Individual Pizzas Are Crap

Illustration: Angelica Alzona
Illustration: Angelica Alzona

Your letters:


Even though personal size pizza is made of the same ingredients as a large pizza, why does a slice of the large ALWAYS taste better? Am I just mind-fucking myself?


You are not. Personal pizzas are always worse, and there are a great many reasons why. First of all, it’s not enough pizza. I know they say it’s a personal pizza, and therefore suitable for one person, but that’s a lie. I want an OBSCENE amount of pizza. I want enough pizza inside me to show up on a blood test. Ideally, I eat 7/8th of a large pizza and walk away feeling good because I restrained myself from eating the whole thing. THAT is the proper amount of pizza.

Also, there’s no variety in an individual pizza. Are we all gonna order very small pies and then swap tiny slices? Fuck you. We need four large pizzas so that I can eat my weight in different toppings.

Finally, the proportions are all wrong on personal pizzas. If you’ve ever cooked anything, you know that space is a vital component. Vegetables roast better if there aren’t close together. Anthony Bourdain uses a hotel pan to brown up individual cubes of beef for stew. The more space everything has to cook, the better. So what happens with some piddly-shit individual pizza? All the ingredients get clumped in the middle. Then you get three proper bites of pizza before you reach the crust, and once there, you’re left with a stubby Trump index finger of crust, instead of one of those beautiful, long arcs of crust that are great for dipping into other things like, I dunno, a marrow bone. Can’t do that with a dwarf crust.

Pizza was not meant to be small. I was in New York recently, and I had been having a shitty day, so I ordered two slices of pepperoni at a dumpy joint, each slice the size of sail. Together, they probably had triple the amount of calories of some trashy individual airport pie, and they were perfect. I planted my face in that shit like it was a summer watermelon. I got a bunch of hot, crispy, greasy bites before getting to the crust. Then I paused to have a small coronary, and then feasted upon that crust like a dying man. My day was saved. Small pizzas should be outlawed. If anyone tacks a small pizza onto a takeout order, ALWAYS bump it up to a large. No one has ever regretted that move.


I am in the middle of training for a half-marathon. During my long runs I’m always thinking of some weird stuff to keep myself occupied and not thinking about how much it sucks. The question that keeps coming up in my head is it physically/mentally possible to masturbate while running?


As always, my belief is that if there is a sexual act to be performed, someone has figured out a way to perform it, no matter how difficult or demented that act may be: fucking a McChicken sandwich, etc. So yes, some ultramarathoner out there has probably eaten a bunch of drugs, gone on a 100-mile jaunt, gotten runner’s high to go with their chemical high, and then set off a cosmic nut with a few strategic over-the-pant rubs.

Obviously, this is not an easy feat of onanism to pull off. If you’re running, your body is usually too busy manufacturing adrenaline and looking out for oncoming cars to concern itself with skeeting all over the place. But where there’s a will, there’s a horny man finding a way. Exercise is, after all, something of a turn-on. You’re all hot and sweaty and active, and there may be other hot and sweaty people around you. That’s just like sex! Here’s a fact I made up just now that should terrify you: At least half of all men are horny while exercising. That means that some of them will find novel and repugnant ways of alleviating that horniness. If the mood struck, I would probably find a way to gratify myself even while fighting aliens.



When does a walk become a hike and a hike become a walk?

Dirt. There has to be dirt involved. If you’re walking on a road or a bike path, you’re not hiking for shit. There’s gotta be some nature involved in the excursion: dirt and rocks and trees and possible bear attacks.


Also, a hike connotes seriousness. You’re gonna be out all day, in special boots, maybe with a backpack full of GORP on you. I went to Harper’s Ferry this summer and there were a shitload of kids out on the Appalachian Trail with ratty backpacks and those ski pole thingies that some hikers use. That’s serious business. That’s not like taking a stroll around the block because you ate too much at Thanksgiving. You need to be out in nature, vulnerable to serial killer attacks.


What is the proper protocol for outdoor drinking when a fly lands in your beverage? Recently I had a gin & tonic that I took one sip out of before being Kamikazed by a rogue fly, tried to finesse it out but failed and had to pour it out after 15 seconds of failure.


All of it? Surely there was a way to salvage it. A bird could take a shit in my drink and I’d still be desperate to save whatever precious alcohol I could. Some obvious options for ridding yourself of the fly:

  1. A spoon
  2. Pour a little out and see if the fly goes with it
  3. Drink the fly and then spit it at someone you do not care for
  4. Uh … a ladle?

The point is … you can and should easily find a way to get rid of the fly without getting rid of the entire drink. There are alcoholics starving in China, young man. Don’t go dumping an entire G&T into a bush like it’s nothing. That disrespects the drink.


Frankly, if I were super drunk, I would just drink the fly. If I want it bad enough, blemished food and beverages still pass muster with me: flies in beer, hair in pasta, a hobo tooth in my salad. Those are mere obstacles on my way to Flavortown.


As I’ve grown older and eaten my share of hot dogs/brats/burgers, etc. I have come to the conclusion that MUSTARD, not ketchup, is the superior condiment. Between the varied types and styles as well as applications in recipes (potato salad!), mustard destroys ketchup. My girlfriend swears up and down that I’m wrong, but she likes gas station food so I don’t trust her taste in food choices. Tell me I’m wrong. Do it, Drew.


Oof. I mean … mustard is definitely more versatile. And I’m grateful for anyone who uses it instead of mayo in sauces. But is it BETTER than ketchup? Like, if you had to pick just one of those for the rest of your life, and you couldn’t have the other, are you really forgoing ketchup with your fries forever?

I am the sort of heathen that uses ketchup on hot dogs, and I douse my burgers in it, too. Like, I open the bun, dump a pint of ketchup right on the meat, take a bite, and then swab the burger in whatever ketchup comes spilling out onto the plate. That’s how deep my relationship with ketchup goes. And that’s not even counting other ketchup variants I like, such as curry ketchup and cocktail sauce (not mixed together, but on their own with stuff). I like mustard for cooking and for salad dressings and for very thick German sausages, but I could probably do without it if I had to. I have to go with ketchup. I’m so sorry. I feel like I’ve let you down. Someone embed a picture of ketchup cake down in the comments and then yell at me.



Which one of the four elements (earth, water, air, fire) do you think has killed the most people in human history? I gotta think it’s water? (drowning) Earth would be earthquakes, mudslides, etc. Air would be tornados, axe body spray particles, etc.


Yeah I think it has to be water because even air-induced disasters like hurricanes usually cause flooding and THAT is what ends up killing so many people. Also, back in the Olde Tymes, people couldn’t swim because they believed that the ocean was full of dragons and the only people who didn’t fear it were obviously witches. So here is how I would rank the deadly elements:

  1. Water.
  2. Fire. 3,200 Americans died in fires in 2014 alone. That’s terrifying. Please don’t let me die in fire. I’ll die a year early if you can promise me that I won’t die of burns. Horrible, painful burns. God, the burning. Anyway, fire is a top contender here because of standard house fires and wild fires. But then, there’s also burning people at the stake AND napalm warfare. I am greatly discouraged by the amount of burning that humans have inflicted upon their own kind. Come on, people. Just shoot each other. Don’t go burning people up like a sadistic asshole.
  3. Earth. Again, an earthquake will kill a lot of people, but then it causes both fires and flooding, which then kill far MORE. It’s not fair, really. Earth should get credit for the kill, but then GLORY BOY water shows up to pad the stats.


Are movie actors better today than they were 30, 40 or 50 years ago?

Yes. Go back and watch any super old movie and you’ll see that the actors are all shameless hams, and that they were trained mostly for stage acting and not acting on celluloid. Here is every piece of dialogue from old movies:

MAN: (stands very tall) Why Darla, I won’t stand for any of this nonsense!

WOMAN: (crying hysterically) But … but SAMUEL! I don’t know what to do!

MAN: (slaps woman, which would be very problematic in a modern film) Why, look at ya! You’re hysterical, you are!


That’s it. That’s every old movie*. There are plenty of shitty actors out there now, like Kellen Lutz. He sounds awful. But at least most of those actors have been trained to act in the medium. Also, since everyone wants to be famous now, there’s a whole bunch of vacuous LA transplants and grumpy Australians to choose from when casting your shitty movie. Very deep talent pool.

(*I’m kidding. Casablanca still holds up.)

In general, you should assume that mankind is always evolving and improving on certain skill sets. Every generation builds upon what the previous generation learned. This doesn’t apply to everything, of course. We’re getting noticeably worse at, like, not destroying the planet. But we’re REALLY making strides when it comes to stuff like playing baseball, developing 360-degree porn, and cooking expensive small plates. Good job by us!



I just discovered a trick by accident today. Bought one of those take-and-bake pizzas from Costco that comes with WAY too much pepperoni (EDITOR’S NOTE: I don’t agree that such a thing is possible). So rather have a pie swimming in grease, I took all the ‘roni off, sliced it into thin strips, and just crisped it up like bacon bits. Threw it on the pie, and boom. You are left with awesome roni crunchy bits all over your pizza, and it’s awesome.


That’s not a bad idea, especially since pepperoni tends to curl, leaving you with a little disc filled with piping hot grease that’s ready to destroy you. I support pepperoni in all forms, so pepperoni bits are cool by me. We could also use them in salad.

ALSO … ever put sandwich pepperoni on a pizza? It’s quite something to have a pepperoni the size of a small planet adorning your slice. I’ve done it before and the bold flavors are well worth the angioplasty. You should try it. Buy Tums.




I just joined a new gym and the men’s locker room has a hot tub in it. The locker room opens up to a pool, but the hot tub is only accessible through the locker room. I’ve never seen anyone in the hot tub. Are bathing suits required? I get that the pool creates an expectation that some people will have bathing suits, but if it was a sauna or steam room nudity would be fine.


Unless there’s a sign that explicitly prohibits it, you can probably hop in there naked if you want. And then some old naked guy will come join you and everything will be ruined. I’m uptight. I’m not like some Russian mobster who can spend all day walking around ass nude in a 17th century bathhouse. If I’m naked in a sauna or a steam room or a hot tub, I wanna be alone, and free to be horny if horniness arises. I don’t want Old Mel from the Shriner’s Club hopping in there and making a naked guy soup with me.

Frankly, even public hot tubs are too intimate. Like I’ll go to some hotel with my kids, and if the hotel has a whirlpool, the kids shit a brick in excitement. So we’ll all hop in (with suits on), but then you gotta deal with other families in there, or old drunk dudes just hanging out, or couples who are waiting for everyone to leave so they can grope each other under the bubbles. It’s an awkward mix. As an adult, I’m far too aware that hot tubs are designed for champagne and fucking.



It’s ironic that a lot of horrible teams in the NFL have intimidating nicknames, like the Titans, Lions, and Buccaneers. What if they had to earn those names? Like, if Tennessee is 4-12 or 3-13 for like, 5 years straight, they have to be known as the Pansies until they swing it around and have at least a 9-7 season. It would be a blast, think of the possibilities. The Lions would have to change to the Sweet Lil’ Cubs. In fact, it would be fun to come up with alternative names for all teams for these circumstances.

The NFL Horrible Team Name Penalty List (or TNFLHTNPL):

Titans – Pansies

Lions – Sweet Lil Cubs

Ravens – Pigeons

Cowboys – Rodeo Clowns

I see where you’re coming from, but I can’t get on board with the idea for two reasons. First of all, those penalty names are EXACTLY the kind of insulting, not-terribly-creative derivatives used by rival fans when they troll you on message boards. You know how many times I’ve seen the nickname Vi-QUEENS this month? I can just picture some 400-pound Packers fan at the other end of the fiber optic cable, laughing at his monitor with half a salami hanging from his jaw, crying out, “Vi-QUEENS! Earl, you old coot! That’s gold!” Those gag names get real old, real fast. Unless you’re Earl.


Secondly, one of the shitty things about losing is having your name get associated with it. What do you think of when you think of the Browns? Trophies? Money? Glory? FUCK AND NO. No, when you hear that name, you think of black clouds raining acid down onto a field of dead hobos. That’s what losing does. It brands you. It disgraces you. And that’s for the best. In America, losing should be a great source of shame and regret, and people should be able to point at you and laugh for your failures. Totally healthy way of doing things.


I have worked in IT for seven years and I have seen a lot of people’s desktops. It has always seemed to me that the number of icons on a person’s desktop is inversely proportional to that person’s intelligence. Is this a universal truth?


Not necessarily. My old ad boss was a smart guy and his computer desktop looked like it had been organized by an eight-year-old. Nothing but random jpegs and other assorted garbage. And our own Dave McKenna is a fine man, but HIS desktop also looks like it was invaded with Polish icon malware. Intelligence and anal retentiveness aren’t necessarily related.

I’m weird because I’m compulsive about staying organized online. I keep my inbox at zero. I rarely have more than five or six browser tabs open. I give every Word document (like this one!) a job number with a date so I can file it and get to it later on if I need it. And I try to keep my desktop free of random bullshit. There are always gonna be a few icons that stay there permanently (usually for certain applications), but never any single files or pictures. In the digital world, I’m an uptight assistant from an Anne Hathaway movie.


But in the real world, I am a pig. My physical desk looks like two people had sex on top of a police investigation. I’ve spilled iced tea on my printer a dozen times. My wife will come into the office once a week and start cleaning up the desk without asking, and then I will get mad because I don’t actually WANT the desk to be clean and tidy. In my shitty little brain, I have come to associate a messy desk with creativity. LOOK AT HOW FREE-ASSOCIATING ALL MY DOCUMENTS ARE! I bet Einstein was a slob, too! Trump once said he never saw a successful person with a clean desk and I swear to you, that is one of the few times where I was like, “Donald Trump is RIGHT, folks.”

The reality, of course, is that I just don’t want to clean anything up. Also, there’s probably a vital birth certificate in the pile that I need down the road. Best to not chuck it.



If you could be Bill Gates rich, but had to spend every last minute in Dayton, Ohio would it be worth it?


Damn. So I can NEVER leave? No travel? No beach vacation? Let’s take a look at Dayton using Google Street View to see if it’s worth being a billionaire living in an open-air Ohio prison …

Ooh, a river! If you live in a boring city, it always helps to have a river to point at. “Lotta people like the river over there!” Now, let’s a take a look downtown … Okay, so downtown looks like it was bombed during a World War and never rebuilt. But they DO have a taqueria, so that’s cool.


I think I could do this. I think I could move to Dayton with my $30 billion. If I need a taste of the outside world, I can just import it. I’ll build a beach in my backyard. I’ll fly in real Italian master chefs to cook my meals. I’ll pay the greatest landscapers on Earth to make a 5-mile walking trail around my property, and then stock the property with fresh fish and game to kill. Just like Pablo Escobar living in his fortress! That ended well for him, right? Damn, now I really want to do this. One of you: give me $30 billion and a ticket to Dayton. I’m ready to make this happen.


What is the proper way to pronounce niche? It’s “NEESH” right? The guy on my local sports radio (I am nourished by his recent takes on Durant) keeps saying it like “NITCH” or even worse “NITCHEE”. He’s batshit crazy right?


The dictionary says either way is fine. You can also go with NISH if you’re a REAL fancypants. Personally, I like to pronounce it ni-SHAY.

For real though, I say NITCH, because if I say NEESH, then people will think I’m some wannabe European asshole. Not a chance. I am real American who eats lots of meat and has NFL-licensed headrest covers for my car. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna pronounce words like I’m an imaginary Frenchman. I say niche NITCH and I say quiche KITCH.



How many donuts are too many donuts for one sitting?

Four. Three is already pushing it. Four will destroy you.


What is the likelihood Roger Goodell is on steroids or HGH? He’s far too brawny for a 57-year-old man with no athletic background beyond high school.


You’re right! BY GOD. That son of a bitch. I bet he really IS the ultimate hypocrite. No wonder Jerry Richardson bragged to Peter King about all the pushups Roger can do. Tons of rich guys are into growth hormone treatment and all that. If you make $40 million a year, it’s easy to get your hands on toddler stem cell smoothies that keep you looking young and fresh. I bet the Ginger Hammer feels like he has to keep in shape so that he’s physically imposing to players and reporters alike. He wants you to walk into his office and KNEEL before his burly visage. A year from now, he’ll be riding around shirtless on a horse like Putin. He’s a power-mad dictator and we must stop him. Angry Bill Simmons monologues won’t do it.


Principal calls you up early one morning. You have to substitute teach 8th grade. You can make it to school by 7:55. First class starts at 8:00. It’s a small school so you are responsible for every class that day: English, Math, Recess, History, Lunch, Science, Social Studies, Art, and then you have to coach girls’ volleyball practice. How far into the day do you make it before you put on a movie?


Five minutes? Five minutes. I would have the entire class binge-watch Stranger Things and then fuck off to the break room. I really don’t know how teachers make it through a full school day without bursting into tears and jumping out a window. Giving any kind of presentation is difficult. Teaching requires you to give an eight-hour presentation every day, to the least receptive audience possible. It would break me. I sat in a class with college students once and no one would fucking talk and within two minutes, I was ready to cut myself just for it to be over. I’m not tough enough to teach. I’d just hand out free candy and then leave.

Email of the week!


​So about two years ago, I leave work and walk to my car in a generic office parking lot in Florida. Now I park in the same spot everyday, far away from all the other vehicles so as to protect the integrity of my used 2009 Civic. The sun was going down when I left the office, so it was odd to see a car parked next to me, and stranger still that it was running with someone in it. When I reached my door, I looked over at the car and there is a woman felating the driver. I awkwardly rush into my car and drive away. Why someone would park next to the only car in the lot while the sun is still out to conduct said act is beyond me, but I figure, it’s Florida, and move on with my life.

Fast forward to a month ago, and I’m driving on a highway to Indiana when I notice the car in front of me in the left lane slowing down and speeding up sporadically while weaving into the right lane. Sure enough, it was a dude driving 70 mph while someone’s was bobbing up and down. Now I’ve never had a friend relay a witnessing car head story to me, I thought it was strange that this has happened to me twice now.

Now last weekend, I’m in a lovely city park in Ohio on a pristine Sunday afternoon. As I’m walking past a car, the driver gets out and scurries around to the rear passenger door while actively unbuttoning her pants. Again, it’s like 4 pm in a well-trafficked public park. She hops in the back seat and I assume some sort of deed commences. (The windows were tinted, so I can’t completely confirm, but come on.)

This is strange that I’ve witnessed this three times, right? Is daytime car sexy time far more prevalent than I thought it was? Is my superpower noticing when people are engaging in vehicular sex acts? And how the hell are you supposed to react in these situations?


That’s amazing. I’ve never seen car sex. This is bullshit. Stop hogging all the accidental voyeurism.

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.