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Pizza Party USA

Every four years at the end of February, we’ve got that extra day. Is it special? Well maybe it should be.

To Whomever is in Charge of This Kind of Stuff:

Let’s begin by stating the obvious: Leap Day should be a holiday. I mean, come on: That pretty much goes without saying. It’s not even a real day. It’s like some kind of extra-dimensional day from the Phantom Zone that only phases into Earth Prime every four years. It’s a 100 percent free 24 hours, and employers should have no claim to it. Getting stuck working on Feb. 29 is like finding five bucks on a playground and having it immediately expropriated by a passing bully.

Okay, sure, 2/29 is a Sunday this year—you’ve got me there. But that won’t always be the case: Sooner or later it’s going to fall on a weekday, I think. Maybe not. I don’t really feel like doing the math. But in any case—and in keeping with America’s new doctrine of preemption—the time to act is now. It’s like Bush said in the 2002 State of the Union address: ‘I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s [coolest day] to threaten us with [the possibility of getting stuck working].’

That’s why we need to turn Leap Day into a holiday this year. But Leap Day shouldn’t be just another run-of-the-mill three-day weekend. After all, we already have a ridiculous number of winter holidays: Thanksgiving, the freebie day after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, some holiday in February, Arbor Day or something—Christ, I can’t even keep track of ‘em all. So, look, we’ve got our fill of those.

And besides, Leap Day only comes once every four years. Surely that calls for something special, something that will give Americans 1,460 days of giddy anticipation between occurrences. We need something extraordinary, a quadrennial celebration like none the world has ever seen.

Ladies and Gentlemen, what America needs is Pizza Party U.S.A.

Here’s how it works. First we ditch the whole ‘Do you want $3 of your federal tax to go to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund?’ thingie on income tax forms. I mean, come on—who checks that box anyhow? Illiterates and people who owe Wesley Clark three bucks but don’t know his home address—those are the only ones I can think of.

Instead, we add a checkbox that says, ‘Do you want $3 of your federal tax to go to PIZZA PARTY U.S.A.?!! Hell, yeah!’ Call me crazy, but I’m guessing people will be more enthusiastic about chipping in for a pizza party than donating it to some old white guy who already has enough money to buy Neptune. Besides, we’ll add a line that says, ‘WARNING: NO THREE BUCKS, NO PIZZA!’ Which should do the trick.

Furthermore, all of the donated cash goes into a government ‘lockbox’—I don’t want this money squandered on crap like farm subsidies or missiles or schools.

Also on the tax form will be some checkboxes where people can pick out their favorite toppings and specify what they absolutely won’t eat. Then we’ll erase the government’s ‘Patriot Act Mandated Database on Terrorists/Democrats’ and use that server to store PPUSA-related information. So instead of ‘Janet Castro, Tukwila, Wash.: reads UTNE, once chuckled at a Saturday Night Live Al Franken sketch,’ the database will store important information, like ‘Janet Castro, Tukwila, Wash.: likes mushrooms, pepperoni, onions, NO GREEN PEPPERS!!!’

We build up the PPUSA fund for four years and then, every Leap Day, booyah: Pizza Party U.S.A., baby!

Everybody gets the day off. No, I mean everybody. I don’t want to see any poor saps working at Denny’s or Wal-Mart during Pizza Party U.S.A.—we’ll pass legislation making it illegal to wear a nametag on Leap Day. The only people allowed to work will be the mail carriers charged with delivering the pizzas to neighborhoods around the nation (and each will receive a copy of the Shins’ Chutes Too Narrow for their trouble).

Then, at noon on Feb. 29, citizens from around the nation will travel to their local community centers, present photo I.D. (to prove they chipped in), and receive in return:

—Three slices of pizza

—A 16-ounce soda. And no diet soda, either—this is a pizza party, people!

—$2 in quarters for the video games

Community centers that don’t already have video games will be required to install Berzerk, Mappy, and the cool version of Discs of Tron where you actually get to climb into the cabinet.

Holy smokes, is this the greatest idea you’ve ever heard or what?! Just picture it: whole communities, gathering to celebrate that most cherished of American icons—pizza. Blacks sharing the Parmesan cheese shaker with whites; liberals passing the napkin dispenser to conservatives; cute girls from the bus and scary old guys from the bus, united by a mutual love of pan-style crust. Dude, I’m totally psyched about this plan. I’ve seriously got goosebumps, check it out.

And you should, too. Pizza Party U.S.A. is just what America needs in this era of rampant partisanship, of wanton incivility, of neighbor not meeting neighbor because they are too busy watching Treasure Planet on DVD. If we can come together—even if just for one day every four years—and throw the best damned pizza party in the history of civilization, I’m confident that the United States will be restored to its rightful place in the eyes of the world. We will again be viewed as a shining beacon of hope on a mozzarella-covered hill, a nation where, despite our differences, the citizenry can join together at the table of Liberty and drink Dr Pepper from the plastic cup of Freedom.

So do your part: Sign the petition urging whomever is in charge of this kind of stuff to institute ‘Pizza Party U.S.A.’ Just as cheese, tomato sauce, Italian sausage, and black olives can come together to make the world’s tastiest entrée, we, as a nation, can come together to make the beautiful dream of Pizza Party U.S.A. a reality.
 

» Click Here to Sign the Petition for ‘Pizza Party U.S.A.’ «


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TMN Contributing Writer Matthew Baldwin has maintained the blog defective yeti for more than a decade. He is also responsible for Infinite Summer (an internet-wide reading of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest) and is a board games enthusiast. He lives in Seattle with his wife, his son, and a good-for-nothing cat. More by Matthew Baldwin