Obscure Holidays: Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day

by Anna Sandy  ·  November 12, 2014

762e72f61f1cb70c9df6e3bfeef761f6Today in obscure holidays, we have one near and dear to my heart: Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day.

Now, aside from the fact that I like pizza as much as your average person, I have a more personal connection with the favorite food of students everywhere. On top of being a poetry MFA student and part of the Five Points staff, I work part­-time in a pizza restaurant. (My dad warned me that this would happen when I switched my major from pre­med to English. No regrets!) Due to my frequent proximity to pizza, I find myself eating quite a bit of it. I used to be a plain cheese and pepperoni kind of girl. Not so these days. I’ve eaten every type of pizza topping imaginable, with one major exception: anchovies, the salty, smelly, pizza­ruining little fish that do not belong anywhere near my taste buds.

When the inevitable customer comes in and orders anchovies on his or her pizza, I fight to refrain from pulling a face and hold the offending pizza as far from my face as I possibly can when delivering it to its taste­confused consumer. I have actually (though infrequently) had people come in and order a pizza with nothing but cheese and anchovies. Once I even had someone order a pizza with cheese and double anchovies. Now, if that’s what makes you happy, fine. But personally, I am of the strong conviction that anchovies are to a good pizza what kryptonite is to Superman.

So today, go have a pizza for lunch. Order a slice with everything. But for heaven’s sake, leave off the anchovies. Or don’t. But just know, if I’m taking your order, I’ll be judging you.

And, of course, here is a poem to go with your pizza:


by Frank O’Hara

I’ve got to tell you
how I love you always
I think of it on grey
mornings with death

in my mouth the tea
is never hot enough
then and the cigarette
dry the maroon robe

chills me I need you
and look out the window
at the noiseless snow

At night on the dock
the buses glow like
clouds and I am lonely
thinking of flutes

I miss you always
when I go to the beach
the sand is wet with
tears that seem mine

although I never weep
and hold you in my
heart with a very real
humor you’d be proud of

the parking lot is
crowded and I stand
rattling my keys the car
is empty as a bicycle

what are you doing now
where did you eat your
lunch and were there
lots of anchovies it

is difficult to think
of you without me in
the sentence you depress
me when you are alone

Last night the stars
were numerous and today
snow is their calling
card I’ll not be cordial

there is nothing that
distracts me music is
only a crossword puzzle
do you know how it is

when you are the only
passenger if there is a
place further from me
I beg you do not go