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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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The Pizza Laureate....

The Pizza Laureate

I won a free pizza from Papa John's Million Pizza Giveaway. I always knew I was one in a million and this proves it. I received an email yesterday with the big news. "Your name was randomly selected as one of this week's 60,000 Papa Rewards members to receive a free large one-topping pizza."

There are 60,000 winners? I thought they said a million pizzas? Oh well, why argue when it's free. My odds of winning were slightly better than they are for some things, say, for instance, a Pulitzer, which has only 21 categories.

I didn't discovery an earth-shaking story hiding in plain sight, like the Pulitzer Prize winners who receive journalism's biggest award. I also didn't get the $10,000 that comes along with it. So, I suppose I will not be listed on their website. Don't look for me there.

Winning a pizza isn't like winning the Nobel Prize which has only five categories. The Nobel Prize for literature is given for a writer's life work. Guess my pizza will not be presented by the King of Sweden, but I can still call myself a Pizza Laureate. I will not be receiving a gold medal or 10,000,000 SEK, which is Swedish for $1.45 million, a nice chunk of change in any language.

Winning a pizza isn't like winning an Oscar. There is no glitz and glamour on pizza night, no limousine, no gold statuette, no prestige and honor involved. It's probably just as well. I wouldn't have anything to wear to the Academy Awards anyhow.

Winning a pizza isn't like winning an Emmy from the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences, no gold statuette of a winged woman, only cheese and tomato sauce on a golden crust. One good thing, though, I won't have to lock up my pizza to keep it from being stolen.

A pizza isn't like the Peabody Award, the oldest prize in electronic media. Pizza isn't rare award like the Peabody. Andy Rooney was a writer and he won several Peabody Awards. I don't know if he ever won a pizza, but I'll bet he didn't.

There are not many awards for humor writers. The Thurber Prize for American Humor is the best known. They have only three winners, so my odds are pretty low. Besides that, they only give prizes for books or e-books and I write columns. Guess it's a good thing I won a pizza.

Winning a pizza isn't like winning a crystal bullet from the CMA Country Music Association for writing a country music hit. I won't be going to Nashville to pick up my pizza. I won't be singing my own original song at the Opry. I will order my pizza online and have it delivered.

"Your Papa Rewards account has been credited with 20 Papa Rewards Points, so you can now redeem these points for your free pizza offer," said the email. No money, no fame, no glory, no reporters calling or knocking on my door. It's one pizza out of a million.

I'm beginning to wonder if they gave a free pizza to everyone in their rewards program. I went to the Papa John's website and found out that anyone who joins the rewards program during their promotion can have a free pizza. ANYONE can be one in a million?

Don't worry, I'm not going to refuse to accept my pizza like some actors and writers have done with their prestigious awards. I will accept. It isn't gold, it isn't priceless -- it's probably worth about $10 at the most. However, I'm planning my acceptance speech right now.

"I'd like to thank my daughter, my grandson, and my pizzeria for making this award possible." There is one thing that I can do with a pizza that all the other big winners can't do with their award.

I can eat it.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

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