Gallery 2
Laughing At Ourselves
Gallery 2 - Page 3
Gallery 2-Page 2

Global April Fool’s Pie Throwing Event?

By James Donahue

Hat’s off to Leeloona The Clown, an enterprising woman in Portland, Oregon, who appears to be carrying the Internet-driven global revolution to a whole new height – community pie throwing contests among people dressed like clowns!

Leeloona has been busy using the social networks like Facebook and perhaps Twitter to organize a public pie-in-the-face event at noon on Friday, April Fool’s Day in Portland’s Waterfront Park.

The idea has been taking root. Since Leeloona began promoting her “Splashdown” at “Pie Noon,” a group in the UK has apparently picked up the call. This group, calling itself the Clown Army, is challenging the House of Windsor to a “Custard Pie Fight” on the grounds of Buckingham palace at “one minute and eleven seconds past “Pie Noon” on April 1. It is not know whether the Queen or the members of her court have agreed to allow such an event but the proposal is designed to crack a few wide grins among the Brits.

The sight of a distinguished person getting unexpectedly slapped in the face with a cream pie has been making people laugh ever since the idea was invented by slapstick comedians in the old vaudeville shows and early comedy films with such skilled performers as Laurel and Hardy and the Three Stooges.

One of the funniest skits I ever saw was an early black and white film in which the Three Stooges took a job unloading a pie truck filled with cream pies and bringing them into a banquet hall filled with distinguished and well-dressed men and women; all of them putting on airs as such groups tend to do at such events. I don’t need to explain what happened next.

There is something about that pie-in-the-face that puts everything in perspective. It shows the humor in the reality of who we all really are. It robs the recipient of any dignity he or she might have imagined themselves displaying to the world, and creates an instant exposure as to the silliness we exhibit from behind those social masks we tend to wear. In the end, we are all but clowns acting in the great comedy of life.

It is perhaps a bit late to be promoting Leeloona’s pie-throwing event, but we think it would be grand to see young people all over the world laying down their guns, clubs and stones for this one day, and put their energy into slapping one another in the face with soft cream pies.

Can you imagine Gaddafi or King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, or perhaps Bashar al-Assad of Syria taking a pie in the face instead of a military attack on their compounds? Would such an event change the image we have of the violent world in which we appear to be living?

The event promoted by Leeloona The Clown in Portland is turning into what may become an annual April Fool’s Day celebration. Participants are asked to show up with silly attire, perhaps dressed as clowns, and prepared to get smeared with pie. They are also asked to bring their own pies made of mostly whipping cream in throw-away aluminum pie tins. Everybody is expected to participate in the clean-up after the big event.

It is good to plan because this writer knows from experience that pie throwing can get messy. I participated in a pie-throwing party at an off-campus residence during my college days. While great fun at the time, we made such a mess of the place the occupants of the apartment got evicted by the landlord.