It was always commonplace in my household to eat pizza with a knife and fork.
I never thought anything of it, until one fateful sleepover when I put my eating habits on full display in front of some tentative new friends.
It all started out smoothly enough; your run-of-the-mill lads’ sleepover. Original Xbox, watching Naked News on the Comedy Channel when the parents weren’t in the room, naming stuffed toys after people from school and unceremoniously throwing them off a makeshift cliff – y’know, extremely normal behaviour.
I was already on thin ice after suggesting the stuffed toy murder game, and my reputation copped its second blow when it was dinner time.
Entering the kitchen as a rowdy prepubescent gang, I spied the pizza lined up on the table. “I can’t wait to give you oral,” nine-year-old me (probably) thought as I eyed off the large Hawaiian.
However, looking around I started to realise there was nay a knife nor a fork in sight. It was slightly odd, to me, so I casually asked the parents for some utensils so I could get to business.
Fast forward two decades and the lads from that sleepover are nothing but a distant, 20-year-old memory.
Considering I’m still scarred for life (although not to the point of conforming to handheld pizza), I thought I’d spread the word of our good lord and saviour(s), the knife and fork.
Actually, nuts to that, the knife and fork don’t need any more smoke blown up their asses. Instead, let me point out to you greasy-hand monstrosities exactly why eating pizza with your five-fingered appendages is downright rank.
Let’s target the low-hanging fruit first: the grease.
Unless you’ve spent four hours of your night patting that oily dough with a tea towel, there’s bound to be an insane amount of nature’s edible lube left on your pizza.
And there you guys are, smearing that shit all over your hands like the feeling of oil on your body doesn’t even faze you? It’s wild. I can barely eat a Twistie with two fingers without immediately feeling like I’ve been stained with artificial cheese powder for the next month.
(Ah shit, I’ve just realised this is making me come across a bit precious. I love oil. I’m bathing in oil as we speak. I clean my teeth with oil. I’d elope with oil in a heartbeat. Am I lying? Tough to prove.)
Of course, now that we’re hand-sanitizing every other second, the actual hygiene factor isn’t too much of a concern of mine, so I’ll just get to the crux of my argument: the ingredient-to-mouthful ratio.
Anyone who’s ordered a pizza knows that the local crew down at your ol’ Sammy Boys doesn’t spend 45 minutes ensuring every circular-inch of pizza has the perfect ratio of ingredients.
So to those who eat pizza with your hands, I ask you this: how in the fuck do you get a bite of every ingredient on your pizza? Do you not care about each bite? Do you just shove the entire piece into your mouth and swallow it like a duck? Do you heavy-handedly pick each tiny olive up with your chubby little fingers and place it carefully onto a bit of pepperoni?
At least with a knife and a fork, you can carefully place your toppings wherever you want with the precision and speed of a surgeon.
It might take an extra minute or two, but that’s the price you pay to have the best goddamn pizza experience of your life.
Now, I can already hear the rebuttals from here.
“Some people just eat Margherita pizza so it’s the same with every bite regardless.”
I could write an entirely separate article based on my blinding hatred towards people who order a Margherita, but I won’t. What I will say though, is that with all of the toppings at your disposal, who hurt you enough to feel like you only deserve cheese, tomato paste and dough?
No really, give me names. I need to talk to them regarding an entirely unrelated matter.Image: Friends