General News

EXTRA: A Pizza for Bob Hope

By: ,
Mar 13, 2002 | 8:39am EST

What won't Bob Hope eat? Now we know. Since the legendary comic was hospitalized last Thursday for gastrointestinal bleeding, we had been inundated with daily reports of the rehabbing entertainer's diet. On Monday, some eggs (and butterscotch candy and pie and …); on Tuesday, a burger (and a shake and apple juice and …); and so on.

Fascinated by an intimate look into one man's eclectic eating habits, we wondered if we could insert ourselves into the story.

Since Hope appeared to be eating everything anyway, could we make him eat something that we provided? Could we help put the nation's favorite funnyman on the road to recovery?

To make a long story short, we ordered Hope a pizza today. Here's a log of what happened:

MMM: Pizza (© Domino's Pizza) 11:30 a.m.: Operation Pizza of Hope begins. We call the phone operator for numbers of pizza parlors and pizza chains in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (the desert city where Hope is laid up at the Eisenhower Regional Medical Center). Unfortunately, not a lot of Domino's in the retirement-friendly community. In fact, we can't find any.

11:45 a.m.: Restaurant Express, a delivery service in the Rancho Mirage area that specializes in delivering food from member restaurants, is located.

11:55 a.m.: Rusty at Restaurant Express hooks us up with Niccolino's in Cathedral City, Calif. Our order: One medium cheese pizza (light on the cheese), a side of zucchini strips and a 20-ounce Sprite. All are to be delivered to the Eisenhower Regional Medical Center in care of Mr. Bob Hope. We opt for a plain cheese pizza per the advice of a medical professional (i.e. our company's insurance provider). Earlier today, we called Betty at Aetna and asked what kind of pizza would be best for an elderly man recovering from, you know, gastrointestinal bleeding. Betty, a registered nurse, told us it was best to avoid greasy or spicy toppings, hence depriving Mr. Hope of the Pepperoni Lover's Special.

The zucchini strips were chosen over: fried chicken strips (too fried); garlic bread (too greasy); jalapeño garlic bread (too greasy and spicy); and, minestrone soup (we hate eating soup for lunch).

And so you know, we made Sprite our beverage of choice (bypassing Coke) based on the same doctor's recommendation. (Sorry, Mr. Hope, caffeine is not recommended.)

One other note on the order: We decline an offer by Restaurant Express to include (additional charge) utensils with the meal. We figured that he's: (a) in a hospital; (b) eating tons of food -- the guy's gotta have a fork.

When it's all done, our tab comes out to: $24.97.

Meanwhile, an hour passes …

1 p.m.: Call Restaurant Express. The delivery to the hospital is confirmed.

1:05 p.m.: Call Eisenhower Regional Medical Center. The delivery is confirmed. But, when asked if the pie was taken to Mr. Hope's private room, no concrete answer is provided -- although the phrase, "the pizza's somewhere in the hospital," is thrown around quite a bit.

1:15 p.m.: Call Mr. Hope's publicist to report a possible pizzanapping. Strangely, we get no call back.

1:30 p.m.: We think we want our money back.

5 p.m.: Bob Hope is discharged from hospital. To sum up, during his seven-day hospital stay, Bob Hope consumed, according to his doctors: beef with pasta, asparagus, apple juice, a burger, a shake, lemon meringue pie, a leg of lamb, mashed potatoes, spinach, eggs, butterscotch candy, oatmeal, but as far as we know ... not our pizza! Still, the way we figure: We order him a pizza; four hours later he's well enough to go home.

Coincidence? We'd like to think not.

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