Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Italians grapple with the convenience and cultural terror of a pizza vending machine

A customer considers the delicious dread of a vending machine pizza.
A customer considers the delicious dread of a vending machine pizza.
Photo: Filippo Monteforte (Getty Images)

Here at The A.V. Club, we’re generally pretty skeptical of the latest poorly dancing, pumpkin-carving, wordlessly screaming developments in the field of robotics. That said, a newly unveiled pizza vending machine fills us with a sense of optimism for the future of our species that, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be shared by its first customers in Rome, Italy.

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The Mr. Go Pizza machine is a marvel of modern engineering. After a customer selects one of its varieties, which range in price from €4.50 to €6, the good Signore Pizza kneads, seasons, tops, and cooks a fresh pizza in three minutes. The whole process is visible through a little window. It’s great.

And yet, despite the miracle this technology represents, Reuters’ interviews with locals show that the development of an automatic pizza maker has prompted the kind of reactions that might be expected from someone suggesting a robot raise their baby. One man says Mr. Go’s pizza “looks good but it is much smaller than in a restaurant and there [are] less topping[s].” Another customer says “it’s OK but it’s not pizza” while a woman named Gina “rejected the concept outright.”

“Terrible,” Gina said. “Pizza really needs to be eaten hot, immediately. This doesn’t work for me.”

The best reaction to Mr. Go Pizza, though, comes from an excerpt near the end of the article:

“’I wouldn’t even think of eating a pizza made by a machine,’ said Giovanni Campana, biting into one.”

Clearly, even among the nation least likely to accept the pizza robot into its society, the promise of Mr. Go is too compelling to ignore. Our only hope is that an outraged pizzeria owner doesn’t beat the lovely machine to scrap before it can be mass produced and made accessible throughout the world.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.