Ordering pizza these days feels a bit like when they order pizza in a bank robbery movie. The driver places the pie in a designated position, slowly backs away, and then we take it in, wipe down the box to make sure it’s not bugged, and eat it with the other hostages. But the food’s still good.
The coronavirus outbreak has brought us all sorts of new societal features; the worst of them obviously is the damn virus itself, but I like this whole contactless delivery thing.
There was never much inherently wrong with the previous system of delivery, unless you were an idiot like me who easily got embarrassed by the medieval feast he ordered. With the contactless version, I don't have to watch the driver look behind me and realize that I'm ordering a giant pizza and wings only for myself, and they can't see the look of shame on my face when we recognize each other because this isn't the first time.
Any awkwardness is eliminated, and now I can simply grab the food, look around like a criminal to see if anyone is watching, and abscond with it back to my lair.
Nearly every restaurant that delivers now offers a neat little box on their website where you can write all your neurotic contactless instructions, which I end up typing and retyping five or six times. “Leave the food under the gargoyle. Use telekinesis and fly the pizza with your mind through my open window. Throw it in the air and run away and I'll catch it. Place it in my designated pizza mailbox and text ‘The eagle has landed.’”
Most places will just leave the food, but some have a policy where the driver will wait to make sure you get it, like when you drop a date off and wait to see that she gets inside safe. That's what happened when I first ordered contactless delivery. The driver left the food and stood about ten feet away while I picked it up, gave them a friendly wave and said, “Isn't this all weird?” They agreed.
This method is understandable, because the other day I walked by an apartment building and saw a hot pizza box just sitting outside all vulnerable. Never in my life have I had a stronger urge to steal, but I didn't do it (not even a slice), and moronically felt like a good person for not doing so. If I took that pizza, then coronavirus wins.
Will contactless delivery be around post-pandemic? It's hard to say. Amusing as it all is, the method does ultimately help protect the health of both parties involved, and we may begin to view it as an old, unnecessary tradition, like shaking hands or human sacrifice.
Still, it all feels a bit too convenient, as if I'm living inside a giant vending machine that drops off hot food after I press A5. Maybe now and then it's good to have a little side order of shame and human contact with your meal, so you don't order food too often.
Because the other day in my apartment I tripped on a stack of empty pizza boxes, and it’s getting increasingly difficult to keep blaming it on coronavirus.