Want fries with that pizza?

There are some things you can’t buy in this country for love or money. One of them is pizza with hot dogs embedded in the crust from Pizza Hut. After all the publicity, it turns out they are available only in the U.K. It is probably just a clever ploy by the British government to increase tourism. What other reason could there be to visit England?

For a few weeks, I thought Pizza Hut had reached the heights of hot, hand-held dining. Then, thanks to my friends on Pinterest, I learned that I was woefully behind the pizza times. They alerted me to the fact that in the Middle East, Pizza Hut is offering “Crown Crust Carnival” pizzas. One has an outer crust studded with chicken nuggets; the other is surrounded by mini-cheeseburgers. Yummy! And so authentically Italian! It could be better only if it were put on a stick and deep-fried. I don’t know why these pizzas are available only in the Middle East. You’d think that people in Naples would be screaming for them — Naples, Texas, that is.

Pinterest, for the uninformed, is the latest Internet social-media phenomenon. It lets Web surfers, with the push of a button, post things they have found on the Internet to a personal bulletin board that they can share with others.

Unlike Facebook, Pinterest doesn’t want to know what you did today or what your relationship “status” is. It doesn’t care about your friends or family or what groups you think other people should join. It is much like the stuff stuck to your refrigerator door — a jumble of unrelated things you find interesting or necessary or funny. (The cheeseburger pizza qualified on all three counts.) You don’t have to say anything about what you’ve posted, though you can.

There are a lot of recipes on Pinterest. And a lot of shoes. It makes me think someone should start a magazine called Food With Melted Cheese & Expensive Shoes. Other hot topics are inspirational sayings and spoofs of inspirational sayings. And cats — lots and lots of cats and kittens.

Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul much in the news lately, made a habit of printing pictures of busty, barely dressed women on Page 3 of all his tabloids in a blatant attempt to lure male readers. Pinterest has convinced me that what every newspaper really should be printing on Page 3 is an adorable picture of cats or kittens doing something cute, like sleeping on top of the long-suffering family Lab.

Another favorite of Pinners is interior decorating. They read their favorite magazines online and pin the pictures they like best. What they like most are kitchens. In 10 minutes you will have seen more kitchens on Pinterest than Guy Fieri has seen in his entire life. Apple green is becoming the popular color for this room.

”Isn’t this just another way to waste time on the Internet? Haven’t you got better things to do?” Sue asks, as if the four hours she just spent watching a baseball game was not wasting time. I will not waste my time by saying that. It would not end well.

Still, wasting time is what most of us do when we’re not working. I fail to see how wasting time on the Internet is any different from wasting time by playing golf or going fishing.

I no longer feel guilty about spending mindless hours surfing the Web. I still feel guilty when I play golf. I’m not going to hear about cheeseburger pizzas on the golf course; I have to be on the Internet for that.

”Aren’t you afraid your mind will rot?” ask some people. (OK, it was Sue again.) No, it exercises my brain. I see a picture of a cheeseburger pizza and I think, “What else new and different could be done to a pizza?” A fried crust? A bloomin’ pizza? A burrito stuffed into the crust? A curly fry pizza? A cotton-candy pizza? A fried Twinkie crust pizza? Oh, thank you, thank you, dear Internet.

Jim Mullen’s newest book, “How to Lose Money in Your Spare Time — At Home,” is available at amazon.com. You can follow him on Pinterest at pinterest.com/jimmullen.

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