June 2021

Hello, everyone.

It is officially summer in the northern hemisphere (the hemisphere in which I live). I hope all of you are staying hydrated and wearing enough sunscreen. This is true no matter in which hemisphere you live and has nothing to do with the season. I just have a handwritten note in the June 1st square of my calendar that reads, “Remind people re: hydration/sunscreen”.

With that out of the way, please allow me to update you all on recent and near future developments regarding my investigation. (I do not have a reminder re: reminding you re: this on my calendar. I simply remembered to do so.)

If you have not already, I strongly encourage you to subscribe to the Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s? YouTube channel. On said channel, you will see an announcement video for the video version of the Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s? podcast:

In case you are technically, morally, or spiritually unable to watch this video, I will tell you that it announces Friday, June 4th, as the premiere date for the video version of the Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s? podcast. This new program will be exactly the same as the existing program, only with visuals. If you choose to listen only to the audio version, you will not notice any change.

I am able to expand into the realm of visual media due to the leasing of a new Pizzaply Media headquarters in downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Library Tower (sometimes called the US Bank Tower). This facility will serve as a high-tech studio that will not only produce both the audio and video versions of Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s?, but will also produce new video “content” related to my investigation such as “man on the street” interviews, livestreams, and other material.

If you do not subscribe to the YouTube channel, there is absolutely no way in which you could consider yourself an informed citizen. With these new tools, I am certain that my investigation will enter a whole new realm of fruitfulness.

I have also overhauled the Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s? Patreon, which now offers multiple tiers at which you may financially support the program, with rewards including personalized video messages, merchandise, and journalistic credentials legally recognized in over 12 countries. If you are so inclined, why not browse the offerings here: https://www.patreon.com/pizzaatmcds

Finally, I am sure several readers of this newsletter are gardeners or are people interested in gardening. If so, I highly recommend the Sneeboer narrow head cultivator for aerating your soil. I am not being paid by the Sneeboer corporation to say this. I simply find that no other narrow head cultivator has as back-saving an ash handle, nor as adequate an anti-slip knob end. If you do not believe me, please watch this video:

Thank you all very much for reading and for supporting my investigation.

May 2021

Hello, everyone.

It is now the month of May, which according to many calendars is the fifth month of the year. Most of these same calendars measure a year in terms of twelve months. No one knows how accurate these calendars are (and even fewer care), but assuming they are correct, that means we are now 5/12ths of the way through the year 2021.

Humbling, if you think about it.

I hope you have been enjoying the new singles from my upcoming acoustic album Another Slice of Brian Thompson. I have directed two music videos for them, which you may view at my YouTube.com “channel”. The first single, “A Reporting Job”, which many are saying is an anthem for out-of-work journalists, is also available on several music streaming services.

The full album will be released soon. In the meantime, I am very excited about some major developments in my primary investigation (that being my investigation into why McDonald’s stopped serving pizza). I cannot share many details now for fear of “spoileys”, but I trust your continued listenership of my program throughout the coming month will prove quite fruitful vis-à-vis your education and/or entertainment.

I would now like to address a matter that has been “weighing” on me quite heavily for some time. As longtime listeners know, there is, in fact, a McDonald’s location in the city of Orlando, Florida, that still serves pizza. This location is not a normal McDonald’s. Rather, it is a novelty McDonald’s meant to attract the curious tourists who frequent the area’s many theme parks and brothels.

This McDonald’s not only serves pizza, but also pasta and salad from a salad bar. Actually, I do not know if the salad bar is still open post-pandemic. If so, I hope each lettuce leaf is treated with some kind of antibacterial spray before being set out. Regardless, I think I have made it clear that this McDonald’s is atypical in the extreme.

Their method of pizza preparation is similarly unusual. They bake their pizzas in a brick oven, following a recipe that no reasonable person could ever claim to be “original”. Thus, I consider this pizza to be non-canon and not worth any further investigation. However, it must be said that while visiting Orlando to tour the filming locations for one of my favorite blockbusters, “The Florida Project”, I visited this McDonald’s and tried the brick oven pizza myself. It was pretty good, though a tad pricey.

I restate all this to provide the appropriate context for the predicament in which I now find myself. As my program has grown in popularity (now being one of the top podcasts in the world), many enthusiastically correspond with me about this non-canonical pizza believing they have made a major discovery. It has become quite tiring to respond to all of these messages. Not only because I have grown weary of explaining the difference between canonical and non-canonical McDonald’s Pizza, but also because it brings me no pleasure to dash the enthusiasm of these innocent young ignorants.

So, I am asking a favor of you, the loyal subscribers of this newsletter. Please, whenever you meet a new person whether in a personal or professional setting, take the time to inform them that I already know about the McDonald’s pizza (note the lowercase “P”) in Orlando. Perhaps they will know what you are talking about, and perhaps they will not. Either way, think of this as an “ice breaker”.

With more and more people becoming fully vaccinated every day, opportunities to have this discussion will increase exponentially, hopefully resulting in a few minutes each day being “shaved” off my busy schedule.

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter and for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Brian Thompson, journalist

April 2021

The April Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald's? newsletter

Hello, everyone.

It is now April, which many call the beginning of the end of the first quarter of the year. And what an exciting quarter it has been. This week sees the publication of the 200th episode of my program Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s?, which is presented as a new installment of my sub-podcast This American Slice. I hope you enjoy it/have enjoyed it (depending on when you are reading this newsletter).

I am not one to rest on nostalgia, so the 200th episode milestone does not hold very much significance for me. But I believe this now makes Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s? the longest-running podcast/IJP in history (by episode count). Truly humbling.

I am working on some other projects about which you will hear much more this month. First is my new acoustic album of 100% original music called Another Slice of Brian Thompson. I am also in the final stages of development on my new board game PizzaQuest. And I am hoping to bring the original Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s? (the board game) back into print sometime later this year. Its publication has been victimized by some spurious copyright claims, but I am confident I will be able to “grease” enough “palms” to overcome this hurdle.

I am quite enthusiastic for this month of April and the months to follow. Hopefully widespread Covid-19 coronavirus vaccinations will make it possible to resume investigating at 100% capacity. There are several destinations around the world I would like to visit in pursuit of various leads. Not to reveal any “spoileys”, but I have reason to believe there is some evidence of early McDonald’s Pizza attempts buried deep under the topsoil of a certain American city near a salt lake.

As is now traditional, I would like to leave you with a recommendation for a particularly interesting YouTube.com channel. This one is created by a nice-seeming person named Diane C, who lives in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is sort of a “general interest” channel, but some of my favorite content is her numerous “hauls”. I am an opponent of consumerism for the most part, but I find these videos to be quite inspirational when it comes to deciding what I would like to purchase at various stores. In this video, Diane C reports on the items she purchased from Dollar Tree.

March 2021

Hello, everyone.

February was quite an eventful month, though sadly without very much progress in my investigation. I was sidetracked by Newsmax host Greg Kelly, whom I exposed as a liar after he claimed his local McDonald’s does not serve Filet-o-Fish. But hopefully I am “back on track” with my current effort to entice McDonald’s into bringing back pizza so I can “binge” eat it in a mukbang video.

To be very candid with you, I am somewhat concerned that my latest recordings have been perceived as “unprofessional” due to some louder than normal background noise. Over the past several months, several tenants have moved out of my apartment building. Typically, I would not notice. For security and time management reasons, I largely keep to myself, so I am mostly unaware of the comings and goings of my neighbors.

But approximately five weeks ago, I was forced to notice that several apartments in my building have been kept vacant after the previous tenants departed, as the owners have decided to renovate them. Consequently, every weekday from 8:00am to at least 5:00pm, I am subjected to constant bangs, pops, splashes, whacks, thwops, and crashes from the major construction occurring not 100 feet from my person.

At first I tried to make the most of the situation by interviewing the construction workers about their memories re: McDonald’s Pizza. But after receiving some “grief” from the foreman, I have given up on that effort. He asked me to “keep it quick” and “keep it down” when conducting my interviews, both of which are terms I find unacceptable. There is no point in asking a question if one is not allowed to budget the time for six to nine follow-ups. And as far as “keeping it down” goes, I would not have to “keep it up” if I was not forced to shout over all the bangs, pops, splashes, whacks, thwops, and crashes.

I attempted to create a makeshift soundproof recording booth in my apartment by recording under a pile of fourteen quilts, but after just a few minutes in this environment, my microphone becomes dangerously sweat-logged, causing my voice to sound like that of the character Connor MacLeod, the titular highlander from the film The Highlander, when he gets pushed out of a boat and finds himself at the bottom of a lake and talks to himself in surprise because he fails to drown (as he is immortal). In short, when my microphone becomes too sweat-logged, I start to sound rather “bubbly”.

I am still pondering how I might alleviate the negative effects from this construction, up to and including hiring local out-of-work actors to inhabit the empty apartments during the day and convince the construction crew that they have the wrong building. In the meantime, I will continue to time my utterances of syllables around each bang, pop, splash, whack, thwop, and/or crash and hope no one complains about any unwanted noises that “slip through”.

Finally, I would like to tell you all about a YouTube.com channel I have been enjoying lately. It is operated by a gentleman named Jim Foreman who lives in a Texas retirement community and regularly makes instructional videos about how to make breakfast sandwiches “the cowboy way”. This video is slight off-topic, but it is an interesting story about how he got kicked out of a Chili’s.

Thank you for your time and attention. I hope you all have a pleasant March.

February 2021

A new beginning

Greetings to all of you who have subscribed to the Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s? newsletter. As is evident, the publication schedule for this publication has been rather unreliable. No apology is necessary, of course, as I am sure all of you understand how time consuming it can be to conduct investigative journalism at the high level I try to maintain.

Be that as it may, I have decided to pursue a new path for this newsletter in 2021. From now on, I shall publish it on a monthly basis. And while I cannot say what its format will always be, I can guarantee that I will try to make it worth your while. Unlike 90% of today’s journalists, I ask no financial compensation for the privilege of reading this Substack-distributed periodical. But I am asking you to pay for it with something far less legal tender yet only marginally less valuable: your time. I hope it will live up to the cost.

In the time since my last publication, I have made some progress in my McDonald’s Pizza inquiry. Most recently, I have discovered that McDonald’s may or may not have taught classes in pizza making, pizza marketing, and/or pizza appreciation at their Illinois training camp called Hamburger University. Interesting, is it not?

But along with this good news comes some less good news. Late last year, I was the unfortunate victim of a “hit piece” in a local newspaper called The New York Times. I will not validate the article in question by linking to it or mailing a photocopied clipping to any of you, but suffice it to say the The New York Times fact checkers must have been “asleep on the job”, for the feature in question was positively “riddled” with inaccuracies.

No doubt many of you reading this now subscribed to my newsletter after being exposed to this borderline libelous article. If so, it is likely you have listened to Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s? yourself and discovered on your own how misled you have been by the “gray old lady’s” characterization of my program. I take some comfort in that, as well as in the fact that most of the The New York Times staff has either been terminated or resigned in disgrace.

Perhaps you even subscribe to some of their Substacks.

But I do not wish this newsletter to become a forum for airing grievances. I will try to contain that impulse to the forum in which it belongs: Twitter.com. Instead, I will endeavor to use this publication as a force of positivity. And one way in which I shall do so is by highlighting the work of some of my colleagues that deserve your attention.

The first such honoree is a researcher who manages a YouTube.com channel called New England Wildlife and More. I have yet to watch any videos on this channel related to New England wildlife, but the “and more”-related content more than makes up for that oversight. Similar to myself, this gentleman whose name I have never caught focuses his study on the realm of vintage food. But unlike original recipe McDonald’s Pizza, the food he covers is still available, if only in the dank basements and cellars of homes recently vacated due to their elderly owners’ deaths.

The proprietor of New England Wildlife and More purchases canned, boxed, or bagged food items left largely untouched by non-mouse or rat hands for the past 10, 20, 30, 40, or even sometimes 50, 60, or 70 years. Occasionally he tastes these food items, though he typically just dumps them into a tub or bowl and digs around in them with a fork or his fingers. Sometimes he tests these items for various chemical contaminations or examines them under a microscope for bacterial activity.

Here is a video wherein he opens a can of 70-year-old quail eggs:

Interesting, is it not?

I look forward to bringing your attention to some of my other notable colleagues in future installments of this newsletter.

Thank you all for your dedication to supporting fine investigative journalism.

With all due respect,
Brian Thompson, journalist

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