Story Beginning Written With Sixth Graders over Video Conferencing

December 07, 2009


William Bradford was no chef—he knew it, and his mother knew it, and most of the pizza-eating population of San Francisco knew it too well.
   William had, until recently, worked at a charming little pizzeria called Rosemarie’s. It served pizza, pasta, and drinks, and it had been short on staff. So it hired William.
   William was not a chef by nature. His parents cooked most of his food for him. When they didn’t, he ate cup noodles. This was the extent of his culinary prowess. Nevertheless, the pizzeria made him Head Chef and started him on pizzas right away.
   It had been a cool, sunny morning when William’s very first customer walked in. Todd Giant was a short, heavyset man with two greasy bald spots on his head. He loved eating pizza.
   “I’d like a double-thick pizza pie with triple toppings of chopped jalapenos, crumbled Oreos, and buttered anchovies.”
   “OK,” William said, writing the order down. “Do you want that with soy sauce?”
   “Yes, and lots of it!” Todd said, with a loud belch. He had just walked over from the teriyaki restaurant.
   William went back to the kitchen to make the pizza pie and found himself facing a hopeless dilemma—he had absolutely no idea how to cook.

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