Eric Rynerson: Haiku, Pizza and Australia

2009 November 18
Good beer + good pizza + hanging with me = Happy Eric

Good beer + good pizza + hanging with me = Happy Eric

One of my college roommates and great friends Eric Rynerson came to Austin over my birthday weekend.  I estimated that he, like most my visitors put the reasons for visiting at 70% visiting me, 20% free pizza at Homeslice, and 10% Austin.  He said that was about right.

Eric is nothing if not a huge lover of food.  Not in the Golden Corral, watch-me-rock-this-buffet style, but the order-three-appetizers-and-try-them-all style.  He’ll eat all of a dish if it’s delicious, but will just pick at it if it’s not, he’s less tolerant of mediocre food than most.

So I was both excited and nervous to take him to Homeslice.  I think Homeslice is great, and he usually has similar tastes.  Frankly, I felt like taking professional ballerina to my kid’s ballet recital.  Will my delicious little Homeslice measure up?  Can it please the master?

The answer was a wholehearted yes.  He loved it.  The beer, the pizza, the vibe, the freeness.

At the end of the meal, we found ourselves talking about Australians.  I estimated the population of Australia to be 30 million people, he figured around 15.  He asked, as he has a habit of doing these days, if I wanted to bet.  With the help of a pitcher or two of Fireman’s #4 I felt confident in my prediction so I said sure: the loser has to write a haiku about the winner.  He googled it and it turns out that he was right.  Australia has about 22 million people, closer to 15 than 30.  Dammit Australia, couldn’t you pop out 1.1 million people or take in more immigrants or something?  Arrrggggghhhh.

We had a great weekend full of delicious awesomeness.  We hit up many of my local faves besides Homeslice, played BYOB mini-golf, walked through parks and just kicked it.

His last night in town we were watching the Cowboys game at a local bar (I don’t own a TV), and decided to grab a slice or two of pizza at halftime.  We went to Homeslice and I did a strange, foreign thing: I paid money for pizza at Homeslice.

It was my first time at the slices window since I was told that my deal does not cover free slices.  The experience was so sad, handing over the money made me feel tawdry and dirty.  I felt like a guy who meets a lady out and about, shares a wonderful time with her, goes back to her place, “knows her”, and wakes up to find her rifling through his wallet.  I thought she wanted to give me her hot deliciousness for free, but honey, she’s got bills to pay just like everyone else, and nothing in life is free (except large pizzas for dine-in only).

Eric had an early flight back to San Francisco on my birthday, and he was eating the leftover pizza for breakfast in the car.  When I saw him off, I told him that I would recycle the pizza box, which I then threw in Erin’s trunk and left it for over a week.  I had forgotten to take it out, just as I had forgotten to pay up with my haiku to Eric.  So here goes:

Master of the ball
Eric loves food, life and fun
Screw you Australia

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