Thursday, 8 March 2012

Pie Week

This, Fantasy Bob has discovered, is British Pie Week. This is an annual celebration of loose misdirected bowling that can be carted to whichever boundary the batter wishes. Pies can come in many forms - savoury or sweet - the main factor about them is that you can smash them to whichever boundary you wish. There are some health gurus who have been trying to warn people off pies, but bowlers seem committed to keeping up the supply. For example, only a month or so ago Zimbabwe's Brian Vitori set a pie record by bowling 9 overs for 105 runs in an ODI against New Zealand.

This is a long and respectable tradition, the first pies were bowled around 9500 BC, in the Egyptian Neolithic period. Evidence of pies can be found on the tomb walls of the Pharaoh Ramesses II  in the Valley of the Kings.  Sometime before 2000 BC, a recipe for chicken pie was written on a tablet in Sumer. And things have just developed from there, so that nowadays no T20 match is complete without a ration of pies. What FB doesn't understand is why when he is at the crease pies are never bowled at him.

American sport has another approach. Pies are not deliveries of a loose kind in baseball. Instead the Americans are a bit more literal and there is a minor tradition of pieing in major league baseball.  The arch proponent seems to be New York Yankees pitcher A. J. Burnett who pies a teammate who scores the winning run by throwing a foam or cream pie in their face during the post match interviews. However the Florida Marlins manager banned the antic after his players injured themselves in pieing incidents.

FB agrees that pieing is dangerous. A long time ago when FB used to do concert parties and similar entertainments, he had a slapstick pie routine. One day he performed it with an enthusiastic colleague who put so much vim into the delivery of the pie that it bled FB's nose. The red blood gushing in the white shaving foam was very artistic and added hugely to the audience's enjoyment of the sketch. If FB were to perform this sketch these days he would insist on a batting helmet.

For many years the record for the most pies ever bowled was probably in Laurel and Hardy's 1927 match The Battle of the Century where over 3000 were delivered.  But this was overtaken in 1965 by a sequence in The Great Race which is reported to have used 4000 pies. So Brian Vitori still has something to aim for.

Another fine mess........