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SPECIAL REPORT: Pizza Man Disappears

October 22, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments
By Brian Schropp

Brian Schropp, Special Pizza Correspondent

So, it was a very early day for me at the Pizza A-Round, I had to be there at the crack of dawn to give the signboard a good wash. “Going to be walking up and down Fairland Road all day mister,” Davis ‘Bud’ Huggins had said to me the previous night. He chuckled faintly. “Going to work that chub off you once and for all.” He thought that remark was somewhat hilarious and looked to the local jocks from the high school (he just recently hired them) for approval. “Alright boys, throw him in the dumpster. His shift is over anyways.” NOW THAT WAS UNCALLED FOR!!! I pulled myself from the trash and did the slow walk home stressing over the next morning.

​Davis 'Bud' Huggins- where did he go?

​Davis ‘Bud’ Huggins- where did he go?

The dawn came calling far too soon, the alarm clock buzzing portending the doom and gloom that awaited me. My Mom was concerned about all the breakfast sandwiches I was eating, “you just had a plate full last night, you can’t be eating those all the time. Plus the ‘Shop ‘N’ Bulk’ stopped carrying those huge plastic containers of strawberry milk. I think it’s time you cut back on those too.” Didn’t she understand how stressed I was over all these changes at work? She countered that being an adult was to handle these types of work situations in a mature fashion unlike the time I had the major meltdown under the main display table at ‘Pete’s Slacks Emporium’ (a job I had a LONG time ago). I told her this was much different citing me winding up in a dumpster as an example. My dad looked up from his ‘Word Jumble’ and motioned to the baseball bat by the front door. “Son. Don’t take that crap from them, take that bat with you and set them straight.” I know my dad wants me to stick up for myself more but didn’t he understand my sweet and tender nature? My mom of course thought I was ‘over- exaggerating’, she didn’t think someone as wholesome and good-looking as ‘The Bud’ would do such a thing. If she only really knew!!

OK-OK, I know, dear readers I’m getting side-tracked, you guys want the juicy details of the main story. Anyway, I was on my push scooter trying to get my head around working a full godawful day. When I turned the corner by Lorain and Fairland Road I saw all the police cars at the Pizza A-Round. I pushed harder on my scooter cutting through traffic to glide right in under all the yellow police tape wrapped around the parking lot. Inside I found a bunch of officers at the front counter shooting the shit while drinking coffee from small styrofoam cups. Calls were already coming in early for orders, the cops were picking up the phones and pretending to take them as a joke. They didn’t seem to care that I was there so I went past them and found Detective Gee Temple by the main prep station. He was absently turning a ladle around in a pizza sauce can.

“Hey there Bri, might be having a short work shift today. “Seems like your boss (here, Gee-Temple removed a piece of paper from his pocket to make sure he got the name right) Davis Huggins is gone.”

My mouth dropped open and mouthed the last word he said.

“Yup, a co-worker came in earlier this morning to find the place had not been locked up. Lights on, pizza ovens still running with pizzas on the floor, you get the picture. The back door was left wide open as well, Mr. Huggins’s big obnoxious pickup truck is back there, just no him. Footprints which I believe are his go right into the woods. So yeah, looks like he is gone.” Gee Temple waved an arm in the air like he was revealing some invisible stairs Davis Huggins had stepped onto.

We stood starring at each other for a moment without saying anything. “So Bri, Lloyd Byas-Kirk is already out back. Let’s check to see what he has to say.”

Detective Gee-Temple

Detective Gee-Temple

Walking by even more policemen with tiny styrofoam cups we passed the cleaning sinks to the back parking lot. Huggins’s big obnoxious truck (with bull horns on the grill) stayed silent giving no statement on the events it had witnessed last night. Lloyd Byas-Kirk was by the dumpsters, he seemed enthralled by the poking of a dead rat with a stick.

“Hey there Lloyd, what do you make of all of this?” Gee-Temple asked.

Lloyd looked up with a slight vacant look in his eyes and then pointed the stick (which now had blood and guts from the rat on the tip) towards the woods. “Well the footprints match someone of his weight and height. Had to be him, just walked off in the middle of the night.”

“Think he coulda’ been blown into the woods and destroyed like that Nixon fella?” Gee-Temple asked excitedly.

“Nah, just walked off,” Byas-Kirk replied. Gee-Temple seemed disappointed.

​”Yup, just walked off,” the detective finally agreed. “Was just telling Bri here all about that. The co-worker also showed me what Mr. Huggins wanted posted on the social media site last night. Just snapped under the pressure and walked off—-gone.” He waved his arm in the air again.

Lloyd turned to me. “Didn’t you say once those woods lead up to the hill country?”

I nodded– hadn’t my fellow reporter read the articles I did earlier this year about my adventures in the Northern Hill Country?

Gee-Temple shook his head. “Well, if that’s the case and he makes it all the way up there then Mr. Huggins is a goner for sure.”

Lloyd went back to poking the rat.

A few hours later all the police hubbub died down and the yellow tape was removed from the parking lot. “Are you going to try and open?” the detective asked while both of us watched the phones ringing off the hook. A very ragtag crew had showed up, it wasn’t ‘The A Crew”, that was for sure. I decided it was worth a shot, I would put on my best Scott impersonation and give it a go. Well, my readers, let me just tell you, it was hell, chaos ruled the next few hours. I can’t remember everything– much like a soldier in the heat of some terrible battle the memories all blur together. I just remember we didn’t get much right, in fact maybe not a single order. There was a lot of screaming, lots of yelling, tears and then some more.

By early afternoon something quite magical happened. With the news of Davis ‘Bud’ Huggins departure, the ‘old crew’ started to come back in like they were never fired!! ‘Big’ James, Charlie ‘The Nugget Guy’ and finally by four, Chet Cameron!! With the ‘Master of the Prep Line’ at the helm the orders finally started coming together and going out right!! By late evening word had gotten down to us from the owners that a new interim manager would be coming in the near future. But when? How would this new person be? When would Scott be back?

I will continue to keep you updated!! Until next time, please keep your mind and mouth open to new ideas. Happy Eating!!- Bri

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