A few years ago, I remember hearing about Bill Gates getting pied. It seemed so simple, and yet, so perfect. There was something about the sheer humiliation of it all that stuck with me – and still makes me smile whenever I think about it. Most businessmen are anonymous, and even those who are well-known rarely openly discuss their business with the public. In their own private circles, they are well respected and isolated from the rest of us. But then, one day, after a mundane meeting about the price of computer chips, WHAM! Right in the face!
Pie Any Means Necessary chronicles the tales of pie throwing around the world, from economist Milton Friedman’s encounter with a coconut creme variety to former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown’s collision with a mixture of tofu creme, pumpkin, and berry. There’s pie recipes (with the utmost consideration given to throw-ability), pieing photos, tons of pie puns (“Cream and Punishment,” “No Pastry, No Peace”) and even a pieing folk song (“So if you cut down the last of the forests/Spew poison in the air/Don’t you be surprised to find/That cheesecake in your hair”)!
My favorite section details the activities of Georges Le Gloupier, a French pie-thrower famous for having pied pro-war philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy no less than five times! Le Gloupier, a classic Frenchmen, pays attention to culinary detail: “We only use the finest patisserie, ordered at the last minute from small local bakers. Quality is everything. If things go wrong, we eat them.”
Although this book would be even better if it had color photos instead of just black and white, that’s a minor criticism. Really, this book is hilarious and provides inspiration to us all. Can you imagine someone pieing, say, Donald Rumsfeld? Or Dick Cheney? Of course, there would be something amazing about pieing Dubya himself, but, as the writers of this book are quick to point out, pieing is even more successful when the victim fails to joke about it and instead becomes enraged. I’d imagine Dubya would find a way to have it turn out in his favor, but Rumsfeld? Cheney? Ashcroft? Start preparing the crusts and the topping! Its time to go forth and pie! –Maddy (AK Press, 6740A 23rd St., Oakland, CA 94612, www.akpress.org)