Below, you will find a dialogue between Justin and Justina, two unusual-yet-similarly-named friends who should be familiar to New Leaf Journal readers. Let us jump right into the prelude to their dialogue about life, pie charts, and pizza charts.

The Prologue

Today’s dialogue finds Justin and Justina out for a walk. While walking, they pass within earshot of one gentleman talking to another gentleman. They hear the talking gentleman tell his friend: “You have to get organized to work through your video game backlog. Let’s conceptualize this as a pie chart.”

We do not learn the rest of the conversation. The two gentleman left the earshot of Justin and Justina. Only then did Justin speak.

The Dialogue

Justin: Ugh. That hurt.
Justina: What happened?
Justin: That guy just casually dropped “pie chart” on his friend. His friend just has some unplayed video games. Brutal.

Justina: I mean it’s a bit pretentious. But how is it “brutal”? Am I going to regret asking?
Justin: He thinks he’s making a sailent point. He is. Work has taken him over. He can’t separate leisure from work, friendship from work. He’s dropping work platitudes on his poor friend. But who is he really hurting? Himself. He doesn’t realize it yet. He’s numb to it. It’s all over for him.
Justina: Isn’t that a little dramatic? Are you sure he’s not just a snob?
Justin: Don’t begin questions with “isn’t”! I’m sensitive! it’s not nice.
Justina: …
Justin: But anyway. It’s not dramatic. For his own sake, I hope he never realizes what happened to him. He probably once had dreams. Dreams he’ll never realize because his soul was crushed. Like poor Krapp. Now he walks around thinking that he thinks “outside the box” – little does he know that people who think that unironically are playing inside boxball. Dreams of productivity entirely divorced from meaningful production.
Justina: I think he’s just pretentious.
Justin: Alright, let’s conceptualize this with a pizza chart.
Justina: …

Life is a Pie

Justin: So that man’s life is a pizza, right?

Illustration of a mustached waiter holding a large pizza over his head from Bob Brown's "The Complete Book of Cheese"
Photo from Bob Brown’s The Complete Book of Cheese

Justina: You’re messing with me, aren’t you?
Justin: Don’t ask questions with “aren’t”! I’m sensitive!
Justina: …
Justin: Anyway. Normally about one-third of his pizza would be work. Maybe a little more for overtime or commuting.
Justina: I can’t believe you.
Justin: Let’s say work is anchovy pizza. Eww. Who puts anchovy on pizza? Disgusting.
Justina: That’s not my biggest concern right now.
Justin: Home life? Mushroom and feta. Good stuff.
Justina: That is good.
Justin: But anchovies stink, right? You can’t just put anchovy on part of a pizza and expect it to not cross over. Same with onions. It’ll encroach. Even if the anchovy itself stays on one side, its essence, its musk – those travel.
Justina: What’s annoying is that I know you’re self-aware. Onion pizza sounds good…
Justin: So the anchovies, the onions, their essence crossed over. His whole life is an anchovy and onion pizza now.
Justina: You’re an anchovy.
Justin: Thanks. It’s not our fault we don’t taste good.
Justina: …
Justin: He just looks at things on a surface level, right? He’s inside the box. From inside the box, he just sees anchovies in their section of the pizza. He doesn’t realize that this is in-the-box-thinking. The smell of anchovy dilluted his senses. His friends need to sit him down and have a collaborative brainstorming session to help him break through his self-imposed barriers and establish a new free-thinking paradigm.
Justina: That you wheeled that last part off from the top of your head is simultaneously impressive and disconcerting.
Justin: Don’t worry about me. I was stalling for time trying to put that together for the big conclusion.
Justina: Aren’t you just self-aware!?
Justin: You’re awfully antagonistic today.