There are incidents that really make you think about the way that we live. About the people that we are. No, I’m not talking about the incident in Boston, or Sandy Hook, or even 9/11. I’m not talking about a tragedy, or a massacre, or genocide. I’m talking about the day to day. The here. The now.
I’m talking about the little things.
For instance, I took my niece out a few weeks ago and we went to Peter Piper Pizza. For those of you that don’t know, Peter Piper is very similar to Chuck E. Cheese. For those of you that don’t know Chuck E. Cheese… I am sorry and I would probably make a note to bring this up to your parents tomorrow because you were kind of, sort of seriously deprived.
For the deprived, these places are essentially arenas filled with child-sized habitrails, dated video games, and overpriced pizza.
In other words, it is a paradise for children.
Now that we have established the setting, let’s get back to the scenario. We arrived at Peter Piper. I bought a package that involved a large pizza, a couple of drinks and some tokens to play games. When the pizza arrived, it didn’t take long to realize that we weren’t going to finish it. Not only were we not going to finish it, but we weren’t even going to eat half.
What the hell do you do with a half of a pizza?
Simple, you throw it away.
I know what you’re thinking. Why would you waste food like that? Why wouldn’t you take it home? I could. I could take it home, but let’s face it. The pizza in Peter Piper is less than mediocre. It rates somewhere between Little Caesars and those frozen dollar pizzas that you find in the end caps at your local supermarket and even then, even once it gets home, it will just sit there. It will sit, slightly askew on top of the gallon of milk and the jar of pickles that no one has touched since last August. It will sit there for three trash days because no one ever remembers to throw it out. It will sit there, taking up space and doing nothing more.
…but that’s not the sad part. The sad part is, I couldn’t just give it to someone. When we decided that we didn’t want anymore, it was still fresh. It was still hot, but we’ve delved into this sad little world where that’s not even an option. If I had offered it to someone, they would have looked at me like I was crazy. They would look at me, then at the food and immediately assume that something was wrong with it. That it had spit on it. That it was dropped on the floor. That it was drugged or tampered with, and to me, that is awful.
That is sad.
It’s sad because we live in this world where we have so much distrust, so much suspect, that we’re isolating ourselves from everyone. From everything. And it’s sad because it wasn’t always like this. We didn’t always frown at someone who smiled at a child in the supermarket. We didn’t always assume that they were dangerous, that they were a pedophile. We didn’t always assume the worst of everyone in every situation. We didn’t always have so much distrust, so much suspect…
We didn’t always have so much hate.
But we do.
And that makes you think. It makes you think about the world that we live in and the people that we’re becoming. The people that we’ve become. It makes you think about the day to day. The here. The now. It makes you think about the little things. About who we are. About how we live.
And I can’t help but take that and wonder where that is going to take us.
I can’t help but wonder where we’ll end up.
…or how we’ll end up.
And I can’t help but think that if we started small, that if we started fixing the little things, that things might not be so bad. That we might be able to acknowledge people as people again and that maybe someday, I wouldn’t have to throw that pizza away.