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A Double Dose of Doomsday

February 19, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments
By Brian Schropp

By Brian Schropp


This past Friday was of course the 13th- also known as “St. Doomsday’s Day”. A day many of us in Deep Northern Suburban Lankville take very seriously. With all the bad luck and disastrous history that happens on our soil we usually keep our heads down and just try to make it through in one piece. I foolishly thought I would get by unharmed this year, you see the day after is my birthday. That’s right- I was born on February 14th or what is known in Lankville as “Sweet Heart Day.” I have always found it fitting to be born on that day seeing how it goes with what my relatives say is my “sweet and tender” nature. So I was lucky enough to get the day off from my part-time job at the “Pizza-A-Round” and was planning on enjoying it to the fullest by trying a new brand of breakfast sandwich and then maybe reviewing the newly reopened “Subs ‘N’ Suds” later in the day. I just had to make it through the 13th and arrogantly thought I could. How wrong I was—

Picture of my manager Scott relaxing at home.

Picture of my manager Scott relaxing at home.

The 13th started with a 9AM shift at the “Pizza-A-Round”. I envisioned another day on dish washing detail (slowly but surely learning each job right) and at very worse a few hours of phone duty (I personally think I’m getting better, my accuracy rate was up to 20%). My manager Scott had other plans for me.

“Nope Bri, none of that usual stuff you crap around doing. Today you will be on the prep station and then PUTTING THE PIZZAS IN THE OVEN.

The hustle and bustle going on around the whole shop came to a screeching halt after Scott uttered those words. There were a few seconds of eerie silence and then someone dropped a pizza cutter which made a loud clang as it hit the floor. Chet Cameron finally spoke, “Do…do you think that’s a wise idea? I mean you know what today is—“

Scott shook his head. “What superstitious nonsense. Anyway, two folks are out with the “Lankville Super Flu” so we have little choice. Chet, I’m putting you in charge of the prep line and him so don’t mess up. Remember what can happen.” Scott lifted up his shirt to show one of his handguns tucked in his waistband.

So I joined the “prep line boys”. I could tell by all their faces that they had zero faith in me. Chet tried to say something encouraging but couldn’t find the words. Soon, it was 10 and the first orders were coming in called by the usual fat teenagers. Luckily the first order was just a plain cheese pizza.

“You can do it Schropp,” Chet said with a nervous tone in his voice. So I set out to make the pizza of a lifetime. With sweat dripping from my forehead (sorry if anybody actually got this pizza) I took the dough and pressed it out to its “classic” pie shape, took the shinning ladle and swirled around the sauce, grabbed the cheese (again, sorry if someone received this- I forgot to wash my hands) and sprinkled it on. I then placed it in the oven (you have to time it just right!!). I turned my back, too nervous to watch it go through and waited the 4.5 minutes it took to cook. I was finally hoping to make a big impression, I had put all I had into making this.

I knew this wasn’t going to be the case when I heard Chet mutter “What the hell is that?” and Scott yell “Get up here!!”


The results.

I walked up to the front of the oven and he showed me my results–

​”Not sure what this is!!” My manager’s eyes blazed into me “But you better start learning how to make at least a plain pizza fast. The lunch rush is about to start!!”

Chet pleaded with me to get my “A-Game” on because he didn’t want to be shot. I became overwhelmed quickly with the pre-pre-pre lunch rush due to all this pressure of having Chet’s life in my hands. So many pizzas to make and most of them with various forms of pepperoni and I was getting them wrong. But my biggest mistake came in placing them in the oven. They have to be in placed in the oven just right, too many at once and then it will become a “doomsday” situation with the pizzas not cooking right. And that is exactly what happened– the big red lights on top of the oven began to glow and whirl. The oven came to a grinding stop and started to smoke, a few men ran over with fire extinguishers to put it out. The day was totally ruined, just like that.

Scott became enraged like few had ever seen before. Chet didn’t stick around– he just ran out the back door. Scott went on and on (thankfully yelling too much to remember his gun) about how much of a screw-up I was. How he should have fired me on the first day but the owner said he had to keep me on. “I can’t believe how useless you are Schropp even for a—” Then he said it. The second “doomsday” of the day and the greater one. The one which will change my life forever.

There was total silence again, even the telephones stopped their constant ringing– it was almost as if all of Lankville heard. A few seconds later the pizza cutter from before was dropped making the same loud clanging noise.

Scott’s anger instantly went away. “Bri, hey listen man, I’m- I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for you to find out this way. I wasn’t supposed to say anything-”

In complete and utter shock I ran out the front door and headed for home. I could hear Scott trying to call me back but it was just a faint buzz, I didn’t stop the whole twenty eight blocks it took me to get there. Cars had to swerve out of my way, women had to push their baby strollers off the sidewalks if I was passing. I really didn’t see any of them I just had to get home and confirm what was said. Maybe I heard it wrong, this couldn’t be real.

When I flung the front door open my folks were waiting for me. The “Pizza-A-Round” must of called.

“Is it true?” I asked, panting for breath.

“Please son let’s just sit down and talk,” my Dad replied, holding out his hand.

“Just tell me!!!”

“Yes, it’s true. Sit down we will discuss this.”

I collapsed at the kitchen table. My mom brought me a glass of chocolate milk.

“How can this be Dad?” I needed answers.

My folks and I discussing the shocking events.

My folks and I discussing the shocking events.

My Dad told of our family history– not of the Schropp’s I knew but of the Schropp’s of the Greater Hills of Deep Northern Suburban Lankville. I thought we might have had hill folk in us but how could I ever have imagined what they did. “It was just a common thing, son. Especially back in the day, sure we who didn’t live in the hills thought it was wrong but there was little we could do.”

“So are you sure? Are you sure that I can somehow, in some little way have bumpkin in me?” I had to pause and put my head down, the chocolate milk wasn’t helping with the shock.

“I mean it’s the only logical way of explaining how you are,” my Mom chimed in. “In some freak way you have bumpkin DNA. In you.”

“Something else I need to know right now. Can I be…you know…if I really am found to be one.”

“You mean put down? No son you also have normal DNA or so we hope. Please don’t worry over that.”

We talked on for a little while longer. Honestly, most of it like the whole day itself is just a blur. My Dad said he found a place where I can be tested to see how much bumpkin DNA I might have. This should be happening very soon and I will of course let you, the readers, know of the results. Until then please keep me in your thoughts (and eat something good for me!!)


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