For a quick read on the state of world affairs, one need only look at pizza deliveries to the Pentagon, the White House and the CIA.
"The news media doesn't always know when something big is going to happen because they're in bed, but our deliverers are out there at 2 in the morning," said Frank Meeks, owner of the 43 Domino's outlets in the Washington area.Since Jan. 7, late-night deliveries to the Pentagon have increased steadily, from three to 101 Tuesday night, he said. At the White House, 55 pizzas were delivered from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 2 a.m. Wednesday, Meeks said.
Meeks said the demand for pizzas coincided with the build-up in tensions as the deadline approached for Iraqi troops to withdraw from Kuwait.
He said he has traced the trend through the invasions of Panama and Grenada, the fall of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines and previous Persian Gulf crises. In every case, pizza orders to the three government buildings soared.
The one-night record for late-night deliveries at the CIA - 21 pizzas - was set Aug. 1, the night before Iraq invaded Kuwait, Meeks said. However, deliveries after 10 p.m. have dropped since Jan. 9, when they reached 15.
"That certainly doesn't indicate that we're not keeping busy," CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said. "I want to make clear that we're working very hard here."