Pizza Planet

Nick Alimonos
Xenobiologists still debate the reasons, but there is no denying that of the myriad forms of organic sustenance found throughout the galaxy, none is better loved than pizza. Perhaps the basic composition speaks universally to all species, the way its elliptical shape imitates the pressure gravity exerts on heavenly bodies, or how its layers of cheese and sauce and crust exemplify plate tectonics, or the poetic expression of the laws of physics in how the dough is rolled and spread. Or it may be its capacity for adaptation to so many palettes. On Vectoid, for example, jumping krill is as standard as pepperoni. Through varying stages of evolution, sentient life discovers pizza in some form. On Okka, pizza is cooked by magma geyser, while on the more technologically inclined Nert, the dough is stretched by cyborg and blasted by gamma waves.
Earthlings have long believed that pizza originated in Greece or Italy, but its history goes back much further, to the planet Alaysia (immigrants from that world claim the idea for pizza was seeded throughout the galaxy by their ancestors, but most historians dismiss the idea). 
Circa one million BCE, give or take a millennium, Alaysian culture was rooted in tradition. Despite its steam engine factories, Earthlings might call it a Renaissance Age; there were massive stone columned temples, skyscraping statues, and an Aristocracy buzzing about in gold lace and frills, with rare and precious stones imbued about their thorax. After the terrible Bright Ages (Alaysian pupils are very light sensitive), the burgeoning Aristocracy seized the planet’s economy: currency was traded mostly between estates; family businesses were crushed beneath mega-franchises; and jobs were scarce but for an ever increasing need for competitive landscaping. In less than a century, Alaysians of lesser incomes became little more than slaves.
Without the Opera or Literature to distract from sex, the slave class had little to do but propagate, and in short time they outnumbered the Aristocracy by ten to one. Revolution spread, calling for economic reform, but the high born would not surrender their water-spitting fountains or their topiary gardens depicting animals they’d never touch or their bougainvillea festooned gazebos with the matching swing set for the kids or their porcelain dioramas of a romanticized medieval age. Rather, the lords and dukes and high-titled called for tanks to roll over the homeless, for highly paid mercenaries—fearing a dock in their pay—to massacre rioters. But bloodshed costs money, and so the Aristocrats came up with a cheaper plan: to outlaw food. The poor would have nothing to eat but what they could scavenge, and who could live like that? No jibb-jabb rib roast? No cormander from the Great Brine? No kadoo-pheasant? As employees, the poor enjoyed leftovers from such dishes, and the Aristocrats could not imagine living any lower. But a chef by the name of Mario Squim-Squam (Mario, incidentally, is the most common name in the universe), who worked for three hundred years as a restaurant manager in New Jork, gathered the ingredients of tomato, bread, and cheese to make a new type of food, which he called squim-squam.
As its popularity spread among the base classes, production or consumption of squim-squam became punishable by ten years on the treadmill (a primitive torture device), so it quickly hit the black market to become the most lucrative commodity on the planet. The Aristocracy competed with food models of their own, like the hot dog, which contained meat of an Alaysian males’ best-friend, and the sandwich, which used sand as a primary ingredient (incidentally, the Earl from whom the name derives was of Earth’s earliest extra-solar immigrants). Although somewhat successful, none of these foods could break the Squim-Squam Union, and since sale of squim-squam was outlawed, the mega-food franchises lost quadrillions. Parliament was blamed.
With profits from squim-squam alone, those born into the slave class moved up to business class, and after another century, the fountains spat dust, the topiary gardens resembled plants again, and the gazebos became curtained with cobwebs. No one could buy the houses, for the Aristocracy was gone, so they went into foreclosure to be sold on televised auctions.
Pizza or Squim-Squam: greatest food in the universe

And that is how, a million or so years ago, pizza saved a planet from civil war. So the next time your pizza comes ten or fifteen minutes late, the next time you ask for pepperoni and get pepperoncini, show a little respect, OK?      

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