AVT: .5h (Tot. 63.5h)
ADT: 30 km (Tot. 4,742 km)
"If we were a floor up I would definitely jump out the window onto a van or something."
Look, I’ve been around the world and I’ve seen some calzones, my friend.
Baked calzones, deep fried calzones, calzones that look like footballs until you pop the seal and then they deflate like old balloons. In Japan I saw a calzone with eggs and corn in it. Everywhere you go you see a place that advertises the biggest calzone or the big ass panzerotti.
Methinks those shops doth protest too much.
It’s where you least expect them that you find calzones of legend. Calzones big enough to require a man of equal weight and gravitas to finish them. A man who can channel his inner beast. A man who’s willing to fight such an adversary to the death, come what may.
A man like Deni Gauthier.
This is what can happen when you’re on a day off and you decide to investigate your surroundings. In this case, we were surrounded by an industrial corner of Fürth, and Deni and I were in search of the morning’s coffee. Google Maps told me we could find a bakery somewhere among the car dealerships and bike shops in the area, but we never found it. Instead we happened upon a bowling alley advertising pizza, so in we went.
We didn’t know we were ordering one of life’s great challenges. The waiter came over and with the dozen German words we have to rub together Deni and I ordered a pizza and a calzone. We expected what anyone would expect under the circumstances. What we got was a shocker worthy of Steel Panther.
It was the biggest calzone I’ve ever seen. Think of a medium or even a large pizza folded over. We marvelled at the thing for a minute or so before Deni even tucked in. Having watched the man eat like a bird for the past three years I thought there was no way he could wrestle that thing into his stomach, but as it began to disappear piece by piece the prospect rose on the horizon. And if it’s true that your stomach is roughly the size of your fist, we could guess that Deni had room for it.
I watched this unfold with great interest. We didn’t even really discuss the prospect of him finishing the thing until it became a clear possibility. At a certain point he stopped eating and set his fork down, which didn’t surprise me at all. I had two slices left in a substantial (and delicious) pizza, but thought I might save them for later. The thought brought back memories of Eisenach and my brief dalliance with pyromania and I had to make a decision about whether we would bring another pizza box into our story.
By the time I had that worked out, Deni Calzone was back in action, savouring the last few bites of the beast. I finished my pizza too and looked upon my frequent roommate with new awe and respect. He’s been holding out on me, our Deni. Sarah and I eat like farmhands, encouraging each other to ever greater heights of consumption, but normally Deni doesn’t join in. To watch him demolish that heart attack on a plate was a thing of sheer beauty and a memory I’ll hold in my tour memory forever.
Yes, he’s still complaining of stomach discomfort this morning.
What a fool.
But what a moment.
Do you see why I don’t write much about our days off? There’s rarely anything worth telling you about. We treat those days with supreme reverence, friends. Road fatigue is real. When a day off comes we make a point of keeping it as low key as we can, because that bit of rest is extremely important. Apart from Deni’s Man vs. Food adventure, we mostly stayed by our hotel, relaxing, catching up on a bit of work, taking it easy. We’re all in a kind of perpetual haze. That sounds dramatic but it’s true. The road takes it out of you, so it’s rare for us to do anything too active on these precious days when nothing is required of us.
Having said that, we returned to Lexi and Kerstin’s for dinner last night, then came back to the hotel for what was by our standards an early evening, with an exciting twist. The lads were maybe an hour into our traditional nightcap when there came a knock on the door and Sarah herself swooped into our midst. And so the four of us spent some time just chatting and laughing together. We listened to music. We talked. We were our little family for a while and it was nice.
Then Deni and I apparently kept half the hotel awake laughing through our second run of Bill Burr’s new comedy special on Netflix.
But hey, laughter is the best medicine.
And now we’re on the road again, bound for Oberhausen and what promises to be a really good show. There was a brief flutter of excitement in our chests as some sort of flaming orb appeared in the sky like an omen, but disappeared as quickly as it came.
Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.
Now the rain spits once again at our windshield. Deni continues to wrestle with the calzone that wouldn’t die and your humble scribe is drinking coffee in the passenger’s seat. We’re suddenly on the down slope of this tour. We’ve been here a month on Wednesday. Seriously, where does the time go?
And still no questions for the band from my readers.