I didn’t roll into Missoula for the 2nd time in 9 days looking for a pizza; I’d been driving for nearly 20 hours straight, and all I wanted was a bed. After making my selection based on billboards on the highway, I chose the Econolodge Inn, for no particular reason other than it was the first one off the exit.
After some confusion as check in (the young man at the desk wasn’t used to dealing with a cash customer, and had some difficulty making change), I took at gaze at a table full of brochures for local businesses, and is my habit, picked up 3 or 4 pizza brochures, with the idea of reading them in the two minutes I felt sure I would be awake prior to crashing.
I opened the door to the room and it reeked of cigarettes. For me to say that, it has to be quite a reek. Flipped on HBO, turned on the computer, perused my brochures and flipped through the phone book, and noticed a large display ad for Stageline Pizza, which I did not have a brochure for. It fit the necessary longevity requirements, had a banner that said “same great pizza, new owner”, and a reference to the fact they had their menu in the restaurant section of the yellow pages. Flipped over to that page, and appreciated that they listed all their toppings, crust styles, and the like. I do appreciate this.
The “Meat Eaters” (Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Beef Sausage, Bacon, Canadian Bacon, Extra Cheese) caught my eye (“Hey, I’m a meat eater!”) and the menu promised “fresh ingredients” and a 100% real cheese blend of mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar.
Some out of this world lifted my fingers to the telephone, and I dialed. “Do you deliver to the Econolodge?” “Yes, indeedy,” was the reply. I was in! Cool.
45 minutes later, a knock at the door aroused me from my slumber, and my pie arrived. It was quite an enticing site, and although I was too tired to eat, I managed a bite or two before crawling back into bed.
The crust was the thinness I prefer, the cheese blend more than adequate, and the meat combo to my liking, and quite generous. The bacon seemed especially tasty. (Probably because I am supposed to have given it up now).
I finished one slice, and it was back to bed. At about 630. Slept nearly eleven hours, and woke up with the satisfaction of knowing that ‘za was sitting on the table, speaking to me in tongues, saying “much better than the free continental breakfast.” And so it was.