Issue 5

Announcing my new book

Greetings. It has been quite a while since the last issue of this newsletter, and quite honestly I have forgotten where we left off. Some news since I last wrote:

  • The world has fallen victim to a deadly pandemic

  • McDonald’s has introduced spicy chicken McNuggets

  • I am publishing my first book, entitled How to Be an Investigative Journalist

It is this last piece of news that is most notable. Many reading this newsletter already listen to Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s? and/or follow me on social media, so you have already heard about my new book. But a few of you are solely “newsletter-heads” who are unaware of my other work. If you count yourself among those, consider this your first indication that I am releasing a book on September 15th, 2020, entitled How to Be an Investigative Journalist.

For more information, please visit the book’s official website:

There you will be able to read more about the book’s premise (it is about how to be an investigative journalist) as well as a sample of the introduction. It will be available in both electronic (“e-book”) and physical (“p-book”) formats on the website of a Seattle-based business called While the “e-book” version is exclusive to the Amazon Kindle for the next three months (and will be available to read for “free” if you already pay for a Kindle Unlimited subscription), the “p-book” version will also be sold by a New York City-based business called Barnes & Noble, which will offer it via their internet website or via special order in-store. More details about both these purchasing options will be made available on ASAP (as soon as prudent).

I am also very pleased to say that signed copies of the “p-book” version of How to Be an Investigative Journalist will be available exclusively at select independent retailers throughout the United States. Right now, confirmed locations include Nice Price Books & Records in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Floating World Comics in Portland, Oregon. More locations will be added in short order. If you would like your local independent retailer to stock signed copies of the book, please have them contact me at

Finally, I would like to offer some information regarding How to Be an Investigative Journalist that will be shared only in this newsletter. First, allow me to reveal for the first time the full wraparound cover for the p-book version of the book. I think you will agree it is quite beautiful and will make a worthy heirloom to pass down through the generations.

As you can see, the cover art accurately symbolizes the struggles of an investigative journalist.

I also would like to share an exclusive excerpt from the book. This comes from an early chapter entitled What is Investigative Journalism?. I hope you enjoy.

The best way to illustrate the difference between an investigative journalist like myself and a regular person like, for example, you (before finishing this book, of course) is by way of a hypothetical scenario. Let us begin by imagining a fictional character named Rian Jhompson (not to be confused with Ryan Johnson, director of such spectacular films as Star Wars: Jedis and The Bloom Bros.). Mr. Jhompson has become quite disillusioned (almost, you could say, emotionally and somewhat physically “beaten down”) by the repeated “dead ends” and outright failures he has experienced in the course of his investigation into why Wendy’s discontinued their Super Bar. To take his mind off his troubles and enjoy some much-needed respite by indulging himself in an indulgent fantasy world, Mr. Jhompson visits his local public library to check out a DVD copy of his favorite film: The Beastmaster.

Upon entering said library, Mr. Jhompson proceeds directly to the self-service reference computer. He does this for three reasons:

  1. This particular library threw out their card catalogue several years ago in an effort to save space and “make a buck” selling their card catalogue cabinet to a “kitschy” vintage furniture store.

  1. He does not want to bother a librarian with a query as to the whereabouts of their The Beastmaster DVD since doing so would require the indelicate act of waking the librarian up from her nap.

  1. This hypothetical scenario takes place prior to the era of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, thus Mr. Jhompson has no fear that touching a common-use self-service reference computer keyboard will infect him with a deadly disease.

Upon looking up the The Beastmaster DVD, Mr. Jhompson heaves a heavy sigh of relief, for the DVD is listed as “checked in”. However, when he goes to the DVD shelf and searches through the Bs in the “sword and sorcery” section, he heaves another heavy sigh. This heavy sigh is not one of relief but, in fact, the opposite: un-relief. For the The Beastmaster DVD is nowhere to be found.

If you find this “cliffhanger” compelling, you may enjoy the rest of How to Be an Investigative Journalist.

Thank you for your time.

-Brian Thompson
(an investigative journalist)

A Script for Expressing Your Discontent to the White House

If you listened to this week’s special edition of Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s?, you know that I felt compelled to contact the White House to voice my discontent with our acting president Donald Trump’s failure to address the McDonald’s Pizza issue. Despite the fact that Mr. Trump is a well-known McDonald’s food enthusiast (and was even photographed enjoying a McDonald’s meal aboard Air Force One this week), he has gone nearly four years without even mentioning that McDonald’s used to serve pizza, much less doing anything to facilitate its return.

Well, enough is enough.

If you feel the same way I do about this issue and would like to voice your opinion to Mr. Trump himself, it is very simple. Any citizen with a working telephone or access to a working telephone may dial either the White House comment line or the White House switchboard. However, since I am aware many people are not as comfortable with impromptu public speaking as I am, I have provided the following script to aid in your efforts. Please feel free to modify it to best suit your voice, but be sure to retain the key piece of information: that you cannot support a president who will do nothing about the McDonald’s Pizza issue.


Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME HERE]. I am a(n) [INSERT OCCUPATION AND/OR FULL-TIME HOBBY HERE], but I am also a concerned citizen activist. I would like to let President Trump know that due to his inaction on the McDonald’s Pizza issue, I will not be supporting him in the upcoming election. Thank you.

You may reach the White House comment line here: 202-456-111
Or call the White House switchboard here: 202-456-1414

If you would like to record these interactions, it is well within your legal rights to do so and send the audio file to for potential use on a future episode of the program.

Issue 4

The 4th issue of the Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald's? newsletter.

Hello, everyone, and happy new year.

It has been several weeks since the last issue of this newsletter, so I would like to provide an update as to how my holiday season went.

It went very well, thank you.

If you have been following the program, you know that I have made some encouraging progress regarding my McDonald’s Pizza investigation. Specifically, I have established an intense personal bond with a kindred spirit who happens to work as a curator at the McDonald’s museum in San Bernardino, California. He has pledged to work with the shadowy owner of the museum to fund an expedition to retrieve the abandoned McDonald’s Pizza oven from the dump on the desolate island of Adak, Alaska.

I have no progress to share on that front, however, as I have not heard from this curator since our initial conversation. However, I plan to take him up on his offer to visit San Bernardino and observe some of the McDonald’s Pizza-related artifacts from his personal collection. I simply need to secure some kind of bullet-proof vest and “brush up” on my self-defense training, as Sen Bernardino is unfortunately quite a “high-crime” area.

In the meantime, I would like to inform anyone who is not already aware that I have released Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s?: Expedition to Alaska: Collector’s Edition. This is a groundbreaking package of audio programming related to my expedition to Alaska. It includes the original Expedition to Alaska itself, plus deleted scenes from my trip, a first-of-its-kind director’s commentary track, and more “bonus features”. I am particularly proud of the commentary track; not only because no one else has ever recorded a director’s commentary for an IJP (making this, I believe, a world record), but also because it contains an interesting tidbit of information from a “man on the street” whom I happened to question while recording the track on the Los Angeles subway system.

Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s?: Expedition to Alaska: Collector’s Edition is available for the low price of at least $5 on my Bandcamp page.

In other news, I received early word that this would be the case, and it has just been confirmed that the new Star Track series Star Track: Picard on CBS All Access features a touching tribute to my work in its fourth episode. The episode is entitled “Absolute Candor”, which is an obvious “tip of the hat” to my personal philosophy. We will know more when the episode airs, but I have been led to believe that this concept of “Absolute Candor” will have a major impact on the “lore” of the Star Track universe. I could not be more grateful or humbled.

Finally, I would like to point your attention to this touching ballad about McDonald’s Pizza from Canadian singer/songwriter B.A. Johnston. Please make sure you have a tissue handy before listening to his song “Best Day Ever”.

Issue 3

The third issue of the Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald's? newsletter

I am still alive. Last week, I journeyed to the desolate volcanic island of Adak, Alaska, to investigate its abandoned McDonald’s. Despite mild-to-somewhat less mild weather conditions and prices for canned soup at the local store that topped out at well over five dollars per can, I have made it home safely. Many suggested my expedition would prove fruitless. Well, let me dispel that notion by assuring you that it was quite fruitFUL indeed.

In fact, I plucked so many “fruits” (metaphors for information) that I have quite a bit of work ahead of me before I can release my definitive report as a special episode of the program. In the meantime, I will be releasing various photographs and videos from my journey on Instagram and YouTube. I suggest you “keep an eye” on those accounts for updates.

I do not wish to “spoil” any of the many revelations that will be contained within my final report, but I can tell you that I made it off the island with an extremely precious artifact that I am in the process of insuring and securing. These efforts, combined with the hours of audio recordings I must pour over in the coming days, will severely tax my time. As such, I have already informed my roommate at the Young Men’s Christian Association, Mr. Skeeter Boyd, that I will be unable to attend our ritual Bingo night. He was disappointed to say the least, as we are Bingo partners. But after I explained both the importance of my work and the fact that Bingo does not need to be a team sport (just a single person can easily listen for the called numbers and mark the card with the dotter), I think he understood. He calmed down, at any rate.

And hopefully you, too, will understand why this newsletter is so brief.

Thank you for understanding.

Issue 2

The second issue of the Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald's? newsletter

I have taken all necessary security precautions, and thus I am prepared to reveal certain details about my travel schedule related to my upcoming Expedition to Alaska. First, as a word of warning to anyone thinking about ambushing me or setting booby traps in my path, I will tell you that I have been assured all of my accommodations feature at least one door lock plus a desk chair of appropriate height to wedge underneath the knob. It is true that a battering ram wielded with a moderate amount of force could overcome these measures, but the resulting noise of preparation (the grunting that would no doubt result from any lifting of said battering ram) would be an adequate enough alert that I could jump through a window and sprint at least five yards away from my lodging before the first cracks appear in the door.

I have also secured the services of a local guide on Adak Island, who will act as a “first line of defense” if I am set upon in the wilds of the tundra. I will not provide any identifying information at this time, but suffice it to say that this gentleman is in top physical condition, as the oblong spheroid shape of the Earth means that gravity in the northern latitudes is that much stronger than further south, thus conditioning the skeletons of Arctic residents to endure more physical strain than those of outsiders. Unless any of my enemies have contracted an assassin who is native to the island, I should be relatively safe. And the chances of this are quite slim, as they island only has about one hundred residents.

Additionally, my recent brush with death after being poisoned with porcupine quills has built up an immunity in my system to certain chemical-based traps. This immunity only applies to the specific type of poison used on the aforementioned quills, but I am fairly confident the poison in question is a common “off the shelf” targeted killing tool and thus would probably be the weapon of choice for anyone attempting to sabotage my nervous system in the wilds of Alaska.

With those warnings out of the way, I would like to detail some of my plans for this expedition. I will arrive in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, November 19th. That evening, I plan to visit the local board game store Bosco’s to see if they have any copies of Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s (The Board Game) that they wish me to sign. I will then retire to an undisclosed location for the remainder of the evening, where I will conduct a deep meditation exercise for roughly eight hours (or until whenever I wake up) to prepare my mind and body for the journey ahead.

The next day (Wednesday, November 20th), I will travel to Adak Island itself. I shall remain there until the following Saturday, November 23rd, as these are the only days an airplane lands on this volcanic backwater. While there, I will have limited access to electronic communications and thus will be unlikely to publish any communications via my various social media accounts or via this newsletter. But it should prove to be a fruitful period otherwise, as I will, of course, excavate the island’s abandoned McDonald’s and also conduct a live recording of Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s? as a public service to the local residents. This recording will take place in the abandoned gymnasium (near the abandoned racquetball courts).

Finally, on Saturday, November 23rd, I will return to Anchorage and provide the public with some “proof of life” before making the trip back home to Los Angeles, California, where I will compile my research into an “easily-digestible” form for the layperson public.

Once more, I would like to thank all who donated to make this expedition possible. You are true friends of journalism and thus of a superior class to most.

(In the meantime, I will continue my investigation into the ghost of Pomeroy Castle, which will be the subject of this week’s program.)

For this issue of the newsletter, in lieu of a recipe, I shall provide a link to an article on which details how to slaughter and cook a seal:

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