Hissy Fit - March 2023 - Two Life Lessons: Ones We Never Learn

...because everyone needs one every once in awhile


March 2023 Issue
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen

We humans are a funny lot. We are smart (compared to animals)
(well, some of us), complex, advanced, emotive, capable-of-learning,
top-of-the-food-chain dominators.
However, there are some simple theories most of us just can’t seem
to absorb into our thick, upright-standing brains.

Lesson 1: Are you aware that hot pizza burns the roof of your mouth? Of course you are, and you know this because you have burned the roof of your mouth with hot pizza…more than once. And yet, for some reason, we, and I’m talking about, you and the entire human race—although 3-billion pizzas are consumed in the United States every year and only 5-billion total in the entire world, so technically this is an American problem—continue to burn our mouths on pizza at an alarming rate.

While I couldn’t find any actual statistics to prove the number of mouth roof burn incidents per year, you have to admit, you do it almost every time. In fact, you may be walking around right now with that little piece of skin dangling from the roof of your mouth, which you are moving back and forth, over and over again, with your tongue. I know it’s unbelievably painful, though the healing process of a burnt mouth roof is pretty miraculous: It hurts like hell, you wiggle the “dangle” for a couple of days, and all of a sudden there is no sign it ever even happened. You don’t even remember you burned your mouth until you do it again.

It’s as if pizza has the same directions as a shampoo: Quickly eat, burn roof, repeat…because we burn our roofs over and over again. Here’s the thing: Wait for it. No. I really mean wait for it… to cool. It doesn’t have to get cold. All you have to do it wait about two minutes once your pizza arrives to the table to avoid pizza burn. This includes frozen pizza, as well, once cooked, of course. (Disclaimer: A two minute wait time has not been scientifically studied, and it cannot be guaranteed as enough time to avoid all pizza burns. However, one thing is for sure: Patience is a virtue.)

Here are the facts: Pizza cooks at around 550 degrees. Most pizza restaurants are small, therefore, the walk from oven to table is short. Your pizza is probably still at least 375 degrees when it gets to your table. Water boils at 212 degrees. Your poor roof is never going to win if you can’t hold off a bit for that first ooey, gooey, delectable, cheesy bite of Italian deliciousness that finally has arrived to the table.

Lesson 2: Here’s a question that must be asked as a prelude to St. Patty’s Day: Are you aware that when you drink too much alcohol you will feel absolutely terrible the next day? It’s called a hangover. Oh, you’ve heard of it? Of course you have because we’ve all been there. You can’t tell me you haven’t bargained with the big man on this one, “If I can stop feeling like this, I promise I will never drink again. NEVER!” And you don’t…until Friday night rolls around, and once again you order one or three too many, which lands you in the bathroom for the grand finale, and unfortunately, it’s not to brush your teeth. How many times do you have to drink to the point of wastage and wake up the next day in pain—both from the hangover and a pizza burn ,because we all know you ordered delivery with extra cheese when you got home?

Liquor shots are rarely a good idea. (I’m not judgin’, I’m just sayin’.) However, once shots become a part of the game, you just leveled up. And here’s another barometer to forecast tomorrow: If you are doing shots and it’s after midnight, you’re not going to be happy tomorrow.

At this point, you need a list of supplies, unfortunately, you wont be able to lift your head off the pillow to get them, that is if you actually made it to bed at all and didn’t fall asleep on the couch with the pizza box on your stomach. If you’re lucky, (we have the Irish rooting for us this month) there will be at least one piece of pizza left to facilitate the recovery plan. The home remedy is Advil, McDonald’s, Gatorade and one cold piece of pizza, if you have it. But this plan is only for us deprived coastal people who don’t live in sophisticated cities. (Yes, that’s sarcasm.)

Did you know that some larger cities have hydration bars? These are places where someone who is hungover—and ain’t got time for it— goes to get a medical professional to administer an IV drip filled with vitamins, minerals and medicines to quickly relieve headaches, nausea, dry mouth and other general hangover symptoms. Let this concept sink in a minute… ‘Merica!

So, instead of stopping drinking and going home when your faculties are still teetering on the side of not needing an IV, many people choose to go with the belly-up-to-the-IV-bar option. I guess you could say they thrive in fluid environments, or, you could just say, REALLY?

Here’s a funny, or possibly sobering, thought: What do you say when you run into an acquaintance at the IV bar? You can’t claim, “I’m picking this up for a friend.” I guess you just have to own it: “I burnt the roof of my mouth on pizza, and I’m hoping the hydration will help it heal faster.”

Good luck on learning the little things in life.
For now, I’ll leave it with these two lessons,

though there are many more. Just remember: Pizza can be a fireball,
and Fireball can leave you covered in cheese.