Don't Eat the Pie

By Dick Duerksen

Photo by Pixabay

As the wise man said, “Healthy laughter is better than Pepto Bismol” (Proverbs 17:22).

Roger and I were the hosts of an early morning radio show in California’s Napa Valley. Callers regularly bombarded our airwaves with stories that could have been on Comedy Central.

One holiday morning our first caller was the cook from a nearby Board and Care home. She was laughing so hard that she could hardly talk.

“Each year I make a dozen pumpkin pies for our residents and the families who visit,” she finally settled down enough to share. “I made the pies last night, and was really proud of myself for doing such a perfect job! Then, as every good cook must do, I tasted a thin slice, just to be sure they would be a memorable dessert.”

“My mouth was instantly on fire! I drank two glasses of water and one of milk, but nothing took away the flames!”

Now she was laughing so hard it took a minute or two to calm her down enough to describe the disaster.

“In my hurry to get the pies done, I grabbed the wrong container and substituted Cayenne Pepper for cinnamon! In twelve pies!!! And it’s nearly time for dinner!”

We all laughed till our sides hurt, imagining her surprise, and wondering how the guests would have enjoyed the pies.

An hour later the cook arrived at the radio station with one of the pies for us to taste “live.” It was far worse than she had described!

Later in the day, at a very special family holiday dinner, I set the remains of the “pepper pumpkin pie” among the desserts, along with a couple glasses of milk. The guests included cousins Debbie and John who were up from San Francisco…but since John played trumpet in the San Francisco Symphony and had a concert that evening…they had to leave early.

They mistakenly took two giant pieces of the pie with them, having no idea of the surprise to come. We waited, and hoped they had water, milk, and Maalox in the car. When they called, their hysterical laughter was from a pay phone at a Quick-Stop.

“We each took one giant bite of the pumpkin pie,” Debbie gasped, “and immediately discovered that there was no water in the car! It took us nearly ten minutes to find this store, and we’re surprised the car didn’t catch fire!! Whatever you do, don’t eat the pie!!!”

Eat well over the holidays, but watch out for the pumpkin pie!