Rationalization is my favorite pizza topping: It makes eating a whole pie in one sitting seem like a perfectly rational thing to do–if you ask for thin crust and top it with the maximum amount of allowable no-extra-charge assorted vegetables.

But tonight, I am on the precipice of pizza with EXTRA rationalization. I am contemplating what can be considered nothing less than complete anarchy. And this coincides with a day in which: I listened to the song “I Was A Teenage Anarchist” and received a text that ended with the word “anarchy.”

The anarchy I speak of is committing an act which violates a core fundamental principle of the Foodieism belief system: Thou shall not eat food found in the street (unless the Apocalypse has taken place); it is forbidden to eat an anonymous pizza that was left at the bus stop.

Let me tell you how I reached this point: Coming out the supermarket with grocery bags in hand, I headed to the bus stop that has a seating area. Upon arriving, I sat in one of the end seats on the three-seat bench. I went to put my groceries on the bench too–in the middle seat–instead of on the ground, but someone left behind their garbage: a pizza box. As I moved the pizza box (which I assumed to be empty) to the other end seat, it felt unusually heavy. Maybe I stumbled into a drug deal drop-off and there’s cash inside?

I lift the lid and..A WHOLE PIE. When this big pizza pie hits my eye, I immediately look for the catch–the defect, the poison, the thing that made this pizza problematic enough to be abandoned on a public transportation bench in Staten Island, on Forest Avenue. If a cheese pizza that appears to be visually sound gets left behind, does it make a sound, in a voice that tells you to do something incredibly stupid?

I can’t believe I delivered to my home, this lost pizza that I found. The entire bus ride back was packed with me rationalizing–weighing the Pros & Cons of eating a strange pizza that could very well be the reincarnation of a biblical temptation. As the oven preheats, let’s recap:

1) The pizza looks perfectly fine (see picture entered into evidence).

2) I wasn’t able to attend today’s weekly Tuesday meeting, which I look forward to going to because they serve free pizza. And what do we have here? Technically, free pizza.
3) A pizza shop is right by the bus bench, which means it’s perfectly plausible that:
a) The person closing up didn’t want to waste an entire pie, so they left it outside for a passerby.
b) Someone, who probably needed both hands while on the phone, got distracted while boarding the bus and forgot to remember their pizza.
4) I stumbled upon the pizza by chance, as the trip to the supermarket was unplanned and only happened because I realized Michael’s arts & craft store was about to close–and I wouldn’t have time to get the “70% off” decorative picture frame or “66% off” scented candles. So clearly, this constitutes as a blessing in disguise.
5) I am pairing the pizza with spiked juice (“spiked” is a poor word choice) and the Grey Goose vodka should act as an antidote against any harmful alien thing I may ingest.

6) I cut off the overly-doughy crust in case this imaginary-food-contaminating-person is as stupid as me–and put the poison inside a part of the pizza that rarely gets eaten.

7) I’ll sprinkle magical spices on the pizza before eating–Cajun Creole seasoning, black pepper and white pepper–they shall neutralize any residual evil that evaded my earlier defensive maneuvers.

8) As hard as it is to believe, there are human beings who ate straight out of garbage cans and lived to talk about it. I personally know some folks who experienced this and they have a testimony that cannot be trashed.

1) It’s STRANGER DANGER (in pizza form).

2) Sometimes a “blessing in disguise,” turns out to be a curse in sheep’s clothing (or food poisoning in a pizza box).
3) This may be serial killer bait, flavored with invisible-to-the-naked-eye toxins, specifically targeting those who dumpster dive or plan their meal around a bus stop bench.

the buzzer went off–the oven’s preheated–and the final score is 8-3 in favor of the Pros.
Pray for me (even though I *prayed over the pizza before preheating it).
I’m actually going to do this! I’m going to eat pizza that can’t pass a background check; it has no personal history or references. If you don’t hear from me after this, you know what happened…

*Pre-Preheating Pizza Prayer
Dear God, please bless this pizza I found at the bus stop. Let it be free of anything harmful. Let it nourish my body. I pray it doesn’t cause sickness or nausea. I pray this pizza is nothing but goodness. Amen.

[APPROXIMATELY FOUR HOURS LATER, after an extended carb-induced early a.m. nap]

Thank God. I’m still alive. When I laid me down to sleep I was worried; there was nothing to do but consider my foolhardy ways and add Poison Control to my phone’s contacts.

As I drifted into sleep, I self-monitored my vitals: in stable condition for the most part, maybe the early stages of acid reflux, and a crazy dream: I was directing the remake video of Bell Biv Devoe’s song “Poison” and I got pissed off because they typo’ed the title and altered the lyrics without authorization…

Here’s an excerpt from the song “Pizza,” by BBD (Bell Biv Devoe):
That pie is poison / Never trust a free slice and a smile

I can laugh at it now, but at the time when it happened it traumatized me.
Then it got better. I feel full, full of gratitude: I was blessed with a pizza I had no business eating and lived to share my testimony. In the words of Marvin Sapp, “I never would have made it,” if I didn’t follow my poor decision-making with that Grey Goose-infused chaser. I feel good. My fear of ground up glass hasn’t materialized…

I still have four slices left in the fridge.

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