Panic attack on a light, crispy crust

By Mir
January 11, 2007

This morning BOTH of my children awoke healthy—if not entirely cheerful—and I sang “You are going to school to-day! You are going to school to-day!” until they both glared at me and plotted their revenge together at the breakfast table. I should probably be worried, but it’s hard to take the revenge plans of people chewing animal-shaped vitamins seriously.

We shuffled through the crisp air to the bus stop, amused ourselves by chiding each other for “smoking” and trying to make interesting shapes with the misty breath coming from our mouths, and then waved goodbye as the bus pulled away.

Thus began my first day this week sans children. I just knew it was going to be a great day!

I came back to the house and went about my usual routine. Make a cup of tea, check my email, do some work. Look; it’s not glamorous or thrilling, my life, but I like it. I especially like performing all of the aforementioned activities in TOTAL SILENCE. I hadn’t realized how much so until I had to try to do all of those things while one or both children asked for juice, or complained that their stomach hurt, or asked if they could watch television.

But today was a thing of beauty. My morning was like clockwork. I was calm, and productive, and carefree, and happy.

In fact, when the phone rang at 12:30, I was just starting to think about taking a break for lunch and maybe even just kick back for a few minutes.

I grabbed the handset and checked the caller ID. It was Otto.

Now, you’re probably thinking: Oh, that’s so nice! She’s having this great day and then Otto calls! Even better!

But, see, that’s not how it is at all. Otto and I talk all the time, true. Lord knows it’s an unusual day if we don’t chat on IM a few times and then still manage to tie up the phone for a couple of hours later on.

[I often leave myself logged on to Instant Messenger while I’m on the phone with him, and if I’m really on the ball I’ll remember to change my status to “On the phone.” Doing so is generally Kira‘s cue to appear and start pestering me with such loving screeds as “Why are you on the phone? Why? You should be here talking to me. But you are on the PHONE with that GUY because you love him more than you love me, and all because he has a penis and I don’t! Hmph.”]

[That small pop you just heard was Otto bursting into flame because I used the word “penis” in reference to him and my father reads here. Otto will later insist that whether or not my father was AWARE that he owns a penis is not the point; there’s no need to be TALKING ABOUT IT.]


Oh, right. So! The phone rang in the middle of the day, and while I am always happy to talk to my beloved, generally in the middle of the day we are both, you know, WORKING. And not chatting on the phone. So rather than being engulfed in warm fuzzies I immediately became concerned, but I tried to stay calm.

Me: Hey! Hi! What’s up? Everything okay?
Otto: Hi! Yeah, um, I just have some bad news.

At this point I mentally ran down the list of possible calamities. I mean, the fact that it’s Otto and not some random person saying “I found this phone on the body we just recovered” is a plus, but I can come up with three or four plausible bad news scenarios without any effort at all. I am starting to panic a little.

Me: You what? What? What’s wrong?
Otto: Yeah, it’s bad. I don’t know if you’re still going to want to move down here.
Me: What? Why?
Otto: Well… the Mellow Mushroom closed.

I heave a sigh of relief and consider reaching through the phone and smacking him for scaring me. At the same time, I can’t resist chuckling at how well this man knows me, to know that I would view the demise of a pizza place as a major tragedy.

Me: Oh no! Why?
Otto: I dunno, but there’s another restaurant there now. I figured I better tell you right away, so you could decide if you still wanted to come down.
Me: Wow. Yeah, I’m gonna have to take it under advisement.
Otto: I figured.
Me: Lucky for you, as big a strike as that is, there is still a huge factor in your favor that went into force just today.
Otto: Oh really? What’s that?
Me: It was five degrees outside this morning when we went to the bus stop.
Otto: Ah.
Me: Yeah.
Otto: So you think you can get over this, then?
Me: Yeah, probably.

I dunno; if it’d been warm out today, it would’ve been a much closer call.

Here’s what I had to say about the Mellow Mushroom after I ate there twice a year and a half ago:

I have glimpsed heaven. Twice, actually. Look, I don’t want to exaggerate. But if they do not open one near me I am going to have to move, is all I’m sayin’.

And what happens? They do NOT open one near me and I make good on my vow to move closer to them. And now they close their doors by Otto. Hmph. (Joss? Is the one near you still there? I may have to come visit you a lot. Um, because I love you.)

Anyway, I will be grappling with this crushing news for a little while. As bad news goes, it’s definitely better than some of the alternatives. But Otto is not allowed to call me in the middle of the day again unless someone is in mortal peril. I can only take so much.


  1. Karen Rani

    I told you once, Penis-Boy…you breaka her heart…well let’s just say you’re treading on thin ice. Now go re-open that restaurant for Pretty-Face. Straight away!

    (Not sure when I suddenly started saying things like “straight away!”) Heh.

  2. daring one

    You must be clear in your definition of mortal peril. Make it easier on the poor boy. You just outed him to your father, for pete’s sake!

  3. Muirnait

    Penis-Boy? Oh my. Apparently Otto has a new nickname. And oh my…I’d consider relocating for really good pizza too ;-) It’s been way too long. I should do some homemade soon! Mmm.

  4. Lady M

    Five degrees? On what scale? How is it possible to live in weather that cold? (How soon we forget . . .)

  5. Amy

    Good news~when you get a craving our Mellow Mushroom is still open. We are 25ish miles East of Atlanta. :)

  6. dad

    I’m speechless!
    And oh yeh, sorry about the pizza place.

    I had suspicions all along.

  7. Jenifer

    Heh….. penis-boy….heh.

  8. Woman with Kids

    Five degrees? You’re experiencing that thing known as winter? We here in Maine have decided to skip winter this year. It was 66 degrees last Saturday. In Maine. You know, the tropical north?

  9. Bob

    Amy beat me to it. We have a mellow mushroom too – but @90 miles east of Atlanta. oh, well.

  10. Rachel May

    HAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA!! Oh, my. *sigh* You really do crack me up.

    Note to self: Must remember not to read whilst students are in the room. Then they want to know what’s so funny, and I came soooooooo close to blurting out “Penis-boy” when I laughed about it… *sigh*

  11. Cathy

    They closed the Mellow Mushroom there?? I’m so sad! So much for going there for graduate school…

  12. Kelly

    I can sympathize. I didn’t take into consideration pizza when I moved away from Boston last year. I may not have moved. Good thing I CAN go home again…….and have pizza.

  13. Katie

    Good pizza is definitely a reason to move! We have crap pizza here and for our next move, we’re seriously scouting pizza delivery beforehand. “Uh yeah, deliver it to the house with the ‘For Sale’ sign out front.”

  14. Aimee

    Heh, Kelly — me too, but I moved three years ago. I miss the North End! Not, though, the five degree temperatures.

  15. Sophie

    They closed the Mellow Mushroom near where I live, too (which is about an hour from UGA). I wonder if they are closing all stores, or just weeding out the ones that aren’t doing so well. It seems like I remember M.M. doing that about 10 years ago. Try Everybody’s Pizza near Emory next time you are in Decatur. Hmmm… come to think of it, I wonder if that is still around.

  16. Heidi

    It’s a whopping fifteen degrees below zero this morning in my neck of the woods in Montana, making it 20 degree difference from Mir’s temperature. Did it work? Do you feel 20 degrees warmer now? No? Oh. So much for reverse psychology…

  17. Jenn2

    Mr. Clairol does this to me regularly, except with surprises. He’ll say, “I have something for you,” or “I got you something.” And I, like a stupid puppy, get all excited and say, “What? What? WHAT?” and sometimes jump around. Then he pulls out something totally weird, like dishwasher soap or a new lighter for the fireplace. What a letdown.

    Once, he did that with a car air freshner and, hand to God, I beat him upside the head with it.

  18. Otto


  19. Melanie Marie

    Penis-boy?? OH, that is too funny.
    Poor Otto!

  20. Liise

    Otto made me laugh!!!!

  21. Bob

    it’s a damned good thing I’m not a navigator.

    @90 miles WEST of Atlanta. (southwest, actually). jeez. I give up.

  22. Katherine

    Oh too funny! I love how he doesn’t like when you point out that he has a penis.

  23. David

    So, what you’re telling me is that you’ve totally forgotten about the plottings of the nefarious, animal-shaped vitamin chewers. *tsk, tsk, tsk* Those are the most dangerous kind, you know. Snack-ish bribes may be in order. Purely as a precaution, you understand.

  24. Christina

    That would be cause for serious reconsideration of the whole moving thing – it’s lucky for Otto he’s such a nice guy!

  25. Terri

    We live in Lilburn, less than an hour down 78 from Athens. Two of our Mellow Mushrooms closed recently, which made us all very sad, but I think the 2 in Snellville are still open, so there’s still hope for all of us (Snellville is on the way out to Athens). :) The good news is, the 2 locations that closed really just changed names — same ownership and same menu, supposedly. Although we have yet to try them at their word. All is not lost!

  26. carolyn

    I noticed that otto did actually pop. I guess what you said about the “p” word was true.

  27. Judy

    Otto and Mir… y’all are a hoot! And… send some of those Mellow Mushrooms down to SOUTH Georgia. We’ll have to give them a try.

  28. Em

    So sorry to hear you’ve lost a good pizza place. That is not something to be taken lightly. Good pizza is important in life!

  29. julie

    We have a Mellow Mushroom in Savannah and VinnieVanGoGo’s which is even better. It was 70 degrees here this afternoon. It’ll make a nice weekend trip…

  30. HipWriterMama

    I just found you and am amused. It’s freezing here and I’m thinking the tropics would be good right about now.

  31. Cele

    I was thinking Otto should be thankful that if you were talking about a serious member, in a place where there are a lot of women and your dad, you didn’t say it was normal, average, or below average. Especially considering he’s already POPped! Hmmm about that place with your dad and a lot of women….

    On the pizza front, I’m annoyed. They skip 36 contiguous states and put one in Alaska (no offense intended to that rather large snowier than most state), what’s that about?

  32. Joshilyn

    Yes the REAL original Atlanta one is FINE

  33. Jennifer

    You mean it’s a CHAIN? God, I’m so naive. And depressed, now. Thanks a LOT.

  34. cindy

    I’m in Atlanta and the good news is that Mellow Mushroom is everywhere! You won’t have to go far to get your fix. Don’t you just love their Esparanza salad dressing. Nothing like mellow mushroom pizza with a greek salad!

  35. carson

    Ok, MM is good, but Fellini’s has my number. They have fewer locations, but there’s one right near me. And a MM.

  36. Elleoz

    We had a Mellow Mushroom in Boone NC where I went to college. (GO APPS!) and it was heaven on earth. Sadly, there are none here :(

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