Aron "PIEMAN" Kay's long career of pitching pastries FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 12:06:21 -0400


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=46WD  San Francisco Examiner - Thursday, November 12, 1998


A LONG CAREER OF PITCHING PASTRIES

By Rachel Gordon of the Examiner Staff


The interview started with a question from a long-distance operator: "Will
you accept a long-distance collect call from New York Pieman?"

The answer from this end, a simple yes, kick-started a rambling
conversation that skipped along the winding path of American politics from
Watergate and Billy Carter to anti-abortion activists and Mayor Brown. The
link: pies.

Aron Kay, a k a New York Pieman, or just plain Pieman, is considered the
guru of the political pie-pelting movement that made front-page news here
this past week when four people - three of them facing misdemeanor charges
- beaned a shocked and angered Brown with cherry, tofu cream and pumpkin
pies.

Kay, 48, who has been following last Saturday's escapade via the Internet
from his New York City home, approves of the target.

"Willie Brown, I felt personally, was in dire need of some kind of
theatrical confrontation," because he's been using the police to run poor
and homeless people off public land, Kay said.

The people taking responsibility for the mayoral pieing, the "Biotic Baking
Brigade," went after Supervisor Gavin Newsom days earlier outside his
Election Night victory party in Cow Hollow. Kay wasn't far from their
thoughts.

" "Operation Never Mind the Ballots' celebrates the 21st anniversary of
International Pie Week, which was founded by American pieman Aron Kay," the
group said in a news release after the Newsom incident.

The incidents - and the TV footage of the pies smashed into Brown's face at
a Saturday news conference - sparked debate over whether criminal charges
should be filed against the alleged assailants.

The cops and Supervisors Michael Yaki and Amos Brown wanted a felony
prosecution, saying the incidents showed disrespect to public servants and
could have caused serious injuries. District Attorney Terence Hallinan,
however, decided on lesser misdemeanor charges of assault on a public
official and battery.

If the pie tossers, who said they were acting on behalf of the tenants, the
poor and the homeless, wanted publicity, they got their wish. Pieman said
that was one of the movement's chief goals.

Newsom is miffed that the media has played up the pieings, saying there are
much more serious topics, such as rising drug abuse among high school
students, that deserve attention.

But public pieings of bigwigs are hard to ignore.

Pieman last tossed a pie six years ago when he hit anti-abortionist Randall
Terry in the face with "a bland custard pie."

During the past two decades, Kay has gone after some of the nation's
biggest newsmakers: physicist Edward Teller, father of the A-bomb; McGeorge
Bundy, one of President Lyndon Johnson's chief advisors on the Vietnam War;
Watergate figure E. Howard Hunt, whom Kay also has wrapped into a
conspiracy theory about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; and
conservative commentator William F. Buckley.

Kay and the other pie-throwers have a strong sense of self-righteousness
when they speak of their antics. They judge their ideological foes harshly
and render punishment in the form of gooey dessert. They act fast and take
their victims by surprise.

Kay tried to pelt Billy Carter, the beer-guzzling brother of President
Jimmy Carter, for cozying up to Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi but
was tackled by federal marshals and couldn't get near him.

The only victim he ever apologized to was Jerry Brown, the former
California governor, three-time presidential candidate and now mayor-elect
of Oakland.

Kay pied him in 1979. The apology came in 13 years later. When asked
whether Jerry Brown had remembered the incident, which involved a
custard-cream filling, Kay said, "Yes, he did." He added that it appeared
the apology had been accepted.

His first target, in 1973, was Rennie Davis, one of the Chicago Eight, who
dropped his Yippie anti-war credentials and became a follower of and
proselytizer for an Indian guru.

"I threw a pie at him - cherry - and it missed," said Pieman. "It was my
first one. My aim was a little off."

He considers the Three Stooges, whom he began watching on TV as a kid, as
the true fathers of pie-throwing.

Over the next several years, Kay honed his skills as a
pie-thrower-for-hire, earning $40-$50 a pop hurling pies at clients'
bosses, landlords, ex-spouses, teachers. Some Catholic school girls hired
him to throw a pie at their principal, who happened to be a nun.

By 1976, he returned to his political passion. Money was no longer the
incentive.

One spring day in 1977, armed with a pie, well-coiffed and dressed in a
suit so he could fit into the crowd, Pieman attended a Republican women's
forum held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. His target:
Phyllis Schlafly, an anti-feminist activist who fought hard against the
Equal Rights Amendment, abortion rights and gay rights. He pummeled her
with an apple pie, for her support of motherhood and Americanism.

"She just said she was glad it wasn't a cherry pie because it would have
stained her dress," he said.

Other victims he's claimed include pop artist Andy Warhol and former CIA
Director William Colby.

Kay, who earns some money working on Web pages, said he'd been responsible
for about 15 political pie-throwing attacks. And although he has a few
others on his wish list, should he come out of retirement - Margaret
Thatcher, Benjamin Netanyahu, Howard Stern and Boris Yeltsin - he's content
to serve as a mentor to the new pieing brigade.

His pie-tossing creed is fairly straight-forward: Don't get hurt, don't do
anything that will hurt others, and use pie fillings that taste good, or at
least have some symbolism.

The pieing of the mayor last Saturday wasn't exactly peaceful. Brown
tackled one of the attackers to the ground, resulting in a badly bruised
mayoral knee. Another attacker suffered a broken shoulder when she was
caught.

When told of the outcome, Pieman wasn't pleased.

"I don't want anyone to get hurt, whether it's my political enemy or my
comrade, nobody should get hurt," he said. "It should be nonviolent." After
all, he added, "if wars were fought with pies, a lot of lives would be
saved."

END FORWARD
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receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

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=46WD  San Francisco Examiner - Thursday, November 12, 1998 =20



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>A LONG CAREER OF PITCHING
PASTRIES


By Rachel Gordon of the Examiner Staff=20

</paraindent>


The interview started with a question from a long-distance operator:
"Will you accept a long-distance collect call from New York Pieman?"=20


The answer from this end, a simple yes, kick-started a rambling
conversation that skipped along the winding path of American politics
from Watergate and Billy Carter to anti-abortion activists and Mayor
Brown. The link: pies.=20


Aron Kay, a k a New York Pieman, or just plain Pieman, is considered
the guru of the political pie-pelting movement that made front-page
news here this past week when four people - three of them facing
misdemeanor charges - beaned a shocked and angered Brown with cherry,
tofu cream and pumpkin pies.=20


Kay, 48, who has been following last Saturday's escapade via the
Internet from his New York City home, approves of the target.=20


"Willie Brown, I felt personally, was in dire need of some kind of
theatrical confrontation," because he's been using the police to run
poor and homeless people off public land, Kay said.=20


The people taking responsibility for the mayoral pieing, the "Biotic
Baking Brigade," went after Supervisor Gavin Newsom days earlier
outside his Election Night victory party in Cow Hollow. Kay wasn't far
from their thoughts.=20


" "Operation Never Mind the Ballots' celebrates the 21st anniversary of
International Pie Week, which was founded by American pieman Aron Kay,"
the group said in a news release after the Newsom incident.=20


The incidents - and the TV footage of the pies smashed into Brown's
face at a Saturday news conference - sparked debate over whether
criminal charges should be filed against the alleged assailants.=20


The cops and Supervisors Michael Yaki and Amos Brown wanted a felony
prosecution, saying the incidents showed disrespect to public servants
and could have caused serious injuries. District Attorney Terence
Hallinan, however, decided on lesser misdemeanor charges of assault on
a public official and battery.=20


If the pie tossers, who said they were acting on behalf of the tenants,
the poor and the homeless, wanted publicity, they got their wish.
Pieman said that was one of the movement's chief goals.=20


Newsom is miffed that the media has played up the pieings, saying there
are much more serious topics, such as rising drug abuse among high
school students, that deserve attention.=20


But public pieings of bigwigs are hard to ignore.=20


Pieman last tossed a pie six years ago when he hit anti-abortionist
Randall Terry in the face with "a bland custard pie."=20


During the past two decades, Kay has gone after some of the nation's
biggest newsmakers: physicist Edward Teller, father of the A-bomb;
McGeorge Bundy, one of President Lyndon Johnson's chief advisors on the
Vietnam War; Watergate figure E. Howard Hunt, whom Kay also has wrapped
into a conspiracy theory about the assassination of President John F.
Kennedy; and conservative commentator William F. Buckley.=20


Kay and the other pie-throwers have a strong sense of
self-righteousness when they speak of their antics. They judge their
ideological foes harshly and render punishment in the form of gooey
dessert. They act fast and take their victims by surprise.=20


Kay tried to pelt Billy Carter, the beer-guzzling brother of President
Jimmy Carter, for cozying up to Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi
but was tackled by federal marshals and couldn't get near him.=20


The only victim he ever apologized to was Jerry Brown, the former
California governor, three-time presidential candidate and now
mayor-elect of Oakland.=20


Kay pied him in 1979. The apology came in 13 years later. When asked
whether Jerry Brown had remembered the incident, which involved a
custard-cream filling, Kay said, "Yes, he did." He added that it
appeared the apology had been accepted.=20


His first target, in 1973, was Rennie Davis, one of the Chicago Eight,
who dropped his Yippie anti-war credentials and became a follower of
and proselytizer for an Indian guru.=20


"I threw a pie at him - cherry - and it missed," said Pieman. "It was
my first one. My aim was a little off."=20


He considers the Three Stooges, whom he began watching on TV as a kid,
as the true fathers of pie-throwing.=20


Over the next several years, Kay honed his skills as a
pie-thrower-for-hire, earning $40-$50 a pop hurling pies at clients'
bosses, landlords, ex-spouses, teachers. Some Catholic school girls
hired him to throw a pie at their principal, who happened to be a nun.



By 1976, he returned to his political passion. Money was no longer the
incentive.=20


One spring day in 1977, armed with a pie, well-coiffed and dressed in a
suit so he could fit into the crowd, Pieman attended a Republican
women's forum held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. His
target: Phyllis Schlafly, an anti-feminist activist who fought hard
against the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion rights and gay rights. He
pummeled her with an apple pie, for her support of motherhood and
Americanism.=20


"She just said she was glad it wasn't a cherry pie because it would
have stained her dress," he said.=20


Other victims he's claimed include pop artist Andy Warhol and former
CIA Director William Colby.=20


Kay, who earns some money working on Web pages, said he'd been
responsible for about 15 political pie-throwing attacks. And although
he has a few others on his wish list, should he come out of retirement
- Margaret Thatcher, Benjamin Netanyahu, Howard Stern and Boris Yeltsin
- he's content to serve as a mentor to the new pieing brigade.=20


His pie-tossing creed is fairly straight-forward: Don't get hurt, don't
do anything that will hurt others, and use pie fillings that taste
good, or at least have some symbolism.=20


The pieing of the mayor last Saturday wasn't exactly peaceful. Brown
tackled one of the attackers to the ground, resulting in a badly
bruised mayoral knee. Another attacker suffered a broken shoulder when
she was caught.=20


When told of the outcome, Pieman wasn't pleased.=20


"I don't want anyone to get hurt, whether it's my political enemy or my
comrade, nobody should get hurt," he said. "It should be nonviolent."
After all, he added, "if wars were fought with pies, a lot of lives
would be saved."


END FORWARD

-    =20

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is=
 distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in=
 receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. *=
*


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink=
=2Enet>

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