RAFairman's Blog

An RAF Airman's Blog

I’m Not Scared of Pizza…

I am not scared of pizza. I have never been scared of pizza.

It IS my favourite food. I mean, it’s just perfect isn’t it. The very best tasting food, served up in an easy to eat format, and is as delicious cold as it is hot… The thing is, whilst I DID know I liked pizza, I didn’t know I wasn’t scared of it until I got to eating in the Mess at RAF Cosford.

It was a great place, and a great time living as a Corporal in the Block at Cosford. We were in the so-called “Super Blocks” – a fairly large room, with an en-suite shower room attached. The room was big enough to fit a double bed in AND I had a nice Ikea bouncy chair and stool in there too. It suited me really well, and was just over the road from where I worked, with a short walk over another road to the Mess.

There was a great social life amongst the 50 odd ‘Singlies’ who all lived together, ate together, went out together – and looked after each other as a big family…in a brothers and sisters kind of way. There was of course the odd argument, and on the other hand the odd romance between people but it was very much like a family. That was something that kind of surprised me when I moved in actually – just how well people got on with each other, and how well they got on with each other. Certainly on nights out we would always look after each other – trips to Shrewsbury or Wolves – no-one would be jacked and left on their own to find their own way home, and as can happen in such places on nights out, people watched other peoples backs – making sure that they didn’t get into any bother – and if there WAS any trouble then there would certainly be back up to make sure that no-one got hurt.

This social life was, however, centred around the Mess. At meal times people got together to sort out what and where and when social events would be…it was, in effect, like a real life version of the “Queen Vic” in Eastenders, or “The Rovers” in Corrie…people came together to meet in a central location, and work on the major plot lines…

You see when I say we all ate together, we did just that. The dining hall was originally lots of separate tables that sat 4-6 at a time, but this was a bit…well…clique-y. It meant that people didn’t mix well between workplaces – the girls from the Admin office would come in at the same time, get their food and then sit at the same table, but then didn’t sit and talk with us techie instructors…so one of the easiest things we did was to join the tables together into one big long table. Hogwarts style.

It meant that you actually talked to someone you didn’t work with – sat next to them, or across from them, and discussed…stuff. Made plans. A great social life came from it. And lots of banter.

One of the things was that the mess meals were –and still are – cafeteria style – Buffet style even. And the Mess staff were happy for people to ‘go round’ a couple of times and eat as much as they wanted. They were proud of their food, and pleased that people wanted to eat it. Technically, they shouldn’t have allowed us to do this, and we never figured out how they managed to budget for it, but it happened – and happened a lot on the days that they put Pizza on the menu.

Because, one particular chef was brilliant at making pizza. And I mean BRILLIANT. He did something to the tomato sauce that was, quite frankly amazing – it was on par with…no, better than, Dominos, Pizza Hut and all the rest. It was so tasty that people would get a slice and eat it…and then go round again, and again and again to eat more…until it was difficult to move…

A bit of banter started,with people pointing out those who WOULD eat so much pizza – gentle mickey-taking that people were very ‘fond’ of pizza…and so a retort to that – and to those who wouldn’t go up again was that they were scared…And so the phrase was born…and was spoken by someone as they would get up to go and get another slice… “I’m not scared of pizza!”

And I am still not scared of pizza. But it does mean I have to spend a little bit longer in the gym…

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