Humans have been coming up with unique, mostly absurd ways to conceal their side pieces since the conception of monogamy. And when phones became a thing, many cheaters, convinced they were being clever, started attempting to camouflage their side pieces by saving their numbers in their phones as seemingly inconspicuous establishments — namely, restaurants.
You can track their psychology fairly easily: People tend to order from restaurants, so if your main piece were to snoop through your contacts, having a restaurant saved should theoretically seem innocent enough. In practice, though, there are some real problems with this logic (which will be laid out in just a moment).
As a matter of fact, the sentiment of saving your side piece as a restaurant is so incredibly ridiculous — or perhaps relatable, for some — that it prompted a longstanding meme, the subject of which is almost always, um, Pizza Hut. Yeah, as you can see below, per the meme, people are apparently saving their side pieces in their phones as none other than the famous pizza chain.
The meme has become prominent enough that whoever runs the Pizza Hut Instagram account even posted one variation (I reached out to Pizza Hut for comment, but received no response).
It makes sense to me why Pizza Hut became the de facto side piece pseudonym: Pizza Hut itself acts as a side piece for many passionate pizza consumers, who predominantly order from the Hut on the sly as a guilty, greasy pleasure. Only when pizza fanatics are bored of — or perhaps even exasperated by — their local joints do they call up the Hut for something a little more treacherous. As my pizza-addicted colleague Brian VanHooker says, “It’s your shitty side piece to the real pizza joint you’re supposed to be loyal to, born of late-night desperation and/or hazy thinking.” (Side note: Brian is clearly a loyal man, because not once did he order from the Hut during his recent 30-day, 40-pizza binge.)
But for the same reason Pizza Hut makes sense as a side piece moniker, it also makes no goddamn sense at all. For one, nobody needs to have the number for Pizza Hut saved in their phone, because nobody should be ordering from there enough to warrant that over simply doing a quick Google or Yelp search. Secondly, if your side piece sees that you get a text message or call — no, multiple text messages and calls — from Pizza Hut, surely that would be a red-fucking-flag.
If you must save your side piece in your phone as something other than their real name, there are about a million better options than “Pizza Hut.” A quick online search pulls up an array of fake names for your side piece, some more clever than others: “Coach,” “Bros,” the names of random professional athletes, “Louis Oil and Gas,” “Incoming Call,” “Office,” “Dr. Abiodun,” “Pastor Philip,” “Eze Tyres,” and of course, “Usman Dollar.”
While we could go on and on, formulating other, less outrageous false names for your side piece, if you really want to play it safe (well, as safe as you can while cheating on your partner, who probably loves you very, very much), some suggest buying a whole new dedicated phone for your side pieces. As one forum commenter explains, “Unlike a burner phone, you wouldn’t constantly be throwing it away (just getting new SIMs every once in a while) so cheapness would not be the #1 priority — but it would still be #2 or #3, since this is still a whole ‘nother phone you have in addition to the phone you usually use. And you’d want it to be ergonomic to text on, so a 1990s candybar dumbphone wouldn’t quite cut it. It wouldn’t need apps like a modern smartphone (other than maybe messaging apps). And battery life would be important — it’s often hard to find private time to charge a secret phone — so a big screen would be a drawback, not a positive.” The commenter lands on an “old Blackberry” as the perfect side piece phone.
But if you really want that to work, you need to keep that phone completely hidden, because if you think getting caught texting “Pizza Hut” is a red flag, randomly getting caught with a whole new phone is a whole other problem. As this article about signs that your man has a side piece notes, “Most cheaters who are regularly having affairs will have something called a ‘booster’ or a ‘jump phone.’ These are disposable phones they use to talk to affair partners that they can throw away should things get sticky.”
In which case, all things considered, if you have a side piece to begin with, you’re playing with fire, whether you save them as “Pizza Hut,” “Pastor Philip” or get a whole new phone devoted to chatting with them.