A Bad Day With A Camera

Five Bucks, Five Bucks, Five Bucks

Buy a regular-price medium or large pizza, and get up to two medium two-topping pizzas for $5 each. That’s the famous line from the famous commercial. Mention pizzas for five bucks, five bucks… Everyone thinks of Pizza Hut because the ads get burned into your brain. This is a restaurant I’ve known about since I was a preteen and yet I have only eaten their stuff twice in my life.

Are you hungry for pizza, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-16

I certainly remember my first Pizza Hut pizza experience. I was invited to my friend Elliot’s birthday party back when we were in grade three. We lived in the small town of Innisfail which had practically no chain restaurants at that time. There was a Pizza Hut next door in the larger city of Red Deer, about half an hour’s drive away. Elliot’s parents bought a huuuuuuge stack of pizzas from there to feed the twenty-plus kids at the party.

The problem was that I was allergic to damn near everything up until about age ten. I think I was about eight years old when I attended this party so that allergy list would have included either yeast or gluten (I never figured out which or both were my enemies) and dairy. These ingredients make up a substantial portion of your average pizza. I had seen the Pizza Hut ads constantly on TV and I badly wanted to try it, so I managed to sneak a slice when the birthday boy’s mom’s back was turned (she had been warned not to let me have any).


It wasn’t long at all before it became difficult to breathe, I could barely swallow, and I got hives everywhere including, you know, down there. It was awful. I had to leave the party early before all the fun games started and spent a miserable rest of the day at home being fed allergy meds, getting bathed in warm water with baking soda, and being yelled at not to scratch at my hives and make them worse. I held a grudge against Pizza Hut over this for years.

Pizza perfect, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-16

Nearly a quarter century later I tried Pizza Hut again, this time as the parent of a three-and-a-half-year-old girl. She had seen the ads on TV and would point out the distinctively shaped, dine-in Pizza Hut restaurant every time we drove past it. This turned out to be a lot. The missus and I finally gave in and took her there one night. Mistake. Guess what we got to listen to for twenty minutes straight after the waitress gave us the infamous shpiel while handing out the menus?

“Five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks.”

“Ashlyn, that’s enough. Tell us what kind of pizza you want.”

“Five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, five bucks, FIVE BUCKS!”


“Five bucks? Heeheehee.”

Remember when you were a kid and your mom told you that, one day when you were a grown-up, she wished for you to have a child who was just like you when you were younger? This is what your maternal unit was praying for.

Open relationship, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-16

Getting La Punk to order was also fun.

“C’mon, what kind of pizza would you like, Ash?”


“You can’t have just cheese sweetie, would you like tomatoes or ham or black olives?”


“Okay, but we’re getting more than one pizza. What would you like for the other pizzas maybe for leftovers for your lunch tomorrow?”


Le sigh. That was her first and last trip to Pizza Hut with mom and I. We kept driving every time the kid pointed it out after that. It didn’t help that the pizza was nothing memorable during our only visit.

Get one large and a medium is only five bucks, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-16

There is a Pizza Hut in Strathmore and I have yet to order from it even though we drive past this one a lot as well. I have had pie here in town from Boston Pizza (it was so bad that I hope their restaurant gets hit by lightning), Papa John’s (so-so), Dominoes (not bad), and Pizza 249 (outstanding). That last place is locally owned and worth every penny. But no pie from Pizza the Hut yet even though I have been over my grudge from the third grade birthday party for at least a decade now. We’re not avoiding Pizza Hut on purpose, it’s just that it’s pickup and delivery only and if we’re going to pick something up, well, Dominoes is a lot closer.

We may make it to Pizza Hut at some point in the future. Maybe. I don’t know. What I do know is that if I order one regular-price medium or large pizza I can get three additional medium two-topping pizzas for five bucks, five bucks, five bucks.

Note: The images in this diary entry were created using a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphone. Well, it thinks it’s smart, but it’s kind of vain. It thinks that song was about it.

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© 2024 Sean D. McCormick

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