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June 21, 2009

Give me a kleenex? And a free pizza?

June 21. Day 356.

I went on a bike ride today with Mr. A and a friend, the K-meister. We started in the middle of Point Loma and rode up to the lighthouse.

For those readers not from San Diego, i.e. most of you, that means we rode approximately 5 miles each way, up hill and knoll, and then careened back down the gentle slopes after a lovely break at a historic lighthouse overlooking the bay.

5 miles is an objective standard.

Subjectively, allow me to add that it felt like I skinned a 2,000 pound potato with a butter knife.

We rode long enough that my legs were trembling and I hee-hawed the whole way.

It was so intense that at the top, when our ride was half over, I stretched out on a bench and actually fell asleep, while the guys rode up and down a steep hiking path that led to the beach, for a real workout.

To top it off, I had a runny nose, and there were no stores where I could buy tissues or even ask for a napkin.

Instead, I decided to beg mercy from a fellow human. I thought of knocking on anyone's door, but an easier option presented itself.

Before my nap, a couple with two young kids walked by the bench where I was recovering.

"Excuse me, do you have a kleenex?" I asked, eyeing their generous diaper bag.

They have two toddlers and look the part. Meaning it probably takes more than the request of a sweaty, sleepy biker to phase them.

"No, sorry! All we have is wet wipes," the mom offered.

"Oh, no, that's okay. Thanks anyway."

Gained I: Nothing. Because a wet wipe would only make things worse.

For all my dramatic whining here, the trek was actually awesome. The ideal 72 degree Sunday afternoon breezy bike ride with postcard views. Great to be back in San Diego. And, today makes me think that I should try to build up some muscles or resistance. Sheesh.

Out: Feeling like you're 70 when you're almost 30. In: the exact opposite!!!

Afterward, we stacked the bikes onto the car rack, made a detour to see a movie, then drove to the newest branch of Pizzeria Luigi, which has my favorite NY-style pizza in San Diego. A seditious faction of the storied Bronx Pizza, a San Diego popular favorite, broke off a few years ago and started its own joint, pruning and culling staff from the other NY-style pizzerias around the city.

Or so goes the rumor.

Some say the sauce is just perfect. Others prefer the crust. I dig, and dig into, them both.

We tumbled in, exhausted, but before we ordered I checked one key thing:

"Do you guys take credit cards? Cause we don't have cash."

"We don't, but that's okay. Today is free."


"We're testing things out this weekend, making sure everything goes smoothly, so we're giving everything away free."


"Yeah. What can I get you?"

"I don't know. What's your favorite pizza?" I asked.

"I love the margherita. It's really light and fresh. I'd say that's my favorite," he told me.

Pause. You know what the old La Roxy would have ordered, same time last year: a slice of whatever. Must not impose. Must not be, or seem, greedy. Enjoy the offer, but not too much. It would be unseemly.

For an instant I was tempted to do precisely that, even today. Even after a year of asking.

Instead, I snapped out of it just in time and asked for two slices and a water.

"Sure -- so one whole margherita pizza and a slice of mushroom?"

At that point I was confused.

"You're seriously giving away whole free pizzas?" I checked.


"Oh my God, thank you!!!! I live in the neighborhood and I promise to become a very good customer."

He laughed.

We ate.

And I am spreading the word.

Anyone in this town, or passing through, listen up: I liked Luigi's pizza before today, and now I like their attitude, too. Seriously the best thin crust "a-round." Heehee.

Gained II: About $25 worth of food, with 3 slices, the pizza, two waters and sales tax between the three of us. Not exactly a direct gain, i.e. by walking in and asking for free food, but I'm including it because I started with a question, and then I milked the situation for all it was worth: a guilt free acceptance of a generous pizza-fest. (Yes, we left a nice tip.)

The pic above is a nice angle from the Fifth Deadly Sin.
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