Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Friday, November 8, 1996


Mayo menace spreads
to pizza

YEARS ago, when I launched the Worldwide I Hate Mayonnaise Club, I briefly attempted to provide my members with a list of mayo-free restaurants.

It was a hopeless task. Restaurants have a way of slipping mayo, in all its guises, onto all sorts of food. And that, after all, is the basis for the Worldwide I Hate Mayonnaise Club: the fact that mayo is one of the few substances people will automatically put on your food. (I've often had people come up and say, "I hate liver. I think I'll start a Worldwide I Hate Liver Club." And I have to point out that when you order a cheeseburger, it rarely comes topped with a hunk of liver. But it always comes slathered with the dreaded white gunk.)

As president and founder of the Worldwide I Hate Mayonnaise Club, I felt it was my duty to tell members which restaurants were safe. For instance, I ordered a very expensive piece of opakapaka at a local seafood restaurant once and it arrived at the table with a quarter-inch layer of mayonnaise on top. Why would any self-respecting chef ruin a wonderful piece of fish that way? Naturally, I told my members to avoid that place.

The problem is that eventually every restaurant in town and all of the nationally franchised restaurants ended up on the mayo-club hit list. That's how pervasive the mayo conspiracy is. In the end, I could tell my followers that the only safe restaurants were pizza joints. (If you watch TV commercials, you can see where I'm going with this.)

Yes. The unthinkable has happened. someone has started putting mayonnaise on pizza. And it's not just anyone, but one of the biggest pizza franchises in the world, Pizza Hut.

When I first saw the commercial I couldn't believe it. It concerned a new "club sandwich" pizza some brain-dead food engineer at Pizza Hut Central invented. The pizza apparently has everything a club sandwich has - turkey, bacon, tomato, etc. - which isn't that bad of an idea. But it is topped off with mayonnaise.

(Let's all take a break here until our stomachs settle down. Deep breath. Deep breath. There.)

It would be easy to attack this latest mayo assault on the grounds of its health risks. Pizza isn't one of the healthiest foods around anyway, what with all the cheeses and fatty meats. The "Meat Lover's Pizza" alone boasted of having parts of every animal known to man as a topping. It should have been called the "Massive Coronary Thrombosis Lover's Pizza."

What kind of culinary genius would look at a fat-laden item like pizza - dripping with three or four types of heart-clogging cheese, topped with fat-impregnated pepperoni slices and artery-eating sausage chunks - and say, "You know what this pizza really needs? Mayonnaise!"

I just don't get it.

But we here at the global center of the Worldwide I Hate Mayonnaise Club do not attack mayonnaise on health grounds. That's just too easy. Our objection is purely philosophical.

Mayonnaise has absolutely no redeeming value for mankind. Even smoking tobacco has some beneficial effects. Mayonnaise is a scourge that should be wiped -with triple-ply towels - from the face of the earth. Since that does not seem likely in the near future, mayonnaise should at least not be allowed to spread any further than it already has.

While there may be some use for mayonnaise in the nonfood related arena, say as a lubricant for trans-Siberian railway car wheels or cannon fodder for use against Afghan rebels, it should not be used for human consumption. And it most definitely should never, ever end up on pizza.

Mayo haters in cyberspace can visit the Worldwide I Hate Mayonnaise Club on the internet at http://www.nomayo.com



Charles Memminger, winner of National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards in 1994 and 1992, writes "Honolulu Lite" Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Write to him at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802 or send E-mail to charley@nomayo.com or 71224.113@compuserve.com.



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