Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Saturday, May 26, 2007


Five Pies Gloriously Wasted

As I stood there yesterday with blood pouring down my face and a swarm of students inexplicably running their hands over the besplattered plastic, I found myself thinking, "Y'know, that went better than I'd thought it might."

I have bitched before about the message that's sent by holding a "graduation" for our eighth grade students. I still feel the same, but I found out this year that our kids actually have to pay $175 to participate in this thing. For some of these kids, that's a whole lot of money. I have no real idea what the hell that money goes for. Space rental? Shitty buffet lunch? Solid gold cap and gown? I don't know, but I know it's a lot of dough for "at risk" kids. So, after a faculty meeting wherein this issue was raised, I got to thinking of ways to raise money to help defer the costs for kids that needed it.

The big idea I came up with--with some help from my wife--was to raffle off the opportunity for a kid to hit me in the face with a pie. I'm not an incredibly popular teacher and I know there are kids who'd love to hit me with something, so why not give 'em the chance and make that something a pie?

I went to my principal with the idea and he said okay. He may not actually have been listening to me, but he said okay toward the end of my pitch, so I took that as the go-ahead I needed. I took the idea to other faculty members, who said we should get a bunch of teacher for it, which seemed like an even better idea, 'cause all of us have someone who hates us and would pay for this chance at sweet and creamy revenge.

So I set the date for May 25th, I lined up nine volunteer teachers and I asked an eighth grade teacher to have two of her kids sell the raffle tickets for the two weeks prior to the event. Everything seemed to be set.

Then, this week, I hit a couple of snags. One snag was the principal, who apparently hadn't actually been listening. He approached me all concerned. He was worried that these thousands of pies I was preparing would lead to a whip-cream-fueled riot in the playground. Giving hundreds of students license to go insane the last period before a holiday weekend seemed, he felt, the height of madness. So I had to re-explain that, no, there would be only five pies and that, in fact, only the five students whose winning tickets were drawn would be allowed to throw anything. There might be some very enthused kids, but the potential for a post-Rodney Kind verdict sort of melee was actually quite low.

The second snag was a little more bothersome. The teacher who had agreed to arrange the ticket sales hadn't seen the fundraiser as quite the priority I'd hoped. As a result, her students had only gone around twice by Thursday and had sold a whopping seven tickets. At two dollars apiece, that meant that we'd raised fourteen whole dollars to aid her students with their burden. That was annoying.

So yesterday morning, I packed up my pies and trundled them up to the school. I snagged a group of seventh graders and had them make the rounds for last minute ticket sales. We managed, in forty minutes, to triple the amount of tickets sold, so that was nice.

I got a roll of plastic bags from the maintenance department and created a little splatter-catching backdrop for the event. Then I waited. The entire middle school crowded around at 2:00 and we had to use an electric cattle prod to keep the kids far enough back that everyone could see. I dumped the pitiful little pile of tickets into a measuring cup and we started drawing.

The first kid whose name we pulled was a nice little sixth grader with glasses. He bounded through the crowd and selected his homeroom teacher. The teacher stepped into place. The kid wound up and delivered a rocket right to the teacher's face. I'd sort of expected the kids to do a nice gentle toss, which is how I'd told them to do it, but this kid did his best C.C. Sabathia impression.

The pie, I've got to say, worked perfectly. I hadn't crafted a lovingly homemade tin of deliciousness or anything. I'd basically just wanted them to look good. Store-bought cookie crust, a little bit of chocolate pudding in the bottom and an assload of Cool Whip. Upon hitting the teacher's face, the pie fairly exploded. The crust broke apart, the pudding ran down his face and the Cool Whip went everywhere. The kids went ape. They dug it. And my teacher buddy played it up, too. He did his best Hulk Hogan impression and yelled, "More! I want more!"

But the kids seemed to have some sense of fair play or something. Maybe they just wanted to spread the humiliation thin. Whatever it was, the winning students chose an un-bespattered teacher each time. Which meant that five us got it, all told, including my assistant principal, who was a great sport about it.

My turn came on the third ticket. This was a girl who'd bought about eight tickets and took great joy over the last three weeks or so letting me know that she was gunning for me. Her strategy paid off. I knew my number was up as soon as I pulled the ticket and saw her name. I took my place on the plastic and she threw that pie with everything she had.

If you've never had a pie thrown in your face, let me just recommend right here and now that you do it at the first opportunity. It is one of my favorite sensations. Not among my favorite sensations is when something goes slightly askew and the aluminum pie plate cuts a gash in your nose so that blood literally pours down your face. I didn't actually notice anything until my assistant principal handed me a handi-wipe with a look of pure horror.

The student who'd thrown the pie felt really bad about having mangled my face, but I assured her it would heal and wished her a pleasant weekend.

All in all, a mixed bag. We raised hardly any money, but the kids and the teachers had a great time. I'm sure the maintenance crew wasn't happy that I'd done such a poor job calculating how much plastic I'd need to put up. The side of the building looked like a giant had puked on it. Also, I wish my nose didn't have a huge gash in it. But that pretty much goes without saying, I suppose.

This comment has been removed by the author.
Dude great idea, noble cause, and proof that slapstick comedy is one of the various glues that keep us all together.

Huge kudos!

try it again next year!
Seems like a great idea - too bad the fund raising wasn't better promoted. Made foil or plastic pie tins would be a better choice.
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