View Full Version : Viscosity debate could run and run

Pointy stick
-22nd December 2003, 23:33
From "The Flan", the official magazine of British Slapstick.

The Rules Committee of the Professional Institute of Entertainment (PIE) has proposed a number of changes to the standard specification of flans and custard pies used in slapstick routines. The main changes include an increase in the minimum thickness of pie crusts from 0.5 mm to 2.00 mm, and a 50% increase in the viscosity of the fillings.
The changes are intended to address the perceived problem of "flan flinging", as opposed to the more classical approach of "pie placing". The difference was perhaps best explained by veteran funny man, Ted Bovis, who famously told his assistant, Spike, "You don't just 'chuck' a pie; you place it."
Supporters of the rule changes point to the centuries of tradition which link Harlequin, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, and the traditional circus. They say that the art - some call it a science - of slapstick began to decline in the 1970s with the prevalence of TV shows such as Tiswas, where the emphasis was simply on delivering the gunge to the victim as quickly as possible, with style becoming less important. By the early 1980s, the traditional pie with its stiff crust had been more or less replaced by simple buckets of gloop which could be spilled, sprayed or squirted - or even flicked.
However, the proposed increase in viscosity has caused a stir, and the thicker pastry is expected to create stiff resistance. Supporters of the modern approach (decried as 'mere custard chuckers' by the classical slapstickers) argue that slapstick has developed to meet the changing needs of modern slapstick. Today's attention spans are much shorter, and it is more important to cover the target area (traditionally the face, but, under the new rules, to include the bib) than to place the pie with finesse.
"These new PIE rules are half baked," said one critic. "Slapstick has moved on. The people who object to the modern style would no doubt have complained when the pig's bladder was superseded by the slapstick. There were complaints when the revolving bow tie was introduced, and who can forget the arguments when traditionalists wanted to limit the length of clowns' shoes?"
A spokesman for the major equipment manufacturer, Mr. Leon Kipling, said that the industry "would have to look exceedingly carefully" at the costs implications of introducing the proposed changes.

-23rd December 2003, 07:09
What did this have to do with Foil? I understand the connection but off to Chit Chat it goes...

-23rd December 2003, 07:10
And BTW - it's quite amusing.

Pointy stick
-23rd December 2003, 14:58
Point taken, although I would have thought Off Piste would be more appropriate. I put it in foil because it followed on (in my fevered mind) from 2 or 3 specific threads there.

Barry Paul
-23rd December 2003, 17:00
Once again the rules committee and the PIE congress voted for a new pie surface specification and minimum placing times. Including increase in pie crust thickness and increased viscosity of the filling. Will it ever happen?

The P.I.E. congress were shown a mangiarotti new pie made to the new spec.,
There was a demonstration at which every one was told this new pie construction would eliminate pie filling. In a voting paper one of the 15 or so questions voted on by every country was 'should Magiarotte new pieís be used/trialed.'?

The points I think that were not considered were:
1. Cost?
2. Reliability?
3. Did they work?
4 Is there an overwhelming problem with pie flinging?

As one of the major world pie manufactures we would say have not yet seen the new pie so itís difficult to give a measure reply. However I would guess.
1. Having looked at the question exceedingly carefully. About 50% higher cost.
2. Many continental pies are already unreliable; keeping the same overall weight and pie diameter will be very difficult and result in a thin wall containers that already gives problems on continental pies, especially German ones.
3. Will it work? Probable not or only prevent an insignificant number of pie placing The question you must ask is, Can you pie fling with fruit cake (the answer is yes)? Certainly flanners will adapt hitting techniques to follow the through with the crust ensuring the crust has both penetration and dwell time (defeating the effect of the proposed increased timing before placings will register).
It is likely the pies flan or fruit cake will be heavier which will make fling easier. (Smart move)
4. Is there a problem. Not at International senior level, at the last world Champ final there were only one or two fling placements.

So we have a proposed. un-tested change in pie specification, to cure a fault that does not exist, voted on by people who have no idea and technical expertise, which probably doesn't work. About par for the P.I.E. Leon Kipling M.D. Largest Pie manufacturer in the world.

-24th December 2003, 00:12
oooo, but i LIKE it.........:grin:

-24th December 2003, 00:44
Mmmmmm Pie

Barry Paul
-26th December 2003, 11:07
Obviously we need feedback from the referees?
Is their a problem at international level?
Will the new viscosity rules make refereeing easier?
Forum member need to know. Leon Kippling M.D. largest pie manufacturers in the world.

P.S. Is the relative size of our top referees any indication that during pre competition Flan and pie testing their is illegal/ excessive pie tasting? What happens to Flans/pies which are black carded?

-26th December 2003, 16:33
Originally posted by Barry Paul
What happens to Flans/pies which are black carded?

The referee gets to eat them :)

Barry Paul
-28th December 2003, 23:57
We need to know. Leon Kipling

-29th December 2003, 00:01
They don't eat all pie's, for instance the P.I.E. officials stay away from humble pie :)

3 Card Trick
-6th January 2004, 15:00
This Referee has deferred responding until having refreshed his taste buds and considered in depth the viscosity of various Pies.

As always I am prepared to consider pie samples from any manufacturer who wishes to obtain a consderd opinon. Normally two dozen or so are sufficent.

At present I am having some linguistic difficulty with translating the new PIE proposals, Google keeps insisting that Mangiarotti, means "rotten mangoes". Not a pie flavour I particulalry like.

As is so often the case I wait with baited breath for the "official" translation of the Leipzig PIE bean feast minutes so that I can be sure of just what fillings I am dealing with.

In the meantime I am off to the tailors to have larger drip proof pockets put in my blazer to hold any pies I feel should be confiscated for further testing

-14th January 2004, 19:06
I do believe the much vaunted and awaited Mangiarotti pie may have run into a supply problem. I ordered some from my local supplier and he denied all knowledge of same.

-15th January 2004, 14:13
Maybe they all Mangiarotted :grin:

Barry Paul
-16th January 2004, 16:59
In order to comply with the European pie/flan directives we need to have the official P.I.E. technical specifications which have not yet been made available. It could be due to the well known Italian P.I.E. Mafia trying to corner the new Mangiarotti pie market. As soon as the specifucations are made known we will be able to supply exceedly good Mangiarotti pies in quantities sufficient for Three Pies and Your Out and Three Pie Trick. Leon Kipling

-17th January 2004, 03:05
Maybe we should visit the P.I.E. Mafia and make them sleep with the Fish Quiche...