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Are You A Pie Person Or A Cake Person? You Can’t Be Both

By Daniel Neman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (TNS)

I always thought Simon got a raw deal.

Here he was, minding his own business, on his way to a fair. He encounters a man selling pies–tempting, delicious pies. Naturally, he asks for a sample. Who wouldn’t?

But the pie man, whose name has apparently been lost to history, was having none of it. He wanted to charge Simon for a sample, unlike so many of today’s grocery stores that offer samples for free. Simon did not have a penny to spare–fairs aren’t cheap–so the pie man sent him on his way, hungry and forlorn.

And for this, Simon has universally come to be known as Simple. Obviously, Mother Goose was a cake person.

There are two kinds of people in this world, pie people and cake people. You’re either one or the other. Never have I heard anyone say, “I like cakes and pies equally,” and I’ll bet neither have you.

Personally, I’m in Simple Simon’s camp. It’s pies all the way. Just think of it: A buttery crust baked to a golden brown and filled with toasted pecans suspended in a sweet amber nectar. Or sweet cherries balanced by just the right amount of tartness. Or smooth and silken chocolate topped with a decadent dollop of whipped cream.

On the other hand, you have cake. It’s just cake. Pedestrian, ordinary, sponge-like, bland cake.

And cakes often come out of a box. Even the ones that don’t come out of a box sometimes taste like they came out of a box. Sometimes they taste like the box.
Yes, the frosting is good. I’m all in favor of frosting. If only you could put it on something that wasn’t cake.

Pies are always festive and special; they are a party unto themselves. But you can buy a cake in a sheet.

Newsrooms are particularly fond of sheet cakes; in some respects, newsrooms are a sheet cake’s natural habitat. This particular newsroom has ordered so many sheet cakes from Federhofer’s Bakery that some people here use “federhofer” as a verb, as in “We’ll be federhofering Joe in the front of the newsroom at 4 p.m.”

Any occasion at all becomes an occasion for a sheet cake. You’re having a birthday? Have some sheet cake. You’re retiring early so that other employees won’t be laid off? That’s remarkably selfless and generous of you. Thank you so much. Have some sheet cake.

Sheet cakes just don’t seem terribly celebratory anymore. Maybe it’s the repetition, but I think it is more that they are just cakes. Meanwhile, Federhofer’s also makes sheet pies, in case anyone was wondering.
Even in their smaller versions, pies win out every time. Mini tarts? Great. Cupcakes? Overpriced trendy treats.

The greatest non-pie expression of pies is chicken pot pie, so creamy, delicious and flaky that, when made right, it can actually have more calories than a real pie.

In contrast, the greatest non-cake expression of cakes is a pancake. Admittedly, pancakes are wonderful. Even pie people love pancakes. Call it a wash.

Oh, wait. Pizza also comes in a pie. Advantage, pie.

I’m sure some cake people are perfectly nice. A little bland, perhaps, but nice. They are probably well-intentioned. Their hearts are likely in the right place.

But pie people are where it’s at. We’re exciting, dynamic, vibrant. We don’t need to call cake people “Simple” just to feel better about ourselves.

Photo by Jirka Matousek via Flickr

Murdoch Gets Hit By Pie in Face, Ducks Any Real Concessions in Testimony Before Parliament

While testifying before a committee of the British Parliament with his son, James, Rupert Murdoch was pied in the face by a comedian named Johnnie Marbles — if we are to believe Mr. Marbles’ Tweets.

Describing the incident, The Guardian referred readers to the Urban Dictionary definition of “clusterfuck.” As Prime Minister David Cameron returned from a foreign trip amid scandal, the Murdoch family was served a slice of humble pie, or an eye for a pie.

Talking Points Memo highlights the action, including footage of Rupert’s wife Wendi stepping in to deflect the “foam hacking.”

During their testimony, the Murdochs repeatedly pleaded ignorance, denying any prior knowledge of journalistic impropriety. As James began to answer the committee’s first question, Murdoch Sr. interrupted him. “I would just like to say one sentence: This is the most humble day of my life.”

Asked later whether he felt responsible, however, Murdoch curtly said “no” and brushed off calls for his resignation, claiming, “I’m the best person to clean this up.” Both Murdochs offered their apologies, though neither accepted blame for the conduct of their employees or a comparison with the “willful blindness” of former Enron executives. Of the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, which enjoyed an average circulation of 2.8 million subscribers, Rupert merely conceded, “it was so small in the general frame of our company.”

Brooks, who testified after the Murdochs left, was soft-spoken and earnest during the hearing, showing none of the irreverence trumpeted in recent profiles. She said that she learned of the allegations of “voicemail interceptions” — her chosen phrase, which sounds a lot better than phone-hacking — only after other newspapers broke the story two weeks ago.

Though outwardly deferential to the MPs, Brooks refused to give clear answers on several questions, including whether she was on vacation when hired private detectives hacked Dowler’s phone, as News Corp officials originally claimed. She described her relationship with Prime Minister David Cameron as “appropriate.” “I have never been horse riding with the Prime Minister,” she said, alluding to recent allegations in the press, in one of the more lighthearted moments of the hearing.

Just in case you’re actually British or care more about endemic corruption than Jude Law’s voicemail, Sir Paul Stephenson, the now disgraced former Metropolitan police commissioner, revealed today before the Home Affairs Select Committee that former News International journalists represent nearly a quarter of the Met’s public affairs office.

Check our live-blogging for more detailed coverage, including the subsequent testimony of arrested former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks.

Jessica Stein and Samuel Knowles contributed to this story