We are the TOXIC Group:


Our meetings typically consist of 30 seconds of clever xylophone-related banter followed by 48 minutes of unbroken claptrappery (occasionally punctuated by a sneeze or self-important cough that reminds folks in the group of their own flimsy mortality). The list of covered topics is indeed long and tedious; an indeterminate amount of talking points is covered multiple–sometimes numerous–times, with very little ceremony.

The talking points typically meander around with little consequence, and our staffers have learned to endure them long enough to get to the meat of the meeting: attempting to reach a quorum on where to go for pizza afterwards. There’s been a glut of new “artisanal” pizza joints in the area, not to mention the existing restaurants who need gimmicks to keep up.

Gino’s Northeast: an old school pizzeria with a hint of sports bar (now with 25% more sass back)
Donnie’s Bunker: war hero’s spot with authentic Vietnam War memorabilia
Skip’s Dugout: retired baseball star’s spot with authentic ’60s and ’70s memorabilia
Gugliotti’s: Sicilian-themed ristorante
Chunkster’s: Most Toppings Around!®
Steggo’s Dino-mite Pizza: self-explanatory
Jeffrey’s Tamborine: adults-only gaming and entertainment-related eatery (wine allowed in the ball pit)

This particular installment of the TOXIC Group (#373) eventually ended with a near-unanimous selection of kofta kebab, since there’s only one local option for that cuisine and we were rapidly running out of time. For the record, a good portion of the group rallied for the adult play place, but Susie’s new around these parts, and we want her to stick around for a month or two before we test her patience with a drunken happy hour.


Picture a rogue squadron of down-filled pencil pushers coordinating a squalid attempt at what they believe to be a most fertile salad dressing, but what we know to be a seasonal jaunt through the woods in search of pine cones shaped like Abe Lincoln. Gettysburg hasn’t been relevant for some time now, but that doesn’t stop our friends from trudging through the underbrush and raising alarms every time they see leaves in clumps of three.

They know not what makes a salad dressing more fertile than any other, and they don’t even claim to assume what constitutes your average dressing, fertile or barren. They simply know that their amalgamation has yet to be approved by any regulatory body and they’re just going by the seat of their pants and trusting that their instincts will lead them down the tastiest road, be it nutritious or otherwise.

A faction of our dressing doers have found it more pertinent to skate through the town square with cheese in their britches, convinced that dressing has no bearing on the legitimacy of a salad. Their position stokes outrage amongst their peers; how could a salad be considered legitimate in this world if it hasn’t been coated in oily goodness? The two camps are at odds with one another, and the argument won’t be settled until the blood of the innocent flows through the streets.