The Practical Joke That Never Was

marie's pizza chicago
You can't tell, but everything is red and awesome.

Tonight the men’s group I’m in had a holiday party at a local pizzeria called Marie’s.

Famous Chicago pizza place that is two-thirds liquor store and one-third restaurant. It’s been around since 1940 and looks like it was last updated in 1971. The decor is ruby red and all-longue. They decided to go balls-in for the holiday decorations and the results were impressive. I love this place.

marie's pizza chicago
You can’t tell, but everything is red and awesome.

Well, I just so happened to have stopped by this past Thursday. You’d think knowing I was going to have Marie’s thin crust pizza on Sunday would have suggested I ought to try one of the eight thousand other restaurants here in Chicago, but no. I walked in and sat at the bar waiting for takeout.

An attractive blonde came over to ring up my order.

That’ll be $14.

I’m actually going to be in here on Sunday night. With a party of dudes.

Oh yeah? When?


I’ll be waiting on you!

Ooh… we should come up with a joke to play.

Yes – let’s!

I’ve got it – what if I pretended that you were a long-lost one night stand? You come over to the table and jump on top of me because you’re so excited to see me again. We hug and then you take the order. After you leave my smile turns to a frown and I explain to the men, “That chick’s nuts.” I’ll say we met at some bar and we ended up back at my bungalow. You ever know how nobody says bungalow anymore? We should totally start saying that – you and I. Will you promise to try to insert “bungalow” in more conversations?

Jesus – get off the bungalow thing.

I’ll tell the guys how you got super clingy and I had to stop taking your calls. Now, I’m stuck because we’re reunited again. Plus, I’ll tell them that you might be secretly pissed because I lifted $40 from your wallet when you brushed your teeth that night. There may be arsenic in our pizza.

That sounds…

Fun? (fingers crossed)

TOTALLY FUN. We’re doing it!

I’m D.J.


See you Sunday.


Well, I have to admit I was more than a little excited. I never play practical jokes. I just can’t do it. It’s not in my blood. This is the reason I could never play poker. I’m not afraid of whipping out a lie, mind you. I just don’t want to do it when looking you in the eye. Much better on the phone or email. But I was going to suck it up and do this. The men would love this since they know my light and dark sides, and my vulnerabilities and fear. They would eat it up.

Sadly, the place was booked and Tanya was at another table. I did go over and kiss her hello, but just in a friendly way. We took a photo and she and I were both bummed we couldn’t play the joke. The pizza was great and I didn’t even grab her fanny on the way out. I’m much too classy.

dj and tanya at marie's pizza in chicago
Thank you once again to the photog who captured my double chin perfectly.