Note: In the following blog post, the word “racism” does not actually refer to racism.
Ladies and gentlemen, please gather around. We have a matter of much urgency to discuss. This Saturday, at approximately 7:50 PM, in Brooklyn, New York, we were discriminated against. With racism.
It started as a pleasant evening, much like any other. Since the weather was nice and we had a couple hours before sundown, and were famished, we decided to take a pleasant trip in the car; we were going to Coney Island, to enjoy some Totonno’s Pizza. Driving down Ocean Parkway, listening to Eric Clapton. It was the picture of a pleasant summer evening, 1982, New York City. Until racism.
We got to Totonno’s, navigating Coney’s horrible drivers and finding a parking space on a terrifying side street (all side streets in Coney Island are pretty insane, horror-wise), between the drive-through Starbucks and five boarded-up houses. We navigated the twisted, destroyed sidewalk over to Neptune Avenue. There it was, Totonno’s: the dream of so many car-free weekends, made real before our very eyes. Spirits high, we opened the screen door and entered the bustling restaurant. We stood awkwardly in the doorway, waiting for the O.G. waitress, who was about 50, to notice us.
What? We looked around, dismayed. Almost every table in the restaurant was occupied. People were still ordering. It wasn’t even eight o’clock, on a Saturday. We stepped, fearfully, backwards out the door, wondering what was going on. Then we looked down at our festively decorated ironic T-shirts and accessories.
We are a bunch of hipsters. And if there’s one thing that old people in cagey neighborhoods don’t like, it’s hipsters. We stood on the corner for a minute. Traffic rushed by and we wondered if we were really such bad people. We watched other people enter the restaurant and not emerge back onto the street.
Discrimination! Racism discrimination! Sure, we’re a bunch of sheltered ex-suburban white kids. But that doesn’t mean we don’t feel the pain of the struggle! We are America’s first black president!
Anyway, so we’ve pretty much sworn a blood oath against Totonno’s as a result of this racist incident, and will stop at nothing to destroy them. We had to brave the traffic-choked streets of Bay Ridge just to lay hands on a Peppino’s pie (which was awesome, BTW — we know you would never betray us, Peppino’s, or stare awkwardly at our chests, judging the words written therein). Mark my words, Coney Island: You will pay for this injustice. No justice, no piece! Of pizza.
This experience, however, did prove that we’re a little bit prophetic. Earlier in the day, we came up with an idea for a restaurant:
Here’s the premise of Pizza Exchange. We make some pizzas, but you can’t buy them. The only way to get a pizza is by coming in and giving us a different pizza. And it can’t be from Papa John’s. The profit margins are razor-thin — the only thing we sell is cans of coke — but who cares? I love pizza. It’s even handier when Totonno’s discriminates against you — now I know how fifteen year old kids hanging out outside the 7-11 trying to get people to buy beer feel!
Pizza Exchange used to accept Totonno’s pies, but we don’t anymore. They taste too much like racism.