By Jerry Zezima
The Stamford Advocate
As a sensitive modern man with only the most sophisticated tastes, I have never had any pie-in-the-sky illusions about the Three Stooges. As a lifelong Stooges fan, however, I have always had pie-in-the-face aspirations. That’s because I have long dreamed of being in a social situation where I could emulate Moe, Larry and Curly by actually hitting someone in the face with a pie.
I am happy and totally unashamed to say that I recently got my chance. Not only did I hit a high-ranking corporate executive right in the kisser with a plate of whipped dessert topping, but I allowed him to return the favor. And, unlike the Stooges, who often started pie fights at swanky parties where the cream of society ended up with faces full of cream, neither one of us had to run away because somebody called the cops.
In fact, it was all officially sanctioned and held for a good cause.
The company for which I work sponsored an event called Field Day, which was appropriately named because employees were invited to spend the day in a field on company grounds. In addition to plenty of food and nonalcoholic beverages, which were served under a large tent, there was a softball game for which I, microphone in hand so I could be heard by everyone, including all the big bosses, was the announcer. As of this writing, I still have a job.
Other activities included pool dunking and, of course, pie throwing. The only requirement was that participants had to make a contribution to the United Way.
Throughout my life I have been guided by one shining principle: What would Moe do? In this case, the answer was easy: He’d hit someone in the face with a pie. So, because I am a proud member of the Amalgamated Association of Morons, I immediately signed up.
Although this was my first chance to participate in the ultimate Stooge activity, I have had plenty of Stooge-related experiences. In 1990, I was the runner-up in the National Curly Sound-Alike Contest. Participants had to call a 900 number and do Curly imitations over the phone. I worked up a routine in which I barked like a dog and uttered such famous phrases as "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk," "Woo, woo, woo" and "Soitenly!" The contest drew thousands of entries. About a month later, I got a phone call informing me that I was the runner-up. I never found out who won (he was probably an inmate somewhere), but I did receive $100 and some Stooge paraphernalia.
In the mid-’90s, I attended a couple of Three Stooges conventions in Trevose, Pa., at which I met various members of the Stooges’ families, including Moe’s daughter, who, at my request, poked me in the eyes. My only disappointment was losing the Curly Shuffle Contest to a 4-year-old girl.
I was thus well-armed with Stooge experience to use my arm well in the pie toss. Rob Rosenthal, my executive target, told me that he also is a Three Stooges fan. As he sat in a chair with a plastic poncho protecting his clothes, one of the people running the event handed me a plastic pie plate filled with whipped cream.
"Are you ready?" I asked Rob. He responded, and I quote, "Woo, woo, woo!"
I took three steps back, cocked my arm and let the pie fly. I scored a direct hit! The cream splattered upon impact and covered Rob’s face. As soon as he wiped it off with a towel, I hit him with another pie. "Now I know how Curly felt," Rob said, gagging slightly.
Then it was his turn. I donned a plastic poncho and sat down. "The rules just changed," I told Rob. "You have to stand on the other side of the parking lot." The words were no sooner out of my mouth than a huge gob of whipped cream was in it. Rob had scored a direct hit, too, covering my face with cream and sending some into my eyes and up my nose. I had officially been christened an honorary Stooge.
Was the experience all I had dreamed it would be? In the immortal words of Curly: Soitenly! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!
Copyright 2007 by Jerry Zezima