Monday, April 08, 2013

Pie Crushers

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

The pie didn't have a chance. In approximately 26 hours, the pie went from a freshly-baked gourmet delight to being utterly destroyed and decimated.

Cherry pies are rare at this time of the year. You really have to know which bakeries are making them in the Los Angeles area, then again, the types of mom and pop bakeries that would bake homemade pies are shrinking. Every time you turn your back, another one is going out of business or dying off, as corporate-owned mega-bakeries muscled in on the baked goods racket.

Supposedly Marie Callender's (like a crack dealer, Marie's has me hooked as the only place in the neighborhood that sold cherry pies) is no longer selling cherry pies due to some sort of dispute with their cherries distributors. I have no idea if that's the truth, or if the chick at the counter was fucking with me and made up this story in order to make me feel better about their lack of pie production. If it is true, then you have no idea how bummed out I am to get caught up in this dispute. Man, I never knew cherries were so expensive that a company (itself struggling to pay its own bills) would make a tough decision and decide to postpone indefinitely the production of one of their specialty pies in order to save a few bucks. The cherry farmers hoped that the consumers (e.g. me) will direct their anger and ire at Marie's, while Marie's suits hope angry and jonesin' cherry pie eaters direct their anger at the cherry farmers.

Ah, caught up in the crossroads of commerce. Who knew my passion for cherry pie could be so complicated and painful?

I bought two pies for Easter dinner at Nicky's parents' house. Actually it was a BBQ, a rare Easter BBQ, which pleased because I'm someone who can appreciate grilled meats, especially to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ham just doesn't do it for me, but nothing says Easter better than a fresh and juicy steak. I was responsible for the dessert and bought two pies. I actually bought three. I kept a key lime pie for myself (and Nicky) and I bought two other pies (chocolate creame pie and a French apple pie) for the Easter festivities. I was more than bummed out when I discovered that Marie's did not sell cherry pies. Although I anticipated getting shut out because cherries are not in season, I was floored when the pie lady informed us about the cherry dispute. The more I wrote about this, the more I think it sounds totally absurd and total bullshit. Then again, I haven't seen many cherry pies anywhere. Bogus cherry strike?

On Saturday afternoon the doorbell rang. No one ever rings the bell. Usually friends knock. But the doorbell startled me. It could have been the landlord so I expected to see him when I peeked through the peep hole. Instead, I saw Nicky's mother standing there with some sort of box in her hand.

We opened the door and Nicky was surprised that her parents "popped on over" without telling her. Actually, they sent her a text message wondering if we were around, but Nicky blew off the message and never answered her phone so she had no clue that's what was going down. Anyway, they had gone out to a late lunch in Santa Monica and saw a bakery. But it's not just any bakery, this was one of those special Vienna bakeries that specialized in specific delights. Nicky's parents saw a fresh cherry pie being put out by the baker. They swooped in and bought it for me and was kind enough to drive from Santa Monica to the Slums of Beverly Hills to deliver the cherry pie. It was truly a kind gesture, and perfect timing too because it was halftime of the first Final Four basketball game.

I inhaled a quarter of the pie before the first game ended. I ate more after dinner and destroyed a half of a pie in just a few hours. Solo damage. Nicky doesn't like cherry pies and she was kinda bummed out that her parents did not bring her anything. I told her it was a karma thing. I brought two pies for Easter and I got one back within six days.

I could understand her frustration -- here's her parents dropping off a pie for her boyfriend but showing up empty-handed for her. Then again, maybe they both assumed she liked cherry pie too and that we'd share? I was pumped my girlfriend did not like cherries because that meant I had the entire pie to myself.

On Sunday morning Nicky was still fast asleep while I sat on the couch and ripped bong hits and watched the opening quarter of the Knicks-Thunder game. I ate another chunk of the pie during the game. At that point, I had decimated 75-80% of the pie. I finished off the final quarter right after dinner while we watched the season premier of Mad Men).

RIP cherry pie... crushed to death. Devoured. The poor fucker never had a chance.

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