Mom said puddles of oil saturating the surface of pizza is evidence
that pizza is grotesquely fattening, so she only lets me eat it at fairs,
and parties, and stuff.
I say, “Oily. Foily.” I mean— come on. I’m just a kid. Maybe I should
be interested in fat, calories, and nutritional values. But I'd rather save those worries for when I grow up. Right now, I’m more into how food smells, tastes, and feels tumbling around in my mouth. And I’d been so ecstatic about having pizza after the game today; I spent three hours imagining spicy pepperoni sloshing about on my tongue.
Once the game ended, I loaded my gear into my baseball bag faster
than ever, thinking about circles of pepperoni more than our victory
over the visiting team. I hurried to wash my hands, but there was a
line at the boys’ bathroom.
This isn’t supposed to happen at the boys’ room. The girls’ bathroom.
Sure. But not the boys’. But someone had caused a clog. Water was
spilling all over the floor and was almost out the door by time the
I thought about going to the outhouse on the other side of the park. But I figured running over there and back would take just as long as waiting. So I waited. And I waited. And I waited until the custodian placed an out of order sign in the doorway. No one could go in. Not even to wash their hands. He’d turned off the water. Good grief!
I jetted to the other side of the park. Other kids had the same idea as me so I was glad I was a fast runner. I got there when there were only three boys waiting. By time I finished washing my hands, there were at least fifteen in line.
Not one was from my team I noticed as I ran passed them.
Soon I was approaching the picnic table with four large pizza boxes on it. My teammates were sitting at a table next to it laughing and pigging out. Even the three girls on my team had pizza lips by time I came to a breathless halt.
“The plates are over here,” said Team Mom.
“What took you so long?” asked Coach.
“I had to go to the other outhouse to wash my hands,” I panted.
“You could have washed your hands after you ate if you were worried
about them being clean,” he teased.
Saying nothing more, I grabbed a paper plate and lifted a pizza box flap.
One slice left. I grabbed it and opened another box.
“The other boxes are empty too,” smirked Janelle.
“You should have been here eating instead running around washing your hands,” laughed Derek.
Half the team laughed in agreement with him.
“That’s okay,” I pretended. “I was just checking. My mom doesn’t want me eating a lot of pizza anyway.”
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