Sometimes in life, you find yourself confronted with a familiar sensation—a taste, a smell, a sight of something that connects you to moments in your past. For me, this is one of those times. Because the truth is, I smell pizza.

That’s right. Like it or not, the scent of pizza is currently permeating the area around me, and there’s not a thing you could say to convince me otherwise. This ol’ beak don’t lie: Pizza is in the air.

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Now what, you may be wondering, makes me so certain that it is, in fact, pizza that I’m smelling? Well, for starters, I have a strong familiarity with pizza—I’ve probably eaten it more than a hundred times. So when I suspect there’s a hot pie nearby, I’m not just going off of hearsay or speculation. I’ve experienced it before. And I am experiencing it again now.

What you’ve got to realize is that pizza has a very distinct fragrance. It doesn’t smell like hot wings. It doesn’t smell like broccoli. When you smell pizza, you’re not thinking, Okay, this could be one of five things. You simply know deep down that it’s pizza, just like a mother knows when her child needs her. So dispute me if you want, but you’ll be fighting a losing battle. I smell pizza, and that’s the bottom line.

…I have a strong familiarity with pizza—I’ve probably eaten it more than a hundred times.

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Now, do I know what kind of pizza it is? Do I know whether it came from a chain restaurant or from a nicer family joint? No, I don’t. I think I might detect some sausage in the air—maybe a little banana pepper—and something tells me it might’ve come from Orazio’s down the street. But to claim any further details about this pizza would be dishonest. The fact of the matter is, any man who says he can guess exactly what’s on a pizza just by smelling it is lying through his teeth. Period.

But what I can tell you is that the pizza is hot and fresh. And how do I know that? The smoke. If a pizza’s been sitting out for a while, the smoke it gives off tends to smell a little stale and greasy. But when the pizza’s still piping hot and fresh out of the delivery bag, the smoke it gives off smells rich and alluring, like there’s a beautiful marriage happening between the crust and the sauce and the cheese right in your very nostrils. And let me tell you, everyone reading this: That’s the kind of smell I’m getting right now.

To people who still don’t believe me, well, there’s nothing more I can say. I smell a hot pizza somewhere nearby, and that’s 100 percent fact. I could sit here and argue with you all day, but I’ve got more important things on my plate—namely pizza. So, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for yours truly to go get a slice.

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