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So PH keeps bugging me about what I want for my birthday, and I was driving him crazy by telling him all I wanted was baseboards, and possibly a lightweight vacuum cleaner (our current one is a wide, heavy elephant of a thing, which is just perfect for a narrow two story townhouse with a zillion tight corners).

This harried his romantic soul. Wouldn’t I rather have jewellery or a day at a Swedish Spa or something else less… functional?

No, I was adamant. I want baseboards.

So a good friend of ours showed up with her handy husband (whose job involves building crazy awesome water slides) and his new saw and he got to work cutting up the boards that have been lying in our front hall since July.

At dinner time, to celebrate the good work, we ordered pizza.

PH’s favourite pizza place is an independent joint around the corner, but we ended up ordering from Pizza Hut. Now, I like Pizza Hut because they can make a good, thick GREASY crust in a way that independent pizza places in Vancouver cannot. Pizza Hut is the only place that comes close to approximating the Greco standard which I miss so very much. But that’s not why we ordered from Pizza Hut last night. Perfect Husband’s place of choice only offers tomato based sauces, which is a problem when your very good friend with the very handy husband is deathly allergic to tomatoes.

So we go on the Pizza Hut website and find that we have the option of making pizzas with white sauce. Our friend said that the Veggie Lovers pizza would be perfect, if it had Alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce and if (obviously) there were no tomatoes on it.

We have long since mastered the art of ordering online from Pizza Hut, since it’s way easier than trying to explain complicated orders to a teenage twit on the other end of the phone: “Yes, a MEDIUM stuffed crust pizza and a LARGE meat lovers, with extra cheese. No, the meat lovers is NOT stuffed crust. No, the stuffed crust is a medium, not a large.” etc etc etc.

So he ordered the pizzas online, and he clicked on a medium veggie lovers for our allergic friend, but unchecked the tomato sauce and replaced it with alfredo sauce, and unchecked the tomatoes and replaced them with baby spinach. Then he read the order out loud to us, and got our deathly-allergic friend to look over the order before we sent it. The interwebs chirpily informed us that our pizza was on its way and would be here in 30 minutes.

Fifty minutes later, the pizza arrived. We opened up the veggie lover’s box and there were big red things all over it.

“Is that red pepper?” asked our ravenous friend hopefully. I leaned forward and put my eyeball within centimetres of the offending topping and announced that it was definitely NOT red pepper.

Tomatoes.

ALL over the pizza.

With a face like a thunder clap, PH grabbed the phone and dialled Pizza Hut. As he spoke, I watched his eyebrows climb higher and higher up his face in  astonishment until they were nestled deeply in his hairline.

“If you had a special order, you should have called us,” said the woman at the other end. “The internet order we received just says “Veggie Lovers with Spinach” (although obviously, since they gave us a pizza with alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce, that couldn’t have been ALL it said).

“Well,” said PH, “We definitely unchecked the tomatoes box. We triple checked the order before we submitted it. However, your delivery man did not give us a receipt after he charged us for the pizzas, so we couldn’t see your version of our order.”

“We have no proof that you didn’t make a mistake,” shrugged the blasé woman.

“We are happy to return the mistaken pizza untouched,” said PH.  “We’re not trying to get a free pizza. We just want one that our highly allergic friend can actually eat.”

There was a consultation with the manager, and the returned verdict was, again, that it was not Pizza Hut’s fault that their internet ordering service did not alert them to changes in the basic order, only to additions, like the spinach, and that we should have called if we wanted to be sure our order was made right.

PH maintained that he felt that it was Pizza Hut’s responsibility to make amends when their own service failed to work properly. Besides, if we had called and they had written down the order wrong, wouldn’t the same problem exist?

Another consultation with the manager resulted in a compromise of sorts – since they felt that WE had messed up our order, they didn’t feel obligated to do anything, but they would send us a SMALL pizza to replace our medium, out of the goodness of their hearts.

“And call next time,” advised the woman, “it’s not hard.”

Perfect Husband’s eyebrows disappeared entirely behind his bangs.

The pizza guy showed up with the new pizza 30 hungry minutes later. My husband showed the delivery guy the untouched death pizza and asked him if he wanted it in exchange. “Oh, is this new one free? They don’t tell me anything,” said the delivery guy, handing over the small without further comment (wait, so he had been expecting to charge us?).

Safe to say that the next time we get pizza, I have a feeling that the independent place with the dry crusts will be getting our business.  And if our tomato-allergy friend is over, we’ll just get White Spot.

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