Scrounging for pizza

Scrounging for pizza

A memoir of homelessness.

I cannot stand being cooped up, especially if that coop happens to be a two-bed, one bathroom hotel room at the likes of the Quality Inn located along Highway 13 in Savage, MN; only it wasn’t the Quality Inn but the Comfort Inn ten years ago when I was stuck there along with my mom, my brother and our two dogs thanks to our being homeless.

One of the things that kept me from going bananas back then was hanging out at the pool, where I had considerably more elbow room handy.  

It was here on one Friday night that that a whole flock of kids arrived under the supervision of a few grown-ups along to see to their every want, one of which was pizza. Several of them, all delivered, courtesy of good ol’ Pizza Hut.


Pizza! It was the rarest of luxuries for us back then because of a super-tight budget which saw food shelves as our primary source of groceries. At one time, we had some Jack’s sausage and mushroom pizzas from time to time, cooked in a tiny grill mom had acquired, but pizza from a place like Pizza Hut was a luxury we could only dream of.  

Our usual bill of fare was canned tuna, cold hot dogs and popcorn; not exactly the most balanced of diets, but it kept us going. The monotony of it all naturally left a craving for tastier foods, though.

So it was that as the night wore on and the clock ground toward the time the pool area closed at 11 p.m., an idea formed as I lounged near the hot tub minding my own business: If they had any pizza left when their shindig was done, I would go over and politely ask if I could have it. If successful, I would take it back to our room and share my bounty.

Believe it or not, they did have a slice left when I went up and asked as their shindig wrapped up, and they were more than happy to part with it. It was pepperoni if I remember right, and my brother and I split it as soon as I heated it up in the microwave our hotel room had.

Such are the things we do when we are starved for certain kinds of food.