“Pizzaan” by Michael Cunningham

Ingredients: Naan bread, tomato puree, a working knowledge of MS PowerPoint, pepperoni, olives, a belief in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit, mature cheddar (grated)

1. Stride confidently into the kitchen.

2. Remove any Khmer Rouge regalia you may be wearing.

3. Take a naan bread and do some kind of joke involving a play on the similarities between the words, “naan” and “nan”. Something simple like, “How’s Grandad today, Naan?” will do fine.

4. Resolve to stop reading The Daily Mail website. It wants you to be the worst possible version of yourself. Don’t be that.

5. Chop some pepperoni and cut some olives in half. Or use whatever toppings you like. You’re a sentient human being, capable of beautiful things and capable of making your own choices.

6. Coat one side of the naan bread with tomato puree. Use any surplus tomato puree to give yourself a tiny red pencil moustache. If anyone walks in, frantically claim that it’s a tribute to Charlie Chaplin, not Hitler.

7. Grate some mature cheddar and spread it atop the sauce. Eat a handful or two of cheese as you go because you’ll be dead in a few years and you deserve a handful of cheese as a treat before old age sets in.

8. “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets,” said Voltaire. Ponder how that quote applies to the world today.

9. Place the pepperoni and olives on the naan.

10. “Saudade” is a Portuguese word that means, a yearning for something that you know may never return. Try to think of an undefined universal feeling and invent a word for it.

11. Feel free to put more cheese on top. But do not then, under any circumstances, put a tiny hedgehog on top of the cheese.

12. Stick the pizaan in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees celcius for 10-12 minutes.

13. Use these 10-12 minutes to read “The Mower” by Philip Larkin and then be nicer to everyone you meet henceforth.


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