I thought I would start once I got the okay on my proposal. Then I decided hey this is a good idea for a blog anyway! Whether or not it’s approved for my project.

Let me give you all a picture first! And a story! This happened just a little over an hour ago.

It starts with a twenty-dollar bill, my brother, and me, having a conversation.

My brother is infamous for his junk food obsession and his lack of concept concerning money. Naturally, he asked me if I would give him fifteen dollars for chicken. We ordered it online, and under the requests form we put this:


It says “put a smile on dat box right dere. Ryan”

I persuaded him to put that on the order. If I was going to be blowing money on something that: (1) I don’t eat (I’m a vegetarian and I hate fast food) and (2) would be gone in ten minutes (and it was) I was going to be entertained while that happened.

After making sure that it was cash, and not a credit-card we needed we ordered it and waited. I was excited. I doubted they would listen, but on the off-chance that they did, I was going to see it!

Since I know a picture lasts longer, I took my camera with me when the long-awaited for order came. I was greeted with my chicken thingy, the guy delivering it with a smile, and the box with a smile carrying the chicken thingy.


I was excited. I mean, I’d always heard that the “customer was always right” but I’d never actually seen that before. I now say that whenever we buy pizza, we are going to buy from a place that will give us a say in the request- as the consumers we are. It’s fascinating how, no matter how silly or rude or wacky customers are, the people working in places like Pizza Nova and wherever else are accommodating. It’s about the way that the company is presented. When Pizza Nova put a smile on the box, they didn’t just put a smile on the box. They put a smile on my face and gave themselves a happy customer who is going to go back happily for more.

They market and present themselves well, and as people we do that too. We make judgements about people, and we try to present ourselves in a certain way to be seen as agreeable, or a victim or something which suits us at the moment.

Then sometimes that image can be shattered by something else. A news report, or a bad reputation or review by a source which is “legitimate”. As people being marketed and branding ourselves, we are judged, much like Pizza Nova when they put a smile on my box.

In American Literature, there are several ideas of what a “person” is. Are they a certain race? “A good American following the American ideal”? Or is it all about perception? Can one bad review ruin a person no matter what they do to redeem themselves, or are they really damaged by other’s perceptions? Are they allowed to “sell” themselves as a type of person? What happens when others refute it? What happens when we think of not only things like pizza as commodities but people as well? How do people present themselves in literature to shape themselves as a certain person? 


Next time, Ryan says he’s asking them to draw a giraffe.

That’s what I want to find out- that and if the guy that drew the smile on my pizza box ever thought of going to art school!



IMAGES (In order of appearance, everything else in alphabetical order)

  1. They are all mine. Including the header image for this site.)
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