Last week I realized that it had been years since I last saw the Noid.
I'm not going to lie to you. I was afraid of the Noid when I was young, just as I was afraid of Mr. T. But I still respected the both of them. The Noid, for his resilience and Mr. T, because he said, "I pity the fool."
So I went on a crusade to find out what exactly happened to the red-suited, buck-toothed pizza saboteur from ads of old.
Technically, it wasn't exactly a crusade. A true "crusade" would involve killing thousands of people in the name of a deity, like those crazy people did in medieval days.
Mine was a non-violent quest for the truth. I don't watch the X-Files, but I am alert enough to know that the show's motto is "The truth is out there," and I agree.
Somewhere, someone had to know what happened to that poor little guy. It wouldn't be easy, but I was bent on finding that person and seizing the information.
I recalled that the Noid was always messing with pizza. He was definitely a threat to all pizza companies, especially those which delivered. It would have been in a pizza company's best interests to take this character out.
I also remembered that he messed with one company's goods in particular - Domino's. Someone might have used foul play to take out the Noid, and I had a chief suspect. It was time to put the heat on Domino's.
I started by calling the branch on Euclid.
"What happened to the Noid?" I asked.
"What? Do you want to order a pizza?" the employee replied, trying to throw me a curve ball.
"I'd like to order a large, as a matter of fact," I said, before pausing. "A large answer, that is. With an extra slice of detail."
Then he hung up on me.
Undaunted, I called the Domino's on Silverbell. This time, I told them I was a reporter from the Wildcat, and I needed a straight answer.
"Are you telling me that college reporters have nothing better to do than ask about a character named Nuke? I mean Noogie?" said the employee, who identified himself as John Tate.
This guy called the Noid "Noogie." Obviously, he wouldn't be able to help me, either.
By the end of the day, I had called no fewer than seven Tucson-area Domino's and had nothing to show for it.
Then I finally broke the story. I talked to a woman at Domino's headquarters who identified herself only as Judy. She told me the sad news: Domino's still owns the copyright on the character, but advertising execs rubbed the Noid out four years ago in favor of Donnie and Dottie Domino, two pizza-box shaped goofballs.
She said that the bigwigs decided that the Noid was "too distracting." As a footnote, she told me that the company still owned a costume of the Noid to dress people up for special appearances, but no one had asked for the character in years.
Indeed, the Noid was dead. He had been avoided one too many times.
The truth is out there, all right, but sometimes it hurts.