Every single day I wake up with a cloud of remorse hovering over me. I look in the mirror with my uniform on me; my apron read the wrong title. It should be ‘Pizza Thief’, not ‘Pizza Chef’, I tell myself every day.
I walk into the restaurant through the back gate, and as I enter the kitchen, my colleagues applaud, “Here comes the maestro!” I smile at them. Sometimes I have nightmares about how I will get caught some day and get arrested. That day was near.
I usually make three batches of my ‘Italian Thrill’ every hour. It’s famous among the accountants who visit by the restaurant every morning before work. My other famous recipes include ‘The Salami Piece’, ‘Mexican Magic’, and ‘Vegetarian Surprise’. I don’t care how much I am getting paid at the end of the day. What I care about is whether I have accomplished my mission to make good pizzas at the end of the day.
“Finish your meal sir”, I want to say politely to those people who keep a slice or two. How can they waste pizza? It’s made by the best chef in town! Some people just don’t appreciate the art of pizza.
July 28th of 2008
It started like any other day. I made myself some bread and milk, and after finishing that, of course I finished a pizza. Since I have my own personal car, it doesn’t bother me if I am a few minutes late.
After baking Pizzas for an hour, I slowly steal the ingredients by keeping them in my bag. “Your bag smells like beef, Andy!”
“Why wouldn’t it? It’s the bag of a pizza chef after all.” I laugh along with Rick.
Damn lunatic. He actually believes my bag is made out of pizza.
During my lunch break, I have pizza as usual. I make more than twenty different types of pizza every day. There are times I have spaghetti or couscous, but a pizza slice is must.
That day, during my evening batches, someone called me.
“Andy Whiteman speaking.”
“Sir this is the New York Police Department. There has been an accident at your house. I want you to arrive here quickly. Do you need a car?”
“No I have my own. I’ll be there.”
Did those policemen touch my pizza ingredients? Did they have a tiny bite from my Spicy Pepperoni Special? Abrupt and scary thoughts rushed into my mind.
I arrived at the place. The lady who lived across the hall was there. She was a trouble always.
“Sir before we arrest you, tell us why you would keep cocaine and marijuana in not-so-hidden places? Are you a dealer?”
“What? That’s Indian Salt not cocaine. And that’s not marijuana but a herb I put in Pizzas.”
“This lady next door told us she could smell something burning. You forgot to turn off the stove.”
Damn. My Pizza was ruined.
“Mr. Whiteman, come with us to the police station. We have a few questions for you.”
My stomach was growling. I didn’t have a single pizza slice since last four hours. Death is near, I told myself.
Thank God at least I kept the door locked before going to the police station. Or else that witch would have stolen slices of my pizza.
“Mr. Whiteman, how come you have products at your place that is not for home use?”
“The restaurant people… they gift me those ingredients often…”
“I knew you would say something like that. But your colleague Rick Alison denies any of those. Instead, he said you are one of the most awkward people he met whose bag smelled of Pizza.”
Damn it, Rick!
“I confess officer. I have been stealing from the restaurant. But I promise to pay back…” But the officer interrupted me, “Mr. Andy Whiteman, you are arrested for theft and pilferage . You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to speak to an attorney. Anything you say can and will be held against you.”
2 days later…
“Mr. Whiteman, only because you are a rich chef, you had the chance to get out of this with bail. But tell me something. You don’t sell Pizzas secretly, or do anything with it, but you just eat it on your own?”
“Yes. I find it very pleasing every time I think of it. Pizza is my drug.”
The officer laughed.
“What’s the matter? Did I say something funny?”
“No, Mr. Whiteman. You are just a psychopath who doesn’t have taste in food. You eat the same type of stuff in every meal? How do you even look at pizza every now and then?”
“Consider this a threat or whatever; I don’t care. But next time make sure you don’t eat any pizza baked by me. Because I, Officer, will poison your food.”
The restaurant re-hired me. My news turned the business down. They had to eventually take me back since their business was in a really bad position.
“I will be glad to join you, sir. But on two conditions. First, you will have to accept the fact that I will pay for those ingredients you personally import by jets and take some of them home.”
“Done. But don’t ever steal again. What’s the second condition?”
“You might not like the second condition. But let me warn you, I am the best pizza chef who knows all these secret tasty recipes. Without my recipes, your business will dig down.”
“What is it?”
“Fire your oldest chef, Rick Alison. Make sure he never steps into this restaurant again. You say one more word sir, and I might back off.”