Crazy Ideas: Cheesy Bread To Bottled Water


I was sitting here, eating my pizza cheesy bread and thinking, “What genius came up with this?”

I mean, after centuries of selling high-rising yeast dough slathered in Mama Leone’s secret sauce; dotted with onions, pepperoni, sausage, ham and even pineapple; smothered in either a really good mozzarella or else a private blend of cheeses and then baked to bubbling goodness — who was the wiseacre who popped up with, “Why don’t we sell them just the crust?”

After everyone in the kitchen quit laughing, he continued with, “We’d cut it into strips and sprinkle it with parmesan and call it cheesy bread.”

“No one is going to buy…”

“Think of the money we’d save!”

“…OK, let’s try it.”

And it wouldn’t have been a success if we morons didn’t buy it. It’s warm and good like pizza but without the, well, pizza. It’s a little cheaper, too. At least they gave us that.

Here’s another thing I never thought would fly — bottled water. I mean, I knew there were a few ultra-rich jet-setters who drank water that was supposedly straight from the mountain streams of the Alps, but I figured it was just one more way they could look ostentatious.

Then Coke or Pepsi announced they were launching bottled water in a big way, and I laughed my head off. I turned to Mark and said, “No one is going to buy…”

And now there are enough discarded water bottle containers to encircle the Earth 10 times, and that doesn’t count the ones that were recycled.

It happened in the cola boardroom like it happened in the pizza kitchen:

“Why don’t we sell them just the water? You know, without the soda syrup.”

“Are you off your rocker?”

“Think of the money we’d save!”

“…OK, let’s try it.”

Fifteen billion dollars later, even I’m a fan.

The Weather Channel — another unbelievable occurrence. I mean, anyone wanting to know the weather can simply stick their head out the window, right? Even farmers, who have more need than anyone to know what Mother Nature is sending their way, have the Farmers’ Almanac, published continuously since 1818. Why? Because people trust it.

But now we have the Weather Channel letting us know what’s going on in every state a week in advance and filling in with gripping footage of previous natural disasters to keep us entertained between weather reports. Sometimes they’re right, but I still keep an umbrella in my car.

So I’ve been thinking.

Instead of writing my column, I could just leave the page blank except for my smiling face. That way, readers of the paper could use the space to write their own column, or their grocery list, or a letter to their mother.

I approached my boss with that idea.

“After years of filling newsprint with ink, I’ve been thinking about leaving the paper underneath my column blank. You know, giving over the space to do-it-yourselfers.”

There were a few tense minutes, then he looked up from his computer screen. “Were you saying something, Welky?”

“I was thinking about not writing a column — about leaving the space empty.”


“But think of the mon…”


And that was that. It’s nice to be wanted.