In honor of Halloween this year, I thought I’d share a horror story with you. Well, it was horrific to me, but it may be funny to some of you.
When I was 16, I got a job as a lifeguard. One day while I was up in the stands, my boss brought some pizzas and left them in the break room. Of course, I couldn’t climb down to eat until Adult Swim, which wasn’t for another 30 minutes or so. As the other lifeguards ate their fill, my stomach began to grumble and cramp with longing for the crusty, cheesy deliciousness. Finally, at ten till the hour, I blew my whistle and jumped down, breaking pool rules and running to the break room.
My eyes were still adjusting to the darkness of the room as I spotted the pizza box, threw open the lid, and grabbed a slice. It had grown cold, but I didn’t care. I took two huge bites in quick succession, chewed three or four times, and felt the lump of barely-chewed pizza slide down my gullet and plop into my empty stomach. As I took another bite, I gazed out the window to the pool and watched grownups float lazily on their backs. Something tickled my cheek and I scratched at it while taking another bite. A toddler fell and scraped her knee. I took another bite. Something tickled my ear, and this time after I scratched my ear, my hand tickled. I looked down and saw an ant. I flicked it off, and at the same time I felt 20 more places on my face and neck that tickled. A switch flipped in my brain.
My heart thumped as my eyesight shrank to tunnel vision, with the pizza box at the other end. I flipped open the lid and my fears were confirmed. The pizza was undulating with ants. It was so black, it seemed the whole entire colony must have turned out for the feast. In my haste, and with my eyes unadjusted to the darkness of the indoors, I completely missed the horde of insects as I shoveled food into my mouth. I imagined what I looked like with ants crawling all over my face, into my eyes and nose and ears, not to mention the ants now sizzling in my stomach acid. For a moment I was unable to breathe or move. Then adrenaline came surging through my bloodstream. I dropped the slice of pizza and began to repeatedly slap myself in the face, each time pulling away a palmful of smashed ants. After five minutes I felt sure that I had killed every last one, but I continued to feel their tiny legs all over my body for the rest of the day.
I still eat too fast. Tell me if you are pro- or anti-pineapple pizza at Kate@KateLanders.com.