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the-zaWhen I was a kid, we had a wonderful, wonderful pizza place about 9 miles away from home called Nedzip’s Pizza. It was on Front Street in the little town of Port Jervis, NY. This pizza was, and I am so, so serious here, just the best. Perfect every time.

So this one time, my mother and I were out in the car waiting for our order, across the street a little bit diagonal to the pizza place, right next to the Texas Hot Dog emporium. A roller grill, the usual range of hot dog goodness, but after all… hot dogs. We were not there for hot dogs. It was summer, and our windows were down.

So we’ve been there just a couple minutes, and out of the pizza place comes the pizza guy himself, all preoccupied. Into the Texas Hot Dogs place he strode, and just moments later, he’s out with a short armload of seriously gussied-up hot dogs. My mother — a legitimate gourmet with a long list of excellent reasons for choosing this particular pizza place — is watching this with, no kidding, her mouth hanging open.

He sees us and waves, then realizes the situation, shrugs with his free arm, and lets fly: “Me, I like hot dogs.” My mother chuckled, her incredulity defanged by his obvious good humor, and off he went, presumably to finish making our pizza, which I am sure was lovely, if for no other reason than I remember no exceptions whatsoever.

I still don’t know exactly what to think of that guy. But me? I like pizza.