D-Dawg.  You gots to get yourself into more of these fly shirts.” I immediately peeped the tag to find out who made this miracle possible.  I prematurely assumed it was Gildan or Hanes. Nay.  It was Alstyle.  Of course!  It should have been obvious. Who else would be capable of creating such a glorious garment?  I did what I do best and hopped on my pre-2011 Macbook Pro (quality really went downhill after Steve Job passed away).  I navigated to Alstyle’s website and found my way to the 1901.  THE shirt.  It’s got that set-in rib collar with shoulder-to-shoulder taping. You know it’s gotta have that double needle sleeve and bottom hems. It’s available in twenty-three colors.  TWENTY-THREE! It’s the Michael Jordan of color selections so it’s gotta be the GOAT. Most importantly, these bad boys are preshrunk.  Pre.  Shrunk.  Now, being a trendsetting LA fashionista, I like to wear my tees big.  So I got three big guys.  And my brothers and sisters, these things are prime.  I love ’em.  I wanna fill my wardrobe with them.  I wanna bathe, eat, sleep, and get my grind on in these bad Larry’s.  And baby, you KNOW I will.  But then something awful happened one night.  D-Dawg had a few too many cocktails and got a bad case of the damn-I’m-hungry’s.  So I stopped and grabbed a ‘Shroom Burger from Shake Shack (respect the veg).  What else was I supposed to do, you know?  My eagerness got the better of me and in my haste of trying to get that fungi into this fun guy, I dribbled a little Shack Sauce on my 1901.  Damn.  So, I finish ripping that ‘burg, taking my lady friend back to my crib, yada yada yada, I gotta do some laundry.  In addition to my sheets and some towels (ayy, you know how I do, playa), I needed to wash my 1901s.  I take good care of my stuff so I put my tees separate and wash those bad boys first.  I pretreat (because I’m not a mongoloid) and get them ready to go.  Toss ’em in on gentle and watch ’em go.  After they’re done taking their bath I remove them and gently put them in the dryer.  Now at this point I’m thinking, “Preshrunk.  No shrunking problem.”  But to err on the side of caution I’ma put them in on TDL (tumble dry low). As the tumbler tumbles, I sit back and await paradise. A wiggle or two later, the buzzer gets my attention.  The 1901s have landed and are ready to hit the town.  I take out Black Beauty (a personal favorite) and pull that guy over my head, down over my gold chain, and down across my chiseled abs.  But something’s not right.  It’s snug.  It’s slim.  Baby, this thing must have been in the pool because we’ve got shrinkage.  My Large Farva was now a Long Island Medium.  L – M?  N – O – P! …E!

So here’s the long and short of my story.  I bought some tees preshrunk and now they’re pre-junk.  I would return them but they’ve been worn and washed.  I just want some help.  I want some guidance.  I want that comfortable big tee for Big D.  What can we do?  How can we fix this?  How can we make this right?  I need you, Alstyle 1901s.  And I hope…and I pray…that you need me to.  Let’s do this together.  Me and you, 1901.  I love you.

Prespectfully yours,

Pizzeria Uno

To Whom It May Concern:

What’s my favorite card game?  Uno.  How many words do I know in Spanish?  Uno.  What is my least favorite pizzeria? Little Caesar’s. But after Saturday night, Uno is in close competition.  I know what you’re thinking: “Tyler, you LOVE Pizzeria Uno! You had your first date there.  You had your first kiss there. Your parents announced their divorce and kept trying to tell you that it wasn’t your fault but you knew deep down inside that they resented what their lives had become and that you had ruined their dreams of traveling Europe, spending their days exploring the art and history of days gone by and their nights eating and drinking with new friends and old, but instead they have come to not be able to stand the sight of each other and looking at you only reminds them of each other and the life they’re missing there.”  I know, I know.  I used to love it.  Used to.  Now?  I’m not so sure.  Let me tell you why.

It was a rainy Saturday night on May 7, 2016. What better way to lift the gloomy spirits than to take my lovely girlfriend to the most romantic and quaint Italian pizzeria in the area: Pizzeria Uno.  Time and time again we have enjoyed countless memories over a deep dish pie and we hoped that Saturday would be another page in our figurative scrapbook.  Alas, it became a nightmare.  We arrived around 6 PM and were greeted with the normal customer traffic for a weekend dinner.  It didn’t take very long until we were seated in a nice cozy booth.  My lady and I were glancing back and forth between our menus and each other’s eyes.  We were like kids again.  After a minute we realized that we just wanted “the usual” and put our menus down so we could enjoy each other’s company.  We placed our order for a large mushroom and red pepper pizza and a couple of Coronas (for Siete de Mayo, obviously).  It was time to sit back, relax, and wait for our wonderful dinner to arrive.  Or so we thought…

Almost immediately after our server left the table we overheard the Assistant Manager berating a fearful looking waitress: “So you’re just going to stand there?!” I can understand the need to discipline an employee, but this did not seem appropriate.  I instinctively looked toward the situation and then at the table next to us. They seemed to be just as flabbergasted at what was happening as we were.  We shared a look with each other that seemed to say, “Can you believe this?”  We let it go because we felt it wasn’t our place to criticize, but it left us with a bad feeling about how the restaurant was being managed. At least, how it was being assistant managed.  We return to our conversation as we lie in wait for our ‘za and ‘ronas.  After around fifteen minutes our drinks arrived.  It was a busy Saturday so we understood.  Shortly thereafter, though, things went awry.  I sneak a peek at our waitress approaching with what appears to be our pizza.  My mouth is watering just thinking about diving into the depths of that deep dish of deliciousness.  Then everything was amiss.  The waitress zigs when she should have zagged and delivers the pizza to the table beside us.  “Damn,” I thought, “foiled again.” Those lucky patrons who had seemingly ordered the same pizza were going to be enjoying their feast first.  But then it hit me…these folks already had their entrees.  And the waitress had dropped off the pizza and left just as quickly as my excitement for my ‘za.  The nice couple at the table seemed a bit confused as the gentleman started poking the pizza with his fork as if to inspect.  Something wasn’t right.  He knew it.  And I knew it, too.

After a solid ten minutes, the gentleman got the waitress’ attention and seemed to inform her that this, indeed, was not their pie.  I’m trying to play it cool but I do notice the waitress look over at our table.  She doesn’t know I know, but boy, do I know. I know damn well what’s going on.  She takes the previously poked and prodded pizza and brings it to our table.  She places it quickly and wishes that we “Enjoy!” as she swiftly walks away. At this point I had become so famished that I had decided to ignore the previous inspection by the unofficial slice analyst.  I figured that as long as I got what I came for, I could overlook a few missteps.  Unfortunately, what followed was quite the opposite of joy.  It was cold pizza.  Had it been 1 AM and I was rocked off my marbles, this cold pizza probably would have hit the spot.  But this was not the case.  I look across to my loving ladyfriend and she seemed to have come to the same conclusion, “This is like cold cardboard.”  I couldn’t go out like that.  I couldn’t let her think this is what I was trying to give her.  I couldn’t let her think that this was a representation of my love for her.  So I did what any self-respecting man would do and I politely asked the waitress if we could get a fresh replacement for our poor pie.  She seems unequipped to deal with such a situation as she turns to go ask her manager.  This is where things get dicier than roma tomatoes.

The manager instructs us to put our half-eaten slices back into the pan and he will have the kitchen reheat the pizza.  I assumed he was just confused and misspoke.  I assumed he meant that he would discard the lackluster presentation and bring us a fresh pizza that is up to the high standards that Uno’s typically holds.  My assumptions were misplaced. Our pizza comes back; half-eaten slices still in the pan.  As I take a bite I am overwhelmed with disappointment.  It is maybe one degree warmer than it was previously. At this point, we are so hungry that we give in and decide to eat as much as we can.  It has become clear that no amount of protesting and pleading with management will correct the many mistakes that had been made up to this point.  I ask for another round of drinks to wash the sadness down. We eventually finish eating what we can and realize that we had never received our second round of drinks.  I ask for our check.  It is at this point that the waitress seems to remember our drinks as she brings them back with the check rather than asking if we even still wanted them, seeing as how we were ready to leave.  I expected to have some sort of compensation on the check.  Maybe the pizza taken off the bill.  Maybe the drinks.  Again, these were misplaced assumptions.   Full charge for a half-assed attempt at service and food.  Pizzeria Uno took a numero dos on my heart.

In my haste of leaving the restaurant, I have misplaced my receipt and forgotten the server and manager’s names. I can provide a bank statement detailing the date and time if necessary. I don’t just want compensation.  I want justice.  And I don’t want anyone to go through the pain and anguish that my love and I have endured.  I hope we can make this right.  Please find it in your deep dish hearts to cut a slice of sympathy for a young couple in love trying to make their way through the world, one pie at a time.

Domino’s Pizza

To whom it may concern:

 

I’m from Massachusetts, so I know three things: Brady is God, Yankees suck, and good pizza.  You honestly can’t throw a rock without hitting a pizza place in New England; everything from your mom and pop shop to the best (and worst) chains out there.  I love a good slice from my local pizzeria.  I love the warm feeling like I just got served supper by my Nonna (God rest her soul).  But sometimes I like to step outside the pizza box.  Sometimes I want to go somewhere where I know I will get consistency and quality.  And when it comes to those requirements, only one pizza place comes to mind: Domino’s, the be-all end-all of pizza restaurant chains.  That is until recently, when I had an experience that made me question everything I thought I knew about the pizza (and if I’m being real here, the people) industry.

The Broncos won last night.  I’m not a big football fan, but it was a good game.  Relaxed with my lady and had a couple of cocktails.  Winding down the weekend right, you know?  After only having some jalapeno poppers and Fritos during “The ‘Bowl,” we found ourselves ready for a late dinner.  What better way to scratch that itch than with our go-to Sunday night staple of Domino’s pizza?  It was right around 10:40PM when I placed my order online: 1 medium 12” pan pizza with mushrooms, spinach, sauce, and cheese, along with a marbled cookie brownie (the best).   I followed my order on the app.  I love that app.  Loved to see that it wasn’t long before Pedro was double checking my order before it was to be delivered to me.  Before I knew it, Ralph was on the road with my pie.  Right around 11:00PM, my doorbell rang.  It was Ralph.  I could see his PT Cruiser idling behind him in the distance, shining bright like a diamond, though there was only a soft glow from the street lamps above.  He was pleasant.  He was accommodating.  He was everything I wanted in a delivery man.  To show him my appreciation, I gave Ralph a $3 tip.  He handed over my feast as he turned around and headed for his mighty steed and rode off into the night. My attention soon shifted.  It was time to mangia.

I opened the pizza box to find a nice looking pie.  Aesthetically pleasing and smelled great.  I was hungry.  I was ready.  It was time.  I grabbed a slice as I settled in for pure bliss.  My first bite tasted good, but I noticed something was missing.  It was a little dry.  Why would that be?  Upon further inspection, I came to the realization that I had a sauce-less ‘za.  What’s a ‘za without sauce?  Glorified cheese bread, that’s all.  But that couldn’t be, could it?  Pedro himself had double checked the pizza!  Isn’t that the point of the inspection?  To make sure it’s ready for the customer?  There was an obvious breakdown somewhere.  I was understandably upset.  I said I wanted sauce, but I got no sauce.  It was disheartening.  This was Domino’s.  This is what they do.  This is their garlic bread and butter.  This is what brings home the finely chopped bacon.  They’re THE pizza guys!  I couldn’t continue with my sad excuse for a pizza, so I called up the store.  It was just a few minutes after I got the pizza (11:07PM to be exact).  I spoke to Pedro: the man, himself.  I laid it all out for him.  I could feel Pedro rolling his eyes over the phone.  “The sauce is underneath, you just can’t see it.”  Wow.  Pedro, I think I know where to find sauce on my pizza and, brother, it ain’t there.  He may have had a long day, but I was still a paying customer.  He was dismissive and unapologetic.  After stating my case he said, “Look, what do you want me to do?  What would make you happy?”  I explained that I didn’t want my money back.  I just wanted the pizza that I paid for.  With sauce.  I even offered to go get it.  I didn’t want to trouble Ralph.  He was probably waxing the PT Cruiser.  Gotta keep that thing fresh.  So Pedro concedes and agrees to make me a new pizza.  I thought this was the end of it.  Boy, was I wrong.

I pulled up to store and mentally prepared myself.  I kept my cool.  After all, we’re just a couple of pizza loving guys, right?  Why does there need to be a problem?  I rolled into the shop and introduced myself to Pedro.  Right off the bat, he insisted that there was sauce on the original pizza.  “It’s in the car if you want me to grab it and show you,” I offered.  He didn’t have time for that, apparently.   He brought out the replacement pizza and opened the box to show me his peace offering.  I should have known by the sly grin on his face that I was in for more than I bargained.  I took one look at the pizza and it was obvious that he really wanted me to know that he put sauce on it this time.  The mushrooms and cheese were practically swimming in the copious amounts of tomato sauce.  I would say the spinach was, too, but there was barely on there at all.  To add insult to injury, there were even a few stray olives on top.  Olives.  Was it because he saw the name “Panagotopulos” and thought that it would be funny?  Well, it wasn’t funny.  That’s the work of a monster.  I knew he did it on purpose.  And he knew that I knew he did it on purpose.  But I decided to be the bigger man.  I accepted my sauce-drenched pizza and went on my way.  I tried to make the best of a bad situation and eat a couple of slices, but it wasn’t working.  I let it be.  I sacrificed both of my poorly made pizzas to the trash lords.  What happened from there was up to them.

Now, I really don’t want to stop going to Domino’s.  It has been a staple in my family for generations (or, at least since it’s been in Chicopee).  I am willing to take another chance on Domino’s, as long as Domino’s is willing to take another chance on me.  I just hope that this letter serves as an eye-opener for the management in Chicopee and its surrounding district. This aggression will not stand.  Every customer is the most important customer.  I was polite and professional and as courteous as courteous can be.  But that wasn’t reciprocated.  I didn’t get the Domino’s love I’ve come to know and expect.  Pedro let me down.  He let the company down.  What we need is a little less Pedro and a little more Ralph.  Thank you for taking the time to read my complaint and for taking any required action.  Thank you and God bless.

Cordially,