The Noid was a vicious little bugger. For decades, pizza chains had written off his baleful shenanigans as a “cost of doing business.” Big names like Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, Shakey’s and Round Table cowered before him and if you were a “mom and pop” pizza shop, forget about it–your kids were going to school shoeless. This long-eared, blood-red bastard’s ability to impact a business’s bottom line was that pervasive. His tricks of the trade read like a veritable laundry list of disruptive practices including hampering the performances of easily impressionable teenage delivery drivers by providing them free joints and hip flasks of Popov vodka, calling in false orders at staggered times and disparate locations in order to keep drivers ping-ponging all over town, unplugging refrigeration units causing precious meats and cheeses to spoil, introducing vermin into food preparation areas during closing hours, rewiring “hot sleeves” so that they actually cooled pies instead of keeping them warm, and spray-painting anti-pizza graffiti all over public buildings and even some private homes.
God only knows the kinds of wickedness he would have spread had he ever had the chance to sign up for a Yelp account. But that’s just the point. The Noid never made it to the age of Yelp and Foursquare and UrbanSpoon. Because there was a certain Christian warrior named Tom Monaghan from up Ann Arbor, Michigan way who had seen enough of The Noid and decided his company would be the one to exerminate him. For the good of all.
Now, nobody has ever claimed that a Domino’s pizza has ever been anything but a mediocre pie, but the company’s willingness to confront this diabolical villain was admirable and the determination they demonstrated to defeat him (it took 8 years) absolutely heroic. The Noid hasn’t been heard from since.
There are YouTube video clips you (or anyone, really) can watch wherein jettisoned Journey vocalist Steve Perry uses some goofy hand towel to lead an entire baseball park of unbearably smug start-up yuppie bros, socially hopeless programming nerds and reeking, sidewalk-shitting homeless zombies in a rousing rendition of his former band’s FM radio staple “Lights.” By the “end”–meaning when it’s time for the pitcher to start the next half inning by throwing a pitch, meaning that the person running the PA is required to stop the music, he’s basically going berserk, desperate for the song, his song, not to end. It’s easy to see how much he misses it. The adulation, the cheers, the attention.
Meanwhile, his former buddies–still legally permitted to go out on tour using the instantly recognizable brand name “Journey,” are off somewhere at a casino theater or State Fair or outdoor package tour alongside bands like REO Speedwagon and April Wine and Bang Tango ROCKING OUT for hours at a time–driving people into a frenzy using electrified musical instruments and microphones and light shows and hell, maybe even scoring a quick BJ from some fiftysomething groupie after the show while being paid actual real money to do so. All this while Steve’s got maybe 90 seconds tops on the Jumbotron, waving around that hideous black and orange scrap of cloth in one hand while psychotically brandishing his Giants baseball cap in the other like it’s his very own ticket through St. Peter’s gate, his face a mask of neediness, his damaged soul already bracing itself for that terrible moment when the music cuts off like a light switch and that aforementioned pitch brings everyone back to the business at hand of World Series baseball–forgetting en masse almost immediately the pathetic sideshow he’d so briefly been the focal point of. It must be hell on earth for him. But such self-torture may, indeed, be poetic justice, because just think of the hell on earth both he and his now estranged mates subjected ALL OF US to for so many years back in the 80s.