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Here's Pie in Your Eye
Written October 7, 2010


Hey, little boy!  See that stuck-up little girl?  Want to push her into the snow?

Hey, teenager!  See that cheerleader?  Want to humiliate her?

Some guys secretly harbor such fantasies, as in this colorized and composited picture.  But in the year 1974 I was neither a little boy nor a teenager.

At the age of 27, I had moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, to become the program director of a local channel.  Many of our telecasts on TV-3 involved the activities of the three local high schools:  Immaculate Conception, Trinity, and Washington.

Washington High School’s 1974 yearbook is now available online, thanks to classmates.com.  And therein I find the following photographic evidence proving that I’m not dreaming.  A ceremony did actually take place, and not merely once.  Was it slapstick?  Was it sadism?  Though I observed this public ritual with my own eyes, I didn't understand it, and I only half remember it.

Of course, I clearly remember the Wash High marching band, shown above parading on Main Street.

I remember the band's attractive majorettes, one of whom is shown at the right.  I recall a couple of these young ladies in this article.

And then there were the cheerleaders.

One of them was Cindy Ream, here with her pompoms.  She was the pride and joy of her father, Chuck Ream, who worked with me as one of our TV-3 sports announcers.

The cheerleaders’ duties included stirring up school spirit before each big game.  Sometimes, a period during the school day was set aside for them to hold a pep rally in the gymnasium.  Because the gym also served as the school’s auditorium, it had a stage in one end zone, and on that stage sat the band.

I was at Washington High School one day, though without a camera, when one of these pep rallies took place.  The cheerleaders enthusiastically introduced their athletic heroes.

And then came the part that I didn’t quite understand.  One of the guys was called to come forward.

One of the cheerleaders was to be his victim.  To protect her hair, she put on a shower cap.  To protect her sweater, she donned some sort of a plastic bib.

And then she stood there stoically, closed her eyes, and let the guy smoosh a cream pie into her face.

Anyone know why?

My best guess is that it was a stunt to benefit a good cause.  Such fund-raising activites are not unknown.  For example, here's a 2009 article from a newspaper at another high school.

Cheerleaders Take Pie In Face For Charity

Cheerleaders can be seen carrying collection mugs until Oct. 12.  This is part of the Pie-a-Cheerleader fundraising program, which is intended to raise money for Adopt-a-Family, a Christmas program run by Salvation Army that gives toys to families in need.

At the Homecoming Assembly on Oct. 12, the spirit court will pie the four cheerleaders who raised the most money.

Unlike most pep assembly activities, this will be done in the spirit of charity.

—The Wa-Hi Journal,
Walla Walla High School,
Walla Walla, Washington

Pie a cheerleader to adopt a family!  Seems like a good deal.  As the 2009 article concluded,

The cheerleaders can wipe crust and filling from their faces knowing that a family will have a merrier Christmas.



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