Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cardboard and Apathy: A Love Story

Miss Ann Thrope: Are you feeling any better?

P. Paul Hader: (scowl, chew chew, gulp)

Thrope: Now, now. The face? Even after pizza and beer? Really? Ouch.

Hader: Okay, I'm less stressed and suicidal- no, homicidal, but mostly I'm just full of cardboard and apathy, now.

Thrope: Easy there, hater. It's not that bad.

Hader: What's not that bad? My situation, or this Italian culinary abomination? (air quotes on "Italian")

Thrope: Well, both. I guess. What's wrong with you? Do you just hate ALL pizza? Why do you even eat it?

Hader: Listen, Ann - I adore pizza. I love pizza more than I love my kids I don't have yet. Pizza is evidence that God loves me and wants me to be happy. I just happen to find this pizza to be an insult to me, and an affront to all that is good and kind and just in the world.

Thrope: You're an affront!

Hader: That doesn't even make sense. Wait. Urine in front? Oh, that's not urine. That's grease from this so-called pizza!

Thrope: Don't be gross. And it's not that bad, you balcony Muppet everything-hater! I like the sauce. Reminds me of Pizza Oven.

Hader: Okay, I like "balcony Muppet."

Thrope: Nice, right?

Hader: Very nice. But please do NOT compare this corrugated Amazon box with Pizza Oven. I grew up on their pizza. I was eating that stuff before I had teeth.

Thrope: Can you believe there are millions of people growing up on Domino's, Pizza Hut, and Papa John's?

Hader: That's just sad.

Thrope: I miss Godfather's. Remember that place?

Hader: Oh my God you are freaking obsessed with that place. It's been, like, decades. Let it go, Ann. Let it the hell go.

Thrope: You used to love Godfather's!

Hader: Their pizza was 80 percent corn meal for some reason. It was almost as bad as Chuck E. Cheese!

Thrope: You're just saying that because ol' whats-her-face broke up with you there, in front of the whole floor hockey team. The pizza was fine.

Hader: No, you're just saying that because you had your first sexual experience there.

Thrope: WHAT? I did NOT!

Hader: Babe, come on. It was at the goddamn table, in front of the whole team. Did you and old what's-his-name seriously think we wouldn't notice when his entire right arm went missing somewhere in your lap, leaving him fumbling lefty with his pizza for half an hour while you turned all red and pant-y?

Thrope: Excuse me - "panty?"

Hader: I know! It's funny 'cause it means here two things - closely-related though they may be.

Thrope: You're gross.

Hader: Oh, but I believe that it is you who are gross. Is gross? Am? Be. It is you who be gross!

Thrope: You all saw that?

Hader: Yup.

Thrope: And NONE of you ever said anything about it to me! Shit, that's a better vow of silence than the one in "I Know What You Did Last Summer!" I'm impressed. And mortified, of course.

Hader: Don't worry about it. I just know I was so jealous of what's-his-name that I could have killed him with a straw.

Thrope: You're sweet. Oh well. Pizza was good.

Hader: It was okay. It was no Nick's.

Thrope: Oh, here we go...

Hader: We can't talk about pizza without giving a shout-out to Nick's. Voted Delaware's best, you know.

Thrope: I know. It was what made Rehoboth Rehoboth. It was a religious experience. You cried, you moaned, you got a little bit hard. It was the best pizza in the universe, blah blah blah.

Hader: It was all of that and more. I'm tearing up, just thinking about it.

Thrope: But don't you find it at least a little bit ironic that Nick's pizza was made by a GREEK?

Hader: Nope. Just made it that much more impressive. Don't fuck with Nick or I will not hesitate to cut you with this plastic knife.

Thrope: Crust was too thin.

Hader: You watch your mouth! It was New York style. The crust was perfect. And it wasn't the only thing that made Rehoboth Rehoboth. They had arcade games older than we were - probably older then than we are now.

Thrope: Okay... Um, Ocean City had that, too. And the Dough Roller had great pizza. Why are you such a Rehoboth snob?

Hader: I'm not. Come on -- you have to admit, Rehoboth's arcades felt old-timey and fun, and O.C.'s arcades felt like there was always about to be a stabbing. And the Dough Roller? I'd rather eat a sweat-soaked odor-eater that's been in buried with Louie Anderson's foot in it since - well, since whenever the hell he died.

Thrope: I never saw anyone get stabbed! It was happy kids, as far as the eye could see. Except that one time, when my sister and I saw that girl beating the hell out of her boyfriend. Did I tell you she was using a Dr. Scholl's Exercise Sandal? Those things were like little wooden mallets!

Hader: Yeah. You've told me that one. How classy. A kid drowned at Rehoboth the day we got there, one year. His body didn't wash up until a week later, and it washed up late at night, right at the end of our block - right where we--

Thrope: ...had just been throwing glow-sticks and poking at washed-up jellyfish to see the electrical charges pass through them, and it was totally scary and it kept you and your brothers up at night and was the creepiest week at the beach ever. Yeah. And you remember when Funland built the Haunted Mansion, and it was torture that it took them a year-and-a half to finish it, and you loved all the mini-golf places, even though O.C.'s were totally superior, and you still miss the spin-painting, and you and your brother used to totally whale on that black-and-white Rip-off game, and one year there was a construction site across the street from the beach house, and one year your brother's friend had a nightmare and screamed bloody murder and the whole town heard because everybody kept their windows open at night, and one time you and your other brother were allowed to stay at Funland until it closed, and you used your last quarter to buy a Coke and you drank it and jumped up and down and burped as loudly as you could, all the way back to the house, and the doughnuts at that doughnut shop were the best anywhere ever on earth and the line went out the door every morning but no one minded the wait because they were that good, and your Dad told your sister's friend that the lights of Cape May were actually nuclear waste in the Atlantic, and she bought it - and none of you told her it wasn't true, and the only good thing to happen to the town in the past 25 years is Dogfish Head, and 90 percent of your happy childhood memories are from your Rehoboth vacations, and you can't imagine taking our own kids anyplace else.

Hader: You don't have to mock me.

Thrope: I'm not mocking you, but I don't have time to sit through that litany of awesomeness again. Are you still full of cardboard and apathy?

Hader: Um, yes.

Thrope: Well, maybe try to make that cardboard and overwhelming joy, because guess what I'm full of.

Hader: Stop it.

Thrope: I will not stop it. I'm full of pregnant.

Hader: Check, please!

Thrope: What's the rush, Mr. Apathy?

Hader: I'm gonna cry, and I am NOT going to be seen crying in a mall food court.

Thrope: Aww... You're going to cry? Really? That's so sweet.

Hader: Yeah - this cardboard pizza monstrosity is making me sick!

Thrope: Nice.


  1. Loved that generation of video games. That, and the Space Invaders game that was still in black & white, but they put a gel over the screen to make it LOOK multi-color. Good times.

    Thanks for playing Rip-off with me. That game was awesome!