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Dough Dynasty: Delivered

A cartoon pizza slice dressed as a delivery driver holds a pizza box in front of a delivery truck
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio


Throughout all of the twists and turns of the pizza industry’s technological evolutions, marketing strategies, leadership, and menu offerings, one industry factor has remained consistent: delivery drivers.

A pizza podcast would certainly not be complete without these drivers and their strange tales.  We spoke with several former pizza delivery drivers about all the stories they could (deep) dish out. While each one carries its own tune, all promise absurdity.

You’ll have to listen to the episode to hear the full stories, but here’s a taste of what's in store.

Yet another middle school horror story

Long before joining Stateside as a producer, Mike Blank was a pizza delivery driver — which is how he ended up at a middle school on a brisk fall evening in 2003. His objective was simple: deliver pizza to the middle school’s janitor.

However, this story takes place in a middle school. Nothing is ever so easy.

Photo From Domino's

Upon arriving at the school, Blank hit a roadblock. There was no customer in sight. It was time to improvise. Several laps around the school were completed. Hallway lights were flashed on and off. “Pizza” was shouted.

Blank’s efforts were not in vain! He found the customer. And yet, our story’s not over yet.

Pizza delivery devolves into physical challenge

On the morning of this disastrous delivery, Nick (whose last name we’re withholding for fear of retribution for participating in illegal activity) was already having a devastating week. His beloved dog had passed away just a few days prior.

On top of the emotional weight of this passing, something else was off on this particular Saturday morning: Nick’s girlfriend of four years was not responding to his calls.

After making a delivery near his girlfriend’s neighborhood, he decided to stop by her place to see what was going on.

“I knocked on the door and she didn't come to the door. So I went around to her bedroom window, and the first thing I see is a naked guy through the window,” Nick recounted.

Little did he know then that what followed would involve an MMA fighter, a revoked car, and the end of his pizza delivery career.

Hosts April Baer and Laura Weber Davis take a turn behind the wheel at Domino's Farms.
Ronia Cabansag
Michigan Radio
Hosts April Baer and Laura Weber Davis take a turn behind the wheel at Domino's Farms.

Two for the price of one

The final story of this episode involved Eric, a Lansing area pizza delivery driver during the 1990s, and “Bob,” everybody’s friend and everybody’s weed dealer on the side. Bob’s weed orders always went with a legitimate pizza order that Eric delivered. Eric asked us to withhold his last name out of fear of retribution for illegal conduct.

Many of these two-for-one orders were delivered to the capital — to aides, state legislators, and security alike.

“There was usually just no acknowledgment, or just kind of a proverbial wink and nod, and always big smiles — these people, with tons of resources, and position, and connections, being really, really excited to get what in hindsight was just absolute garbage, compacted, terrible ditch weed,” Eric said.

However, it’s a small world, after all. And Eric found himself delivering to someone he knew, who others also would recognize.

How to get a 100% tip: get stuck in a ditch during winter

Justin O’Neill had recently bought himself a Mercury Zephyr for $100. His plan was to drive that car into the ground as a pizza delivery driver.

But, Michigan winters take no mercy. On a snowy delivery, O’Neill ended up sliding off the road and into a ditch. However, ever the professional, O’Neill was not deterred. He had a mission to complete.

“I was like, ‘Damn, stupid Mercury Zephyr got me stuck in the snow,’” O’Neill lamented. “I was there for a while. No cell phone because, again, it's the nineties and I was like, ‘What do I do?’ You know, like, ‘What should I do?’”

With two large pizzas and breadsticks, O’Neill made the trek down the snowy road to deliver the customer’s order by foot. Luckily for him, his altruistic customer found him along the road,

The stories from this episode are true as remembered by the storyteller.

Mike Blank is a producer and editor for Stateside.
Olivia Mouradian recently graduated from the University of Michigan and joined the Stateside team as an intern in May 2023.