Every year at Christmas my office does Secret Santa

The catch is that there is a $2 limit. So you have to a. know the person pretty well, and b. be really creative. There are only 8 people in our office so knowing people’s tastes and interests is merely a matter of occasionally participating in the office conversations every now and again and we work for a small graphic design firm so creativity literally oozes out of the place. All-in-all it makes for a pretty interesting experience filled with a lot of inside jokes.

I tell you that story to tell you this one. I have been privileged to live in Chicagoland my entire life. So when I say I’ve had access to some of the best pizza in the country, we aren’t talking about some mom and pop pizza places. Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, Gino’s East, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, these are normal. For those of you who have never lived with access to this kind of pizza, I’m sorry but all you need to know about it is, it is… as close to heaven as we can get this side of St. Peter.

Frozen Pizza is a gift from the gods.

Now, this past Christmas my co-worker gave me a pizza from the dollar store. It was a frozen pizza and it fit in the toaster oven at work. I was excited, because while I’ve had access to some of the best pizza in the world, I also just love pizza. All pizza. I hold a particularly special place in my heart for frozen pizza. My favorite is Jack’s. When I was a kid my mom use to buy us Jack’s frozen pizza when it was on sale and I ate it with vigor. In high school I would eat one for a snack after football and before my other pre-dinner snack. When I was very young I would get frozen pizzas from a school fundraiser and let’s just suffice to say they were delicious too. I’ve even had delicious pizza from other parts of this country and other countries as well. (None of them hold a candle to Chicago Pizza but I’m not prejudice because… you know… it’s pizza.)

My whole life I’ve been surrounded by delicious, easily accessible, readily available, Pizza. Nowhere in my memory is there Pizza that I didn’t like, until Secret Santa. In fact it was the worst pizza I’ve ever had. I hesitate to even call it pizza. It was more like 3D printed sawdust. I feel like Pizza is pretty hard to screw up honestly. In the Czech Republic I had pizza that consisted of corn, salami, a few beautiful cheeses, over Italian Seasoned ketchup and a halfway decent crust. It wasn’t my favorite but I didn’t hate it. I hated the Secret Santa Dollar Store Frozen “Pizza.”

My lofty goals moving forward

Our kid’s old babysitter did a taste test with them and they sampled like 15 different flavors of Pringles. The Pizza flavored Pringles had better flavor than this thing. So now I have a new life goal. I want to find a worse pizza than the Dollar Store travesty. You see finding a better pizza is too easy. I don’t think its possible to find any pizza on the planet that’s better than a Lou’s Deep Dish sausage, so it’s really the only challenge left. This year my goal is going to be to find a pizza that’s worse than the Dollar Store’s frozen farce. I’m actually really looking forward to it.

My goals aren’t as lofty as Sarah’s. I don’t even have a plan. I think I’m just going to hit the local 7-Eleven and see what happens. It’s beautiful really. While everyone else slogs away at the gym or gives up carbs or tries to read a book, I’m going to be searching out and trying new pizzas. Granted they will likely be awful gas station frozen pizzas but they will be pizza nonetheless.