How I counted up to the 1000th pie in the face

While soliciting donations toward the 1000th pie in the face expedition, I was asked whether I had documentation for each of the pied faces I’ve been claiming.

Yes and No.

When I pied the first face on April Fool’s of 2007 I never imagined I would be celebrating the 1000th now.

It took a year for things to get rolling.  On April Fool’s of 2008 I set out to see just how many I could do in a day by bartering and bundling with other visits. [It was eight.]

Charles Shelan Pied on April Fool's
Charles Shelan Pied on April Fool’s

My birthday is also in April, so I made pies available to guests at the party.  Eleven more faces.

I brought a pie to a family member’s 60th birthday and thought ahead to bring extra whipped topping.  Sure enough, FIVE more people agreed to accept pies.

jusby mops up
After the birthday pieings

I (almost) always have people sign a waiver, and I (almost) always take a photo.

Problems with the Waivers

  • I haven’t kept all the waivers!
  • I don’t usually date the waivers.
  • I continue to use waiver sheets when there are blank lines left.
  • Sometimes people get in line without signing up.
  • Sometimes people sign and never show up for their pie.
  • I can’t always read the names because of the GIANT PENCIL and because sometimes the children’s handwriting is illegible anyway.

Problems with the Photos
I have sometimes had technical difficulties with my camera during a pie-ing.

  • Sometimes I haven’t brought it.
  • Sometimes the batteries run out.
  • Sometimes I accidentally leave the SD card in the computer.
  • Sometimes the hosts or guests at a party have their own cameras, and I think I don’t need to prove anything.  I think I don’t need to spend my time processing & uploading all those before/ during/ and after shots.
  • Sometimes I forget to take the picture.
  • Sometimes an assistant is taking pictures, and they miss the shot.

It was the Fremont Solstice Parade of 2008 where the count got a little blurry.  I estimated that I had done 15 pies in 90 minutes for a new personal best.  It brought the total to ABOUT ~45.  I estimated based on the number of dirty pie pans and empty canisters of whipped topping I had at the end of the parade route.

Let me tell you what qualifies and what does not qualify as a pied face for this count.

What Counts

  • any sized pie that I personally hand deliver to a face
  • any sized pie that I provide to an assistant which is hand delivered to a face (including mine)
  • any sized pie that I provide to a willing face, who then hand delivers it to their own face
  • each new pie-ing occasion of a face. (i.e. I pied Bill Fleming on different days, each had a separate count)
  • any delivery of whipped topping directly to the mouth as long as some spills beyond the lips
  • a face that receives whipped topping by accepting or initiating a kiss with a pied face

What Doesn’t Count

  • multiple pie-ings of the same face at the same event (i.e. The kid who says ‘Again, again, again!’ is counted only once)
  • pie-ing myself once a day just to boost the numbers
  • having an assistant pie me on a regular basis to boost the numbers
  • pie-ing animals
  • pie-ing inanimate faces (statues, paintings, dolls, action figures)

I update the count on Twitter as soon as possible after each delivery.  It feeds to Facebook.  I then switch the count on

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