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Hypothetical Pizza

A reporter from a local television station enters a small town pizza joint and asks the person at the counter a “what if” question. The next thing you know you’d think we’re back in Mobile, Alabama, circa 1953. Whether this little pizzeria would cater a wedding is of such great importance that it relegated the Iran nuclear talks to the trivial – like who played third base for the 1963 Cleveland Indians. (It was Max Alvis.)

I’m old enough to remember back in the old days (you know, like, three weeks ago) when ordering a cup of coffee got you a cup of coffee, not a lecture on race relations or when ordering a pizza got you a pizza, not a headline in USA Today. Yet this is where we are at right now. So, coming to a pizzeria near you:

Customer (he would not reveal his name): I’d like to order a hypothetical pizza.

Josh (the pizza clerk taking his order): Come again?

Customer: I want to order a hypothetical pizza.

Josh: Um, I’m kind of new here. (Checking the menu board behind him) I don’t see that listed. We’ve got The Works, it has sausage, pepperoni, green peppers, anchovies, sun dried tomatoes, Canadian bacon and extra cheese. How about that one?

Customer: No, I don’t want to order a real pizza, just a hypothetical one.

Josh: Let me get the owner.

Tony (owner): What’s this about a hypothetical pizza? We’re a little confused. You can build your own pizza. Put whatever you want on it. What would you like on your pizza?

Customer (expressing some exasperation): No, I don’t really want to order a pizza. We’re talking hypotheticals here.

Tony: Maybe you are, but I’m trying to run a restaurant.

Customer: And…I’m hypothetically gay.

Tony: Huh?

Customer: I’m gay – hypothetically. What do you think about that?

Tony: So, does that mean you don’t want to build your own pizza?

Customer: No! I’m trying to prove a point. You are a Christian pizzeria, aren’t you?

Tony: Well, yeah, I am a Christian. My wife is too. My son, well, with some of those tattoos, I wonder sometimes. But we don’t really wear our beliefs on our sleeves. I wouldn’t call this a Christian pizzeria. I mean, we don’t sell holy water or anything.

Customer: So, if I hypothetically order a pizza and I am hypothetically gay, you wouldn’t make me a pizza, would you?

Tony: Hypothetically?

Customer: Yes.

Tony: Hypothetically, we would make a hypothetical pizza for you, a hypothetical gay customer.

Customer: You would? Why?

Tony: Hypothetically?

Customer: Yes.

Tony: We wouldn’t ask the hypothetical sexual orientation of a hypothetical customer.

Customer: But you’re a Christian.

Tony: I think we’ve established that.

Customer: Suppose I want you to hypothetically cater my hypothetical gay wedding?

Tony: We would decline, hypothetically. I don’t care if you are hypothetically gay or not. I don’t have to hypothetically embrace your hypothetically gay lifestyle.

Customer: See! This is an outrage! I have never been so offended!

Tony: Is that real or hypothetical outrage? And who orders pizza for a wedding? Probably only when cousins marry, I suppose. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Customer: You’re changing the subject. You should be forced to cater my hypothetical gay wedding!

Tony: Don’t you mean hypothetically forced?

Customer: Yeah, sure.

Tony: Isn’t that a bit fascist?

Customer: What? It’s about celebrating diversity! Don’t you believe in diversity?

Tony: Sure, we make pizza and calzones. Do you believe in diversity?

Customer: Believe it, I live it! I believe everyone can be as diverse as they want, as long as it’s the same as me. Anyone else is a hater.

Tony: A real hater or hypothetical hater?

Customer: Are you changing the subject again?

Tony: Suppose, hypothetically, of course, that you owned a Jewish delicatessen and I was a Nazi skin head asking you to cater my Nazi gathering. Or, hypothetically, you were a Muslim baker and I wanted you to cater my son’s Bar Mitzvah.

Customer: What? That’s crazy. I don’t deal in hypotheticals!

Tony: Huh? I’m pretty sure you’ve been in this conversation since the beginning and all you’ve done is deal in hypotheticals. Could you decline?

Customer: Not only could I decline, but it would be my moral obligation to do so.

Tony: Wouldn’t that make you a hater – hypothetically?

Customer: I’m a progressive and therefore I can’t be a hater.

Tony: Don’t you mean a hypothetical progressive and a hypothetical hater?

Customer: Yeah, sure. Whatever.

Tony: So, are you going to order a pizza?

Customer: From this place? Not on your life! I’m still a progressive, I’ve got principles!

Tony: We’ve got a great lunch special – a personal pizza with a choice of two toppings.

Customer: Never!

Tony: Really?

Customer: Gluten free?

Tony: We can do that.

Customer: Pineapple and Canadian bacon, please. You take cash, don’t you?

Tony: Not the hypothetical kind.

Curtice Mang is the author of the two books, including his latest book, The Smell of Politics: The Good, The Bad, and the Odorous. He is also co-host of the radio program Graceland with Jennifer Meadows. He can be contacted at, where one can also purchase his books; or contact Curtice at mangwrites at

1 comment

1 Barbara { 04.04.15 at 10:30 pm }

We loved this…hypothetically, that is
Barbara and Chuck
Thanks for the many great reviews and articles


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