There are a lot of people who have opinions on the Pineapple on Pizza debate. Let me start by saying that I don't have strong opinions on this. No bias in this article, this is a safe space. First, if you are somehow new to this controversy, let me summarize it via this short play:
Lights up on two figures.
SANE PERSON: Pineapple should not be pizza.
RABID MONSTER HALF-PERSON: But I think it tastes good.
They fight. Society collapses. Blackout.
Again, I'm not going to pick sides here. But regardless of which camp you belong to (that of rational humans or of deranged fetid troll creatures) neither opinion actually matters at all. Yes, some people like the taste, and no amount of insults will probably change that (though I’m not above trying one more time, you troglodytes).
But if you’re one of these “people”, then feel free to order this pizza when you eat (inevitably) by yourself in the confines of your own house. That’s fine! However …
IT IS NEVER OKAY TO ORDER THIS IN A GROUP.
And why? Well it comes down to mathematics.
Let’s say there are ten people in a group who have decided to order pizza. How many pizzas do you order? At 8 slices per pizza, you consider ordering 3. But that’s only 24 slices for 10 people, an average of 2.4 slices/person.
2.4 slices, everyone agrees, is probably not enough.
This is an important number, remember it for later. 2.4 IS NOT ENOUGH.
So instead you order 4 pizzas. 3.2 slices/person sounds much better! And because it sounds like there will be plenty of pizza for everyone, it gives the false impression for wiggle room on toppings. Most of the party members are decent non-mouthbreathers, so they understand to order generic choices that are likely to make everyone happy. You probably end up with 1 Pepperoni, 1 Cheese, 1 Everything, and then … then it happens.
That leftover friend, Linda (who wasn’t really invited in the first place) suggests, “Maybe Hawaiian for the last one?”
And nobody says no, because they don’t want to make Linda mad. And it sounds like everyone was gonna have 3 slices anyways, so it’s no big deal, right?
National polls tell us that, on average, 1 in 3 people approve of pineapple on pizza. But guess what – everybody likes variety. Most people will eat an assortment of slices from different pizzas, because that’s the damned point of getting multiple options.
THE SAME IS TRUE WITH THE PINEAPPLE PEOPLE.
The Linda, who originally suggested the Hawaiian, is guaranteed to NEVER EAT IT EXCLUSIVELY. She’ll take a Hawaiian slice, and a pepperoni slice, and an everything slice. So those 3 people who "approve" of pineapple only eat 3 of the 8 slices on the Hawaiian pizza, and also eat 6 of the remaining 24 slices from the edible pizzas.
This leaves 18 slices to divvy up amongst the other 7 people, which ... guess what – is 2.5 SLICES PER PERSON.
2.5. Remember when we decided that 2.4 was NOT ENOUGH?
Adding a fourth pizza with pineapple is mathematically equivalent to not ordering a fourth pizza at all.
Now before you point out that it might not always go like this, let me note this counterpoint: Shut up, jerk.
You’re right, it’s not always going to go exactly the way I described. But on AVERAGE it will go the way I described it here, which means it is just as likely to go far worse than it is to go better.
The only acceptable solution is for the Pineapple People to swear a binding contract that restricts them to eat the Hawaiian pizza exclusively, which would leave 24 slices of real pizza for the remaining 7 people, or 3.4 slices each. But it also means that you've robbed these 7 people of an interesting 4th option. Plus, you also need to tip the pizza delivery driver extra, for the offense of making them deliver garbage bile instead of food.
You could also add an additional fifth pizza to compensate for the uselessness of the Hawaiian add, but now we're just wasting money.
THE REAL SOLUTION is for people who like pineapple to get over themselves in a group setting and just be fine with normal pizza toppings. Take one for the fucking team, Linda. This thing we call civilization is a set of rules we all agree to because we know it will benefit everyone as much as possible, rather than one specific person. Personally, I like jalapenos on pizza, but you know what? I would NEVER suggest that amongst a group because I’m not a selfish thumbsucking monster child.
So if you want pineapple on your pizza, you eat that shit on your own time. When you’re in a group, just smile and say you’re fine with Pepperoni, because we ALL KNOW YOU’RE ACTUALLY FINE WITH PEPPERONI.
I’m Nate and I hate stupid things.
Nathan Makaryk is an author and comedian, follow him on Twitter to hear him complain about other stupid things.
His debut historical fiction novel NOTTINGHAM retells the legend of Robin Hood from viewpoints of multiple people on both sides of the conflict. Published by Tor/Forge, available here.