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Words by Aron Simkins      Art by Erik Dewaal

Pizza toppings may be delicious, but they provide absolutely zero relief from mom’s unending need to share every single nauseating detail about the revolting bunion growing on her foot. Here are five fails:


​Pepperoni and Sausage

Right from the moment the pizzas were delivered, I knew this popular topping combination wouldn’t keep mom from oversharing the latest on her bunion saga. You could tell the poor delivery guy wanted to leave, too, based on how often he motioned to his still-running Dodge Neon idling in the driveway. But mom was clearly the alpha in this doorway exchange, holding the money ransom until she shared every unnecessary detail about how the bunion-shield pads aren’t doing anything to cushion her bulbous metatarsophalangeal joint, making it impossible to get out and water the gladiolas. We may never see that delivery guy again.


Mom’s never shied away from telling us how pineapple has no business being on pizza. So, naturally I thought this would provide the perfect distraction from another unwanted bunion update. Unfortunately, our plan backfired big time. The hot, juicy pineapple on the pie only reminded her of how the fluid-filled bursa sac near her disgusting bunion had become super enflamed and could burst at any moment. Then she went off about how an open sore like that will definitely keep her sidelined from water aerobics at the rec center pool. That’s two mental images I didn’t ask for.


Turnip and Pickles

In hindsight, this was my bad. I thought putting very uncommon toppings on a pizza would be a sure-fire ticket to a bunion-free dinner with mom. But I sorely underestimated her sick ability to force her foot into any conversation. Once mom saw the turnips on the pizza, she immediately launched into a detailed description of how the topping looked just like the red and swollen bump on the inside of her foot. That led to a 23-minute pity party about how her limited mobility has resulted in declined pickle ball invites from friends in her book club. Plus, we still had to eat the pizza. Double Fail.


Ground Beef and Onions

The moment mom saw onions on the pizza, she immediately made the bunion connection. Not sure how I spaced that one. But that’s not even the worst of it. Ask mom what happened on the last episode of Burn Notice and she’s as vague as a politician on the campaign trail. But throw a couple onions on a pizza and she’ll paint you a thousand-word picture of how hard it is to use the sewing pedal from of what she described as, “the rank stank of a ripe bunion, strong enough to make your eyes water.” For reals. We’re trying to eat, mom.


Hot Cherry Pepper and Jalapeños 

The logic was simple: The fierier the food being shoveled in her pie hole, the less bunion babble spewing out. And it seemed to be working, at first. But whatever blossoms of success I thought were sprouting from this hot idea quickly turned to sheer horror when she unsheathed her dragon foot and plopped it on the table mid meal. And if that wasn’t enough to make us lose our lunch, she then proceeded to give it a rubdown with ice from her cup while bemoaning the hopelessness of never being able to wear another pair of heels for a nice evening on the town again.

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