Friday, 29 January 2010

Pizza box is the right shape!

Yesterday I had dinner with some friends in Ask, the place that does fairly good pizza in fairly pleasant surroundings with fairly friendly service. Everything there was a bit wonky - the pizza menu was mostly predictable and uninventive, and the wall art isn't very pretty. The art seems like a weak attempt to give a civilised atmosphere to the place by means of eight small paintings of white shirts and ties lined up in two rows of four, very formal but still obnoxiously bright.

The acoustics were bad and the staff were forgetful and hard of hearing. They tried to make up for it with banter, which just made the situation more awkward in my opinion. "You can strangle 'im for me if you like," said one waiter about his colleague. I wasn't sure how to respond to that. "Oooh, that sounds like fun! Shall we do it with a necktie like the one in the third picture from the left?"

But then towards the end of the meal, the restaurant gave me a gift that renewed my faith in human progress. The waiter didn't know he'd given me a gift. All that had happened was that, after I had repeated myself for the third time, he understood that I wanted to take the rest of my pizza home with me in a takeaway box, and so he took my pizza back to the kitchen to be packed up for me. When it was ready he brought it back.

This takeaway box excited me far more than anybody else could possibly understand. It's a real-life example of how, eventually, good sense will always win out over inadequate solutions. Usually, when I take half of my pizza home with me after going out for a meal, I am given a whole pizza box, even though I'm only carrying half a pizza. So I have to hold a massive, unwieldy box for a small amount of food. It makes my hands cold and my fingers hurt. A restaurant shouldn't make me feel pain. Yet all pizza places do this.

All pizza places except for Ask, who gave me a short, stout box, perfectly shaped and sized for carrying half a calzone. This box is physical evidence of someone having recognised a problem, thought about it and put a solution into practice. It is a sign that there is some hope for humanity.

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