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What If...The Slice!

I know kids can be tricky. I know kids can blow you away with their ability to see things you don't, to know things you never even considered and in general blow away any adult on the exactitude chart.

But still there are times when I find my son's Jack ability to perceive something a bit uncanny. It often seems to involve one of his senses, sight or hearing. Previously on Jack What If... there was a piece about his virtual x-ray vision.

Jack likes pizza, he likes pretty much only one kind of pizza. Amy's Natural frozen cheese pizza that we get from Whole Foods. The good news is that it is a pretty decent frozen pie, the bad news is that it is a pretty decent frozen pie. Jack will also on occasion eat pizza from the pizza store. And one of the few pizza stores Jack will indeed eat from and that I used to frequent before giving up on non-1424 Ave. J pizza (see the Di Fara Pizza story here on interactivehank to fully understand the use of the past tense) is Abbot's Pizza Company on Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice.

A few months ago we were at Abbots having a slice, plain cheese for Jack, three mushroom and onion for Hank. I am fully aware that Jack does not like extra parmesan on his slice (sorry Shyam), so after giving mine the traditional dose, I did not offer him any, instead I picked up my slice and prepared to have that first bite. The first bite is always a bit special because of the triangular nature of that bite, you can fit an awful lot in your mouth and really get that "I love pizza" feeing right away. Unless of course you subscribe to the Joe Amadeo from Montclair, NJ High School circa 1978 method of eating his pizza backwards, crust side first.

Anyway, I was about to engulf when I noticed a stoic silence in the seat next to mine. I looked askance at Jack with the triangle of fun millimeters from my mouth when he said; "Something is not right". I asked him what the problem was and he immediately answered, "There's something on it!!"

I said, "What?, what is on it?"

Jack: "That!"

Me: "What?"

Jack: "Cheese, there is too much cheese!"

OK, so now I knew the problem, there was too much cheese. I suggested we take some of the cheese off. Jack indicated that this was not the issue, it was not the cheese, but there was something on his slice that I was not seeing.

A technical sidenote: I specifically made the above picture with the intent of replicating as best I could the angle and distance from a slice of Abbot's plain pizza as it lays on the very counter where we ate that fateful day. (I had to go back to do this as I did not realize until later that this tale would one day grace the pages of interactivehank.)

So, let me ask you, do you see anything out of place on that slice? Jack was certainly not going to eat it until I got rid of whatever it was that was making all the fuss. So I had a closer look, and closer and closer until I had reached the limit of post 40 tapering eyesight and when I was about as close to any slice as I have ever been, I saw them. The things Jack was making all the fuss about. In retrospect it was not unlike the moment in Dr. Seuss' "Cat In The Hat Comes Back" when little cat Z finally produces the invisible VOOM energy substance that can indeed clean up all the pink snow and save the day.

You see in the largest magnified photo, blown up as far as I could go, three granules of parmesan cheese that had inexplicably drifted onto his slice whilst I was spraying mine.

THAT is what Jack was talking about and what kept Jack from starting his piece of pizza.

I removed the offending particles and proceeded to cut his slice into small squares for consumption. Jack heartily started into his lunch, but only after sequestering the fecund square to the corner of the plate where he kept a very watchful eye on it during the rest of his meal. We all know how those little food squares can motor around a bit.

When we left there was only one square left on Jack's plate (after I had eaten his crust)

Now THAT is what I call not wanting parmesan cheese on your pizza

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