Townie guide to... pizza mongering

Eric Graves, Son of Carl, pizza man, Esoteric man, "total badass"

Years in Lawrence: 26

You're a pizza delivery person in a college town. That profession in this community makes you more indispensable than a heart surgeon. Do you feel you're appropriately revered by your peers?

"Not as much as I think I should be, but I get a somewhat satisfactory amount of pleasant smiles and eye contact. Little children generally think I'm awesome when I magically show up with pizza."

Is this less a job and more a calling? Did you choose this vocation, or did the divine hand of providence guide you towards it? Kind of like Mother Teresa or Spiderman?

"I pretty much fell right into the job. Anyone like me, with aspirations that reach beyond what most folks would consider 'reality,'-such as astronaut, rock star, etc.-would find it a perfect situation. You can always get instant money and free food, you spend a shit load of time alone in your car-perfect time to work on your ridiculous ideas like playing with Metallica on the moon-and you get to go inside hot chicks' houses several times a shift."

Is there a pizza guy code? Maybe an underground fraternal organization that passes down trade secrets from generation to generation in elaborate blood rituals? What mysteries lie behind the pepperoni veil?

"I'm afraid I cannot answer your question. I will say this, however-do not f*ck with us. We have total control over the food you are eating and, to be quite honest, we just spent five to ten minutes of 'alone time' with your pizza. My car, no cameras, no one watching me. It's pretty intimate. Oh, and in case that doesn't scare you, don't forget that we know where you live, how many children you have, and where their bedroom windows are. Yeah, don't f*ck with us."

What's more annoying-stoners who try to pay you in hacky sacks or rich bastards who don't tip because they have erectile dysfunction and feel the need to take it out on you?

"I love giving stoned people pizza. You really can tell that they appreciate the pizza and the fact that you magically brought it right to them faster than a blunt can be smoked. The only thing that sucks is when they can't figure out where they are. As far as rich bastards that don't tip, without incriminating myself, I would make a suggestion in jest that their homes should be used for a urination station. I'm kidding, of course."

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What is proper etiquette when it comes to the deliverer/deliveree relationship, especially in regards to tipping?

"Always tip. If you don't tip, you are scum. If you cannot afford to tip you should not be wasting your dwindling finances on pizza. You should be at the grocery store purchasing some rice or noodle items, such as spaghetti or ramen, to feed those babies that you keep plopping out. Less than a dollar for a tip is called a 'convenience tip.' You don't want to go out of your way to deal with the change, so you let the poor pizza man grovel for it before you. You are scum as well. For the non-scum customers: One dollar='Meh. Whatever, see ya.' Two dollars= 'Alright, thanks.' Five or more dollars for a small delivery = 'Wow! Thanks buddy!'"

To what lengths should one go to ensure a timely delivery? Disobeying traffic laws? Plowing full speed through a crowd of orphans, kittens and baby pandas-who shouldn't have been milling around in the middle of the intersection anyway-if it shaves a few minutes off of the delivery time?

"The establishment in which I work does not guarantee delivery. It's a secret loophole that trumps any shenanigans attempted by customers or lawyers for injured delivery drivers."

If I'm to believe every porno movie ever made-and I have no reason not to-being a pizza delivery guy automatically leads to gobs of "sausage" innuendo and sex. Please tell me this is true. I am a very lonely man.

"It's not true, but it's not entirely false!"

What's the weirdest/stupidest/rattles-your-faith-in-humanity sort of thing you've ever encountered on your food service adventures?

"A screaming, morbidly obese, older than dirt zombie hag that has a living room filled with empty pizza boxes. I believe she still lurks in a duplex on Glenview Drive."

Advice for aspiring pie peddlers?

"Know your role. Pray for your car every day. Devise elaborate ways to f*ck with problem customers. Use pizza to barter for everything."

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