Prepare to become extremely excited, kids, because the big day is finally here.
As most of you already know, today, Sept. 20, is (insert dramatic pause here) National Pepperoni Pizza Day, the day on which we are urged to celebrate by ordering a pizza the size and shape of a manhole cover.
"Pepperonis are the indisputable king of the pizza topping world, and for good reason — everyone likes pepperoni pizza!" gushes the website nationaltoday.com. "Looking for a crowd pleaser? Pizza’s your go-to. Why? Well, because only one in 50 people surveyed hate it. There might not be anything else in the world that 98 per cent of people agree on!"
Speaking of pizza, I hasten to add that today also happens to be — and I have heard this from reliable sources that almost never lie to me — the date of the federal election.
Q: A federal election and National Pepperoni Pizza day falling on the same day? Is that a coincidence, or what?
A: No, probably not.
What this does mean is that this would be the perfect time for me, a crusading newspaper columnist, to provide a thoughtful, informative election guide to help you, the democracy-loving reader, sort through all the candidates and campaign issues and make a decision that will make Canada a better place for everyone.
I personally would love to do that, but, unfortunately, I have been way too busy watching football, golf and re-runs of Cupcake Wars on the big-screen TV in our den to pay much attention to the campaign.
The truth is, I am not the only one who has not been paying attention to an election that someone — I am not going to point fingers here, Justin — decided to call in the middle of the fourth wave of a (bad word) global pandemic.
The usual signs of an election seem to be missing this time around in the sense that, as far as I can tell — and I have been home every single day — not a single candidate has even tried to knock on my front door. OK, that’s probably a pandemic thing, but I do get lonely.
It’s possible someone might have dropped off an election flyer, but I personally find them indistinguishable from the two-for-one pizza coupons the postman routinely drops in my mailbox, which means I might have to consider voting for the postman, because my dogs seem to think he’s an OK guy.
The only thing that alerted me to the possibility an election might be under way is the campaign TV commercials that have been assaulting my eyeballs and my sensitive brain while I relax on the couch eating Haagen-Dazs directly from the container.
I am not going to miss these ads now the election is in its final hours. In fact, I will renew my demand that whoever is responsible for these creepy ads should face some form of punishment up to and including a firing squad.
You know the ads I am talking about. They show the leader of a particular party bathed in soft light while engaged in some manner of wholesome activity while a voice-of-God narrator says something like: "If you want to Build Back a Better Canada or Make Canada Great Again, you should vote for (leader’s name goes here) because (he/she) cares about you as a person, whereas (fill in name of other leaders) spends the majority of (his/her) time placing assault weapons in the hands of known terrorists, kicking as many puppies as possible, and visiting the grocery store without a mask and coughing on the fresh produce."
Q: OK, Doug, so are you suggesting we shouldn’t even bother to vote?
A: Um, like, duh! Of course you need to get out and vote! It is not simply your democratic right to vote for whoever you want, it is your (bad word) duty! Allow me to explain by likening voting in an election to ordering pizza at your favourite restaurant.
There you are, sitting in your favourite pizzeria, perusing the menu when the waitress comes over.
"What would you like?" she asks, politely.
"Um, I don’t know," you mumble with utter indifference. "Just bring me anything."
So the waitress wanders away and, a few minutes later, she comes back and plops a large pizza covered with multi-coloured Froot Loops breakfast cereal on your table.
(For the record, the Internet melted down earlier this year over alarming news reports about an Iowa pizzeria serving "Loopy Fruits Pizza," which consists of a sweet cream cheese sauce base topped with mozzarella and, of course, a heaping helping of sugary Froot Loops cereal along with a drizzle of Greek yogurt and condensed milk.
You stare at this culinary desecration. "I didn’t want a Froot Loops pizza!" you tell the waitress, who, after rolling her eyeballs in disgust, smacks you over the head with the menu. Which is exactly what you deserved.
The point, in case you missed it, is that if you do not exercise your democratic duty to select something from the available menu, then you do not have a (bad word) right to complain.
And trust me, chances are you are going to want to do some serious complaining over the next four years. So do what I do — get out and vote, then go home and order the biggest pepperoni pizza you can get your hands on.
Not only will it be delicious, but it’s the only way you can guarantee your decision will become a pizza history.
Doug has held almost every job at the newspaper — reporter, city editor, night editor, tour guide, hand model — and his colleagues are confident he’ll eventually find something he is good at.