Pizza and sympathy

Jon Fischer

Photo By Tom Angel

The legendary intersection at Fifth and Ivy streets in downtown Chico offers a mecca of bars, frat houses and a liquor store for the college’s partying community. On a lively weekend night enlightenment and sobriety might be in scarce supply, but quality pizza is not. The late-night walk-up window at Franky’s attracts lines of mostly post-partying revelers fueled by alcohol-induced hunger all salivating for a slice of hot, fresh, greasy pepperoni. An important public servant for Chico’s celebratory masses, Jon Fischer, 26, a late-night server, has been risking burnt hands and confrontations with drunken customers for the past two-and one-half years.

Do you ever get fed up with all the drunk customers?

Either they can be really nice or they can be really rude. Someone socked one of our waitresses and we [the Franky’s employees] chased the guy down a few nights ago. He went up to the bar and she said, “Hey, we’re closed,” and he just socked her, called her a bitch, slapped her. And then she ran after him and then we all started after him, chased him down the street.

What are the best and worst things about working your shift?

I work here because I’m an insomniac and I like the money and it’s entertaining. The tips are the best part of the job. I work really random shifts, [for example] 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Is the rumor true that you can get free pizza for flashing an employee?

[Laughs] It depends … on who’s working that shift. … I don’t know if I can go into that.

Have you ever been flashed for free pizza?

Every once in a while. I guess. … Sometimes I enjoy it and sometimes I don’t. I can’t go into that!

How many pizzas do you go through in one night?

On a busy night during the weekends, about 30 to 40 [whole] pizzas.

So does the pizza taste as good when you’re sober?

Yeah, of course it does!