As most of you know, January 23rd – today, unless my medication needs adjusting – is National Pie Day. Since I include a piece of pie in almost all of my cartoons and have done so for years, one would naturally assume that I would be a fundamental part of this great celebration. But I have been snubbed.
All across the land people are rejoicing, families are gathering and giving thanks, congregations are praying, school children are singing about pie. But not one word is being uttered about Bizarro, which celebrates pie not just on a single day in January, but all year long. I wasn’t asked to ride in a parade atop a pie made of geraniums, I wasn’t interviewed by USA Today, I wasn’t a guest on Larry King Live. I wasn’t even called by some corny morning DJ to talk live on the air about what this day means to me. Instead, my wife and I will celebrate quietly in our tiny Brooklyn apartment with our two cats and a half-dozen (vegan) pies.
I blame capitalism. Greedy retailers have taken all the meaning out of National Pie Day and turned it into a money-grubbing orgy of merchandise and services. What once was a meaningful celebration of a time-honored staple in every person’s life, has become another way to line our pockets with soul-draining cash and fill our homes with useless baubles and electronic gizmos to distract us from the real meaning of pie.
Let us not forget on this special day, that pie is not about cash and gifts and merchandise. It’s about flaky crust. It’s about juicy fruits and syrupy goodness, shared with family and friends. It’s about the bounty of Mother Nature’s Bosom, flowing forth with fruits and vegetables and grains, captured at their paramount in a round, portable disk of life-giving flavor.
Without pie, we would be nothing more than a nation of cartilage-gnawing barbarians.