A Small Hawaiian With Wedges

26/03/2010 at 9:39 pm (Fast food, Food, Nightlife, Pizza, Takeaway)

Having recently told this tale of a branch of a famous pizza place, I realised that perhaps it should be posted on this here blog. And here it is, the story of the most horrendous food retail experience of my life…

This happened a couple of years ago now, and while walking towards the brightly lit glass chamber of this fast food joint, I decided I couldn’t be bothered to make tea. I will save myself the time, the effort and the washing up. I’ll just nip in and order a pizza.   Fantastic.

I stepped into the Fluorescent Temple of Promise and approach the two Till Priestesses. Almost drawn by a cartoonist with a gift of the grotesque, these downtime glamour-pusses greeted me with an overwhelming feeling of warmth and camaraderie. Upon offering a cheery hello, for they were in charge of my evening’s culinary treat, the response I received was…


“Er… Um…” I fumbled. Wanting to regain a sense of composure to keep it fairly formal, as appeared to be customary in the Garlic Zone, I replied, “Shorney.” For that is my surname.

“Sean,” corrected my lip-glossed interrogator.

“No, Shorney.”


“Shorney. S-H-O-R… N for November (I get called Shorley from time to time, so I’m prepared) E-Y.”

She looked at me, brow furrowed, and punched something into the till. “No.” She said. I wondered if she was questioning my parentage, and I had neglected to bring my birth certificate, which was remiss of me. Fortunately she cleared up the confusion by adding, “I haven’t got an order on here for…”

“Shorney?” I offered.


“I haven’t ordered anything yet.”

“Uh, what would you like?”


“A small Hawaiian with wedges please.” Please don’t judge me on my choice – by the end of this I think you’ll agree I deserved whatever the hell I chose. Anyway, my order was tapped in, and I sat down to wait. And wait.

During this chance of quiet contemplation, the door swings open and in walks… well, I can only describe her as someone that is clearly confounded if ever faced with over-abundance of clothing.

“What’s this I hear about you saying you got off with my boyfriend?” She barks. Not at me, I hasten to add, but at the young woman who served me.

“Look,” said the girl on the till, “I really don’t want to discuss this now, but I finish at ten. This isn’t the time or the place.”

Oh, NOW you’re all professional, my exasperated thought process huffed as it threw up its arms.

Not to be deterred, the half-naked girl continued her doorstep challenge. “Well, don’t go around saying you been sleeping with my boyfriend, bitch!”

“I haven’t! I’ll see ya later!”

“Yeah, well, don’t go spreading rumours, ’cause you ain’t been!”

“I know!”

And she departs, with a crackle of what-the-hell… Of course, this unfolds into a two-hander that Alan Bennett would envy, as our girls discuss those previous, intense moments.

“You should deck her.”

“I’m gonna deck her.”

“Yeah, you wanna deck her.”

“Gonna deck her.”

“You should.”


The only thing that breaks up this little exchange of ideas is the arrival of a customer. Sorry, another customer. Don’t want to make a show in front of the clientèle! So other customers come and go, as I watch a handful of people come in to collect their pizzas, and order then collect their pizzas.

Hang on a minute, I thought. I approached the tills, and the girl who served me. “Excuse me,” I ventured, “but how’s my order getting along?”

“What’s the name?” You’re kidding, right?



I swear, every word of this is true.

“No, Shorney. S-H-O-R… It’s a small Hawaiian with wedges.”

“Ah, yeah. Hang on, I’ll speak to the chef.”

She went up to the big chap, and in an almost secretive series of half whispers and gestures, discussed my case. I would like to point out that I was within 10 feet of them, so the effect was just odd. In his defence, the chef found them straight away, and came over to serve me. “Hawaiian with wedges?” he smiled. “Yes!” I smiled back, and handed over my card.

The chef tapped the till, and said, “ah.”

“Ah?” I questioned.

“Yeah, it’s a new till system, and I’ve been on holiday.” I suddenly realised that the other girls had dropped him in it and were fussing over something else. And he suddenly realised too. Rather embarrassed, and not wanting to hold me up, he said, “I’ll just get the manager.” And off he goes into the back with my pizza, wedges and debit card.

The manager appears with incredible alacrity, looks me right in the eye and asks, “so what’s the problem?” in a bit of aggressive manner.

“Um, I just want to pay for my pizza (and get the hell out).”

“So what’s wrong with it?”

“Er, I don’t know. I just ordered a small Hawaiian with wedges.”

He looks at the boxes and confirms, “yeah, that’s what they are.”

“Good. Can I pay for them then please?”

Suddenly, the frown gives way to a lovely open-faced smile, and in a breezy manner waves the whole situation away with, “oh I’m sorry, I thought you had a complaint. It’s this new till system.”

“Erm… yeah.” I stammered, and bought my small Hawaiian with wedges. And left what was without a doubt one of the oddest experiences of my life.

I know what each and everyone who is reading this is thinking. Why not complain there and then? Did you write a letter of complaint? Why did you pay for such appalling service?

All fair questions. No, I didn’t complain. No, I didn’t write a letter. Why pay? I just wanted it over with. It’s my personality. I’m very accepting of certain things. Great in one way, useless in another. But I’ll tell you what, sometimes these mad experiences really are the fabric of life, and are a real slice of reality in these modern times.  As long as it doesn’t happen too often.

So, have you any foody or shopping horror stories?  Hit the comments tab and share!



  1. Sarah said,

    If this is the fast food joint I think it is, I used to work for a different branch … Trust me, that is about the norm. Complaining wouldn’t have helped, it never does. X

  2. AngelusK said,

    For some reason your title induced visions of Hervé Villechaize serving cheese and pineapple bits on cocktail sticks… so much for any claim to sanity on my part.

    Sorry you had such a traumatic tea :o(

  3. peacockpete said,

    I do feel vindicated that complaining makes no difference (which I sort of expect really). It is a sad state of affairs though.

    It could have been Hervé Villechaize in chunky shoes, so that’s not bad going! It wasn’t the best experience, no… But I did enjoy eating it.

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