ALAN: Any new recipes this morning?
BOB: Nope, everything is perfect as is: unremarkable and flavorless. Let’s start with spaghetti.
ALAN: I’ll grab water from the creek out back and start the boil.
BOB: And I’ll grab all the spices and throw them in the trash.
ALAN: Should we use the cheap plastic meal containers or the extra-cheap plastic meal containers?
BOB: The recipe says to use whichever is the thinnest, so the cooked food has delightful hints of plastic.
ALAN: Love that. Remind me, how do we get our fresh, out-of-the-microwave signature temperature?
BOB: The trick is to pour water onto the meal before freezing it. You know you’ve achieved the optimal consistency when it comes out of the microwave scolding hot on the outside and ice cold on the inside.
ALAN: Genius. While the spaghetti is boiling, I will start on the pizzas. There’s nothing like dough made of flour, water, and cardboard.
BOB: I find the cardboard from Amazon Prime boxes lends it a certain je ne sais quoi.
ALAN: I like how instead of tossing it, we smash it under a hydraulic press for an hour. It gives it such a unique consistency. It’s the only pizza you need an ax to slice.
BOB: Just like those pizza-loving Vikings did in days of yore.
ALAN: I’ll place the ten single shredded pieces of cheese on top, a half-inch apart. Not that it matters since we stack them upright during shipping—
BOB: —so all the cheese ends up on one side of the pizza anyway.
ALAN: Right. But with less cheese, you can taste the sauce—
BOB: —Like it’s fresh out of a V8 can.
ALAN: Whoops. It doesn’t look like we have enough dough to make all the pizzas.
BOB: We have tons of cauliflower. Cover it in marinara and fat-free cheese, and bam! You have—
ALAN & BOB: —a pizza cauliflower bake.
BOB: Here at Lean Cuisine, anything can be an ingredient, and anything can be a pizza.
ALAN: That is an entrée worthy of a fancy dinner party yet meant to be enjoyed by oneself while reading Fifty Shades of Grey in an office break room.
BOB: Hold on, I still have to fill every bite with our secret ingredient: loneliness.
ALAN: Voilà. Time for a taste test.
BOB: I am confident it will be perfectly miserable, as always.
ALAN: I love this job. I can’t believe the guy before me would let this go. What happened to him?
BOB: He tasted real pizza, and we never heard from him again.