There was a time when I could've lived at Pizza Hut. In the 80's, it was the greatest place ever. I could eat an entire (personal pan) pizza myself, collect Land Before Time dinosaur puppets -- which were better than shitty McDonalds toys, because they were puppets -- and if it were an option, I would have had the breadstick sauce pumped directly into my veins. 20 years ago, pizza was king. No, it was better than king. It was awesome! The Ninja Turtles would not shut up about pizza. Even though their choice of toppings was questionable, having the Turtles eat pizza made them instantly relatable to me and my friends. After all, who doesn't want to eat pizza constantly (Besides adults, that is!)? Ninja Turtles became so synonymous with pizza that their direct competition, Samurai Pizza Cats, had to put "pizza" in the title of their show, just to keep up. There was more than one chain of kid's restaurants featuring animatronic entertainment and -- what else? -- a menu centered around pizza. Chuck E. Cheese and Showbiz Pizza merged and thrived in kid consciousness during the 80s, but do kids even go to Chuck E's anymore? I mean, besides kids who want to get into fist fights with adults.
Even the government endorsed pizza in the 80s. October is "National Pizza Month" as of 1987. "Book It," a program featured in public schools since 1984, bribes children to read with pizza. We essentially became the United States of Pizzmerica, or Amerizza, or some similar merger between the words "America" and "Pizza." I think the Golden Age of Pizza has passed. It's easy to write that statement off as the ramblings of an 80's child, but I don't see any excitement for pizza anymore. Now there's gourmet pizza, but do people really get excited over California Pizza Kitchen? Living in California, I eat a lot of sushi, which is tasty, but definitely not awesome. With the push for healthier eating, I bet parents are getting their kids vegan pizza, or no pizza at all. I mean, what are AYSO and Pony baseball teams supposed to eat after a tremendous victory or even a heartbreaking loss? Pizza-less bellies of America's children is a very depressing thought, but I think (and hope) one day, pizza will rise again. Cowabunga, dudes.
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