Take & Bake Pizza

Wilson and I are on the homestretch of our 20-minute walk when we encounter a man on Alder Street where the sidewalk meets the alley that runs behind The Purity. He’s stout and bearded, wearing a stained white tee-shirt and jeans, and carrying a plastic grocery bag in his right hand. A boxed frozen pizza is held like a shield in his left hand. He smells of distilled alcohol.

We come to a halt. During the awkward moment of determining who has the right of way, he pushes the box into my line of vision. “WANT SOME PIZZA?”

I smile. “No, thank you.” Wilson and I begin to move past him.

“IT’LL BE PIPING HOT IN 40 MINUTES.”

“Thank you so much, but I’m not hungry.”

“Well . . . all right.”

“Have a good day.”

“Beautiful dog ya got there.”

Wilson is 14 years old and certainly beyond the prime of being described as beautiful. We’ve always referred to our lab/border collie mix as “funny looking.” But it makes me proud that someone considers my ancient dog beautiful.

“Thank you,” I say.

“SURE YOU DON’T WANT SOME PIZZA?”

Is this a hit on my female person? Is he only complimenting by dog’s beauty in order to sweeten the pizza invitation?

If only he’d been holding a Cyrus O’Leary’s chocolate cream pie ($2.99 at The Purity; located in the dairy section), the outcome might have been different.

I’m not a fan of pizza.

Wilson and I head home.

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