From 2064: A eulogy for R Childs, lovingly delivered by a fellow customer from his favourite lunchtime restaurant

February 8, 2011

Robs was a swell guy. A real swell guy who just loved pizza. Pizza Margherita, pizza al funghi, quattro stagioni… you name it, Robs loved it. And you know, he didn’t just choose any old pizza off the menu. No – this guy really went to town. I’m talking extra toppings. I’m talking stuffed crusts (you know what I’m talking about, right? Like how they sometimes put extra cheese inside the crusts?). I’m talking about the thin & crispy bases, like how the Italians make them.

‘Deep Pan’ pizza? Sorry my friend, but if that’s what you’re selling, Robs ain’t buying. No way, Jose. Not this customer.

To those people who maybe didn’t know Robs so well, they’d sometimes ask: what’s with this guy and pizza?

Well, if any of those people are here today, let me tell you a little something maybe you didn’t know about the big guy.

Robs knew – some people would use the word ‘believe’ here; but trust me, please, when I tell you  that Robs had a certainty about this, a certainty that I for one had no quarrel with – Robs knew that, in a previous life, he had once been a pizza chef from Napoli.

And you know, you’d see sometimes, when the waiter brought his pizza over to the table, how Robs would close his eyes and just breathe in all of the aromas; hold the thumb and forefingers together on each hand and exclaim perfecto. How he would embrace the waiter like an old friend, kiss him on each cheek and say, “You are a-like a-my brother!”

He was a true friend – the sort you can call on when the chips are down. The sort of guy you can call on, anytime day or night, and he’ll be there for you, always. He’d say: “Just give me about 45 minutes, okay?”. And you’d know he’d be warming up that big stone oven, kneading the dough; getting ready to make you something a little bit special to cheer you up. A 12-incher maybe. With the fresh tomato sauce. Buffalo mozzarella. Little scattering of basil leaves. Yes, ma’am.

You know, I’ll never forget the day my wife left me. I called Robs straight away. I’m on the other end of the phone, and I’m crying so hard I can barely get the words out. I said, “Robs, I don’t think I can go on any more.” You know what he said?

He said, “Just give me about 45 minutes.”

And let me tell you something else. Something you gotta remember: He’s in a better place now. Yeah, he is. I know it. I know he’s up there somewhere, dressed in his favourite apron, leaning on his pizza shovel, warming up that big stone oven… and I know he’s looking out for me. He’s looking out for all of us. That’s just the kind of guy he is.

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