Banks sell no pizza

A reader sent me a recent article from the Macomb Legal News, one of the papers my column appears in. It was my "May It Please the Palate" masthead, complete with my smiling mug. Underneath was the headline "Banks and Pizza." However, the article then went on to dispense Malcolm Berko's investment advice. (They'd inadvertently placed Mr. Berko's syndicated column under my masthead.)

Perhaps my friends at the Macomb Legal News saw the word "pizza" in the headline, assumed Mr. Berko's column was my own, and automatically slapped it under my own masthead. Not only did it give me a good laugh, but I'm sort of flattered. I've always loved reading Mr. Berko's well-informed and plain spoken rants.

The juxtaposition reminded me of a sign I used to see frequently in pizza shops, back in the day: "Banks sell no pizza, we cash no checks." It was their cutesy way of saying "cash only, buster." I always secretly hoped I'd someday walk into a bank and see the sign's natural counterpart, "Pizza shops cash no checks, we sell no pizza." Alas, it never happened.

I did see plenty of other signs, though. My favorites were two that were often found in public service offices, like the court court clerk: "YOU WANT IT WHEN?" accompanied by a crude drawing of four people laughing and rolling on the floor (precursor to ROTFLMAO?). The other was a disgruntled woman pictured behind a desk, peering over her glasses, saying "I CAN ONLY PLEASE ONE PERSON A DAY. TODAY'S NOT YOUR DAY. TOMORROW DOESN'T LOOK SO GOOD, EITHER."

These signs were inevitably fuzzy photocopies or even mimeographs, copied from copies many times over, passed through generations of workers (at least back to the '70's). They've mostly disappeared today, replaced by Internet memes like the "Most Interesting Man in the World" or the "Charlie's Chocolate Factory" guy, accompanied by a pithy quote. Something like "Banks sell no pizza ?"

? which also happens to be the title of this column. The reason? I'm really hoping that in next week's Macomb Legal News, this column will be below Malcolm Berko's masthead, because it contains the word "Banks."

Now let me go find my bowtie and learn how to give homespun financial advice.

Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht, Roumel, Salvatore, Blanchard, and Walker PC, a litigation firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and writes a food/restaurant column for "Current" magazine in Ann Arbor. He can be reached at His blog is

Published: Mon, Mar 23, 2015