My soul is Baron – I have no mini pizzas

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Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 6:00 am

I drove 100 miles on blustery roads Sunday afternoon in search of a mini pizza. Not intentionally, of course.

No sane person leaves the house and decides to waste three hours of his weekend zigzagging across Traill and Grand Forks counties in search of tiny pizza.

Life doesn’t always go as planned, however.

My son, Jack, has become a notoriously picky eater since turning 9.

If it’s not buttered toast, knoephla soup or a bowl of Reese’s Puffs, he’s probably not interested in what’s being plopped in front of him on the dinner table these days.

Did I forget to mention Red Baron Deep Dish Singles pepperoni pizzas?

My god, so many Red Baron pizzas.

Part of the blame lies with my wife and me, of course.

We’re adventurous eaters and pretty darn fine cooks, but a 9-year-old’s palate isn’t always suited to a steaming plate of chicken Szechuan or spicy Indian food.

So when Alyssa and I are trying out new recipes, it’s nice to be able to toss a frozen pizza in the microwave for Jack and not have to worry about cooking two meals.

The thought of microwaving a pizza makes me gag, but not Jack.

He’d eat microwaved Red Baron pizzas for breakfast, lunch and dinner if he could.

That’s the problem, though.

If you’ve ever gone to Miller’s Fresh Foods and tried to buy a Red Baron Deep Dish Singles pepperoni pizza only to find they’re sold out, I know the reason.

His name is Jack. He’s a Virgo. He likes cats and long walks on the beach.

On Sunday, we ran out of Red Baron mini pizzas, again.

This is a common occurrence in our house.

The problem is that Miller’s in Hillsboro ran out, too.

Not a big deal, I thought. I am a man of action. So I drove to Dollar General, but they didn’t have any, either.

Still undeterred, I hit the Interstate 29 onramp and headed to Miller’s in Mayville.

I made it halfway there before my wife called to ask if I was lost.

The question was rhetorical. We’ve been married so long she’s no longer concerned about my welfare.

“Did you need anything at Miller’s?” I asked, ignoring the fact it was in another city.

Young husbands, pay attention. I was headed to Miller’s, which was true, saving myself from admitting I was dumb enough to drive 18 miles for a mini pizza.

“I wanted to make sure you were in town and didn’t do anything stupid like driving to Mayville in case Hillsboro didn’t have any,” my wife replied.

Old husbands, pay attention. Your wives are a step ahead of you at every turn.

Yes, I admitted. I was halfway to Mayville in search of mini pizzas.

The problem? Mayville’s grocery store didn’t have any. Neither did the city’s gas stations or its Dollar General store.

Did I mention I’m stubborn? I once sat outside a college athletic director’s office for four hours waiting for her to peek out so I could ask her about staff layoffs.

So, with a sigh and a mostly full tank of gas, I headed to Grand Forks.

I had gone this far. I wasn’t giving up now.

I did, however, call my wife to let her know I was headed north on I-29.

“Thanks for letting me know. If you hadn’t called I would have assumed you went to Winnipeg to get them,” she quipped.

Little does she know, I don’t have an updated passport.

Forty-five minutes later, I marched into the Target store in Grand Forks, grabbed a shopping cart and headed for the frozen foods aisle.

Know what I found?

One box of Red Baron pepperoni mini pizzas. One box!

I leaned against the milk case and began searching for pizza recalls on my phone.

Did they put contaminated lettuce on these or something?

Grumbling and clutching my lone box of mini pizzas, I left Target and cruised down 32nd Avenue until I reached Hugo’s Family Marketplace.

Hugo’s has five locations in Grand Forks. Surely one of them had mini pizzas.

I grabbed a flyer inside the store, but my heart sank when I saw Hugo’s was having a sale on Red Baron products.

Fortunately, they still had a dozen boxes of mini pizzas. I grabbed half and left.

Three hours into my journey, I walked back inside the house carrying my trove of pizza.

My wife says she told Jack about my travels while I was gone, although I’m not sure he fully appreciates how much work went into getting him dinner.

Sunday night’s pizza may have been forgettable, but hopefully in 30 years he still remembers a couple important lessons.

First, parents will go to great lengths to take care of their kids.

And second, you can’t put a price on your child’s happiness.

Although in this case, if you did, it would be $3.75 or three for $10.

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