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ALONG THE BOOMER TRAIL/Pizza and Politics

Dick Methia
By Dick Methia
Posted on Feb 16,2010
Filed Under Food And Wine , Local Tastes,
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Photo by John Arundel <br /> <br />FUN FACT:  Did you know that the world's fastest pizza makers live in Alexandria and practice their craft at the Dominos Pizza off Duke Street?
Photo by John Arundel
FUN FACT: Did you know that the world's fastest pizza makers
live in Alexandria and practice their craft at the Dominos Pizza
off Duke Street?

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - You’ve got to hand it to Domino’s Pizza.  They have either the CEO with the most chutzpah or the cleverest marketing team in the industry, or both.  
            
Unless you’ve been vacationing on the dark side of the moon the last month or so, you’ve probably seen this pizza maker’s astonishing new ad campaign which some Madison Avenue execs call “historic.”
    
The TV commercials feature Domino’s incoming CEO, Patrick Doyle, bashing his own pizzas. In the ad Doyle confesses that focus groups say that Domino’s crust tastes like the cardboard box it comes in and the sauce is no tastier than ketchup.
    

Photo courtesy of Dominos Team Washington <br /> <br />The pizza-making team of Robert Donner, Emmanuell <br />Dicks and David Grisard, shown here, won the 2009 Domino’s Pizza Order Up! contest, held annually in Las Vegas. <br />
Photo courtesy of Dominos
Team Washington
The pizza-making team of Robert Donner,
Emmanuell Dicks and David Grisard,
shown here, won the 2009 Domino’s
Pizza Order Up! contest, held annually
in Las Vegas.

This public self-flagellation is a setup for Domino’s happy announcement that it is sending the bland pizzas back to the kitchen, exiling the pizza chef to Italy where American pizza makers are stoned, and totally re-creating the product. (When I finish this column, I’m sending out for a new Domino’s pizza just to reward CEO Doyle for his honesty!) 
    
Our government officials could learn something from Domino’s CEO. When the so called “underwear bomber” tried to ignite a nasty Christmas gift lodged in his lingerie, the plot was foiled by a few gutsy passengers.  Next morning on national TV, Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland insecurity, bragged, “The system worked.”  What system was that?  The one that expects airline passengers to bone up on their judo before flying the unfriendly skies? 
    
Napolitano is the old pizza in Obama’s cabinet. Her unwarranted confidence on the morning talk shows was cardboard bravado. Like Domino’s retired pizza recipe, Janet needs a serious makeover.  Obama later rebuked his cabinet officer with a candid admission of systemic failure.  But Napolitano’s initial confident reaction to a terrorist threat was unnerving. We can live with bland pizza. We can’t live with an ostrich, head in the sand, as our chief guardian of homeland security.
    
The shockwave rippling down Madison Avenue after Domino’s unprecedented ad campaign reinforces what we already know.  Truth in advertising in the public sector and in government is as hard to come by as really good pizza.
    
As you read this, on Capitol Hill a handful of lawyer politicians are secretly cobbling together a legislative monstrosity, the $800+ billion health “reform” package.  This bill will affect each of us for decades to come in ways we can’t begin to predict. Democrats claim it’s reform. Republicans warn it’s economic suicide. Where’s the truth? Right? Left? Somewhere in between? 
    
I tried reading online one of the six hundred versions of the bill. The language is so obtuse I got a migraine and nowhere in the 2,000 pages could I figure out whether my new health insurance would pay for it.
    

Photo courtesy of Dominos Team Washington <br /> <br />Donner, Dicks and Grisard celebrate their win in Las Vegas.
Photo courtesy of Dominos
Team Washington
Donner, Dicks and Grisard celebrate their
win in Las Vegas.

It’s amazing. In 1776 we declared our independence on a single page of parchment.  In 2010 it takes over 2,000 pages to explain whose going to pay for your shin splints. If only there were one legislator on Capitol Hill with the bold candor of Domino’s new president.  
            
We might actually be able to judge for ourselves if this health care behemoth is going to cure our ills or make us all sicker.



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