Pizza is the great leveler. It is the quintessential American food. Can't agree what to order? Order pizza. People will show up for pizza.
It varies regionally, like accents and weather. New York Style. Chicago deep dish. Godfather's. Pizza Hut. Papa John’s. Domino’s.
It's like all Quintessentially American Things — it started in Italy somewhere and got mistranslated repeatedly into something we all prefer. We know it's not authentic. That's half its charm.
What a man likes on his pizza tells you a lot about him. For instance, if a man likes his pizza topped with tiny lampshades made from human skin, he is probably Ed Gein.
Pizzas are telling. They’re like Rorschach tests, except that unlike Rorschach tests they are not all pictures of my mother with bat wings reciting excerpts from Sophocles.
“The more toppings a man has on his pizza, I believe the more manly he is,” Cain said. Pressed for reasons, Cain added, “Because the more manly man is not afraid of abundance.“
Hopefully, this is also the attitude Cain takes toward allegations of sexual harassment. Don’t fear abundance!
Cain elaborated further — “A manly man don’t want it piled high with vegetables! He would call that a sissy pizza.”
What's in a pizza? A rose by any other name might smell as sweet but a pizza with any other toppings might be a “sissy pizza.”
I once argued that Ron Paul was the Hawaiian pizza of presidential candidates — most people don’t get it, but the ones who do won’t let you hear the end of it.
So what does pizza say about you?
Cheese: People-pleaser. No one actually wants this, but everyone prefers it to anything anyone else suggests, so you always wind up ordering it. It’s the Mitt Romney of pizzas.
Pepperoni: Not breaking any new ground, but it’s more of a commitment than cheese.
Mushroom: You don’t actually enjoy this, but you know that neither does anyone else. Preferred pizza of Gingrich supporters.
Green peppers and onions: This is the sort of thing that happens if one guy orders a pizza for a group without consulting anyone else.
Bacon: No one has yet said no to putting bacon on anything. We are not about to start with pizza. This never occurs to anyone at first, but when it does, people hop on the bus immediately. Only later do they realize what a bad idea it was, say, after the bacon pizza forgets which cabinet department it would cut in the middle of a debate.
Hawaiian pizza: You feel strongly about things others do not care about. Probably a Ron Paul supporter.
Sausage: Get enough people in the room to acknowledge that they love sausage, and everyone will be much happier than if they had just agreed when someone said pepperoni. Moot point, as the Republican field will never admit to liking sausage.
Chicken: Jon Huntsman. Nobody will order this, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you did.
What pizza is Herman Cain? That’s a good question. It had better be manly and abundant and capable of dealing with sexual harassment allegations. But what pizza fits that bill?
I would argue that the manliest pizza in the world is a white vegetarian pizza, eaten with a fork and knife. The vast number of people who would become violently indignant at the sight of someone eating a white vegetarian pizza with a fork and knife would require that someone to defend himself. If he made it through the pizza-eating intact, that would indicate that he was the strongest man alive.
“If it’s a great pizza, it transcends party affiliations,” Cain noted. Truer words were never spoken.