The Night I Shook Things Just a Little Too Hard


My leg is always wiggling back and forth, up and down, or in tiny little circles that would make even a figure skater dizzy. I can’t not do it unless I’m sitting there fiercely concentrating on stopping it. Even then I can’t guarantee it.

My wiggling leg is a part of me. It always has been. I’m sure it always will be.

And today, I just want to tell you a (true) short story. For no other reason than that it needs to be told and you need to be entertained.

The year: 2005

When I was a much more rotund fellow (and by much, I mean 110 lbs. more rotund), one of my favorite places to eat was The Pizza Factory, a pizza and calzone joint so popular that it needed two stories just to accommodate the patrons who would stand outside for hours hoping to eventually get in.

The Pizza Factory was my biggest life escape from all things stressful and all things healthy. It was a place I could eat a deep-dish, bacon-crust pizza, deep fried in hippo lard, topped with eight layers of shredded cheese and an extra layer of the finest shredded crack cocaine. Or so it felt. I just remember the pizza was good and addicting and that it often made me crarf, which is what happens when you both cry out of happiness and barf at the same time because you ate too dang much.

The floors of The Pizza Factory were made of cheap economic carpet. The kind that can be replaced once the state limit of 15 people had died of heart attacks each month. The tables were draped in checkered table cloths, made of vinyl to effectively pool the streams of red grease that dripped from the fingers of all diners who dared venture there. A salad bar sat lonely against one wall. As far as I could tell it was for decoration purposes only, except for the giant ranch bucket from which we filled our slightly smaller table buckets for pizza dipping goodness. I’m pretty sure I once lost my wedding ring in that bucket. But it was worth it.

Yes, we went to The Pizza Factory and we went there often because, like I said, it was an escape.

At The Pizza Factory, nobody should ever be angry. Nobody should ever be sad. Nobody should ever be flustered. With those kind of empty calories, nobody should really feel anything but elation and a sense of exotic comatose.

But that night… the night I last went there some eight years ago… as I sat with my rotund belly pressed hard into the table, and armpit sweat stains meeting up with my man boob sweat stains from all of the food pounding, and I had just told my wife to have an ambulance ready just in case… yes that night… It happened.



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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!