For the last 18 months or so, I’ve done fairly well in avoiding fast food and takeaways, and I’d like to say that this was due to will power, but it isn’t, it’s almost entirely down to laziness — so long as the effort involved in getting fast food delivered to me is marginally greater than simply cooking some pasta, I was safe. Domino’s Pizza has, tragically, discovered a chink in my armour — they allow me to order pizza via the internet. Bastards.
There is effort involved in getting fast food delivered. You have to find some up-to-date menus, you have to find the ones that actually do home delivery, you have to make the phone call, shout numbers and instructions down the phone at someone, correct them when they get it all wrong, then have to wait for a random period of time — usually anything between 30 minutes and two hours — for your food to arrive. You have to make sure you’ve got money on you…it’s all such a nuisance.
It was only a couple of weeks ago when it happened. I had been watching an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street where there had been a murder in a Chinese takeaway. Naturally, this made me start craving Chinese food (battered sweet and sour chicken, prawn crackers, egg-fried rice, hold the bullet-ridden corpses), but I had no takeaway menus to hand, nor did I want to brave the cold, dark, mean streets of East Oxford and walk to one of the half-dozen or so takeaways, only to get back and find all my food now cold. So I looked around online to see if could find an up to date menu, a takeaway with a website perhaps. No joy.
So I broadened my search, including Indian in the mix — still nothing. The closest I could get to was Aziz, which lets you order online but still involves you having to leave your house and collect the food, and that’s of no interest to me. So then I turned to pizza…and discovered the Domino’s online ordering system.
God, it’s brilliant. It works exactly as you’d want it to: just select what you want, bung in your address, pay by card (or promise to hand over cash on delivery) and then — best of all — specify a delivery time. Yes! If you want your pizza at 8:30pm, you’ll damn well get it at 8:30pm because that’s what you said on the form, and the internet is infallible. They’ve managed to almost entirely remove the element of human interaction from the process, and that’s a beautiful thing. If they could only somehow teleport the pizza directly into my kitchen it would be perfect.
But it doesn’t end with the joy of ordering without having to use my voice. I’ve also encountered this just as Domino’s have introduced what may be the nicest pizza I’ve ever had. It’s called ‘Meltdown’, and comes with spicy meatballs, chilli cheese slices, jalapeño peppers and what is described as a ‘generous drizzle’ of American-style mustard (but is actually more like a ladleful). Should you wish, you can also add chilli flakes and and fresh red chillies, but I’m a wuss so I’ve not done that yet.
Perhaps the best part of all, though, is the cold leftovers for breakfast the following day. It’s a slightly spicier breakfast than I’m used to, but when you go downstairs and see three slices of congealed chilli cheese and mustard on greasy dough, how can you walk away?