Monday, April 18, 2011

My Heart Just Sank (It's Probably The Oily Pizza Slices)

Sbarro is going bankrupt, you guys. A moment of silence for that little slice of mall food court heaven that hardened my arteries one slice at a time.

This is really really sad for me because when I used to work at the mall I would always eat Sbarro.

Ok, that's a lie. I never worked at the mall. But I did eat at Sbarro like clockwork, to the point where the Sbarro worker-guy who always heated up my greasy pizza slice thought I did and would give me the mall discount. For Sbarro. 

Let me explain.

Travel back in time with me, will you, to the year 1998, when your intrepid hero here, (that'd be me, jackasses), moved to Ohio from Virginia.

I lived in Hamilton for my second newspaper job and minus a boyfriend I had in Cincinnati (who worked nights), I didn't know anyone. So on Saturdays, since I was bored and didn't have any friends and was like, 23 years old, I'd go to Tri-County Mall and walk around and buy crap.

This was before Tri-County mall became a ghost-mall. It was in its two-story heyday, filled with commerce, Starbucks, American Eagle and a giant food court.

So basically, it was everything my 23-year-old heart desired.

Every Saturday afternoon I'd speed through the back roads of Butler County excited for a Frappuccino, a slice of Sbarro and some more clothes from American Eagle I didn't need.

The Starbucks was on the first floor near the tobacco shop and the pet store and I'd always get the same girl taking my order, "a light, tall, coffee Frappuccino." ("Light" because I was healthy.)

One day I noticed the price was a little lower. As she rung me up she pointed and said, "You work back there, right?" Which meant she a) thought I worked at the mall I was so consistent in my visits to Starbucks and b) thought I worked at either the pet store or the tobacco shop.

"Umm, yeah," I stammered.

I lied not because I wanted the mall employee discount so much, but more because of what it meant to admit that I spent so much time at the mall that the mall workers thought I worked there too.

Sad, people. Just sad. (Ok not really, I actually like the mall, still.)

A few weeks after getting called out at Starbucks I was getting my usual slice of Sbarro to wash down with my Frappuccino when the Sbarro worker guy says to me, "I thought you'd quit. I haven't seen you in a few weeks."

I stared at him.

Quit what, I wondered. Pizza? Food courts?



He thinks I work at the mall.

"Umm, no. I didn't quit."

I got the mall employee discount at Sbarro too.

Now that I see Sbarro is going bankrupt I can't help but feel a tinge of sadness in my hardening arteries for them. I mean, they were really, really good to me as a fake mall employee.  

I'm sorry Sbarro if you're going bankrupt because I got 25 cents off my pizza order those few months in 1998. Or if because I finally made some friends and stopped eating your "Italian" food every weekend.

Oh god, this is all my fault. *sob

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