Back in the old days in Howard County, if you wanted a carry-out pizza you had to go to your favorite pizza joint and pick it up yourself. By the time you got it home, it was usually cold, soggy and cardboard-flavored (and we liked it!).
But then a certain Pizza Delivery Chain appeared on the county scene, and things haven't been the same since. Suddenly, you could get hot, non-soggy pizza delivered in a reasonable amount of time to your door.
Not to be outdone by the new kid in town, many of the establishedpizza purveyors began to offer delivery service. But then the Pizza Delivery Chain offered discount coupons. This was great!
Next, some of the established pizza joints began to offer "deals," such as twopizzas for the price of one, if you pick them up. Do I hear the sound of "Dueling Banjos" in the background?
What next? You guessed it: Pizza Delivery Chain offers an extremely low price on pizza that you pick up. What's wrong with this picture?
Meanwhile, back at the oven, several new pizza delivery businesses crop up here and there inthe county. They say they'll accept "any competitor's" coupons -- and you know who they mean.
So Pizza Delivery Chain counters with --Oh, yeah? Well, so will we.
"Where will it end?" wonders the dazed Howard County pizza-lover, who hasn't paid full price for a pizza in the last 18 months.
Suddenly, a new development looms. A Big Famous Pizza Restaurant Chain now offers -- Home Delivery!! What will Pizza Delivery Chain do now?
Well, in the past couple of months they've: offered football trading cards; offered to give you a dollar offif you give them last year's Bell Atlantic One Book for recycling; offered to come into your home (with a pizza, of course) and check your smoke detector; and are currently offering trick-or-treat bags. What next? Check your tire pressure to save gas? Clean your chimney? Shovel the snow from your driveway?
The pizza war casualties may be starting to pile up, though. We called our favorite underdog pizza delivery shop last week only to be greeted by an unanswered phone. They appeared to have gone out of business.
What if all this great American competition goes too far? What if all the pizza places cut theirprices back so far that they all go out of business? Which large chain will get the spoils? And what if they all pack it in, too? We'll have to make our own pizzas then or buy a (GASP!) frozen pizza.