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It’s worth losing your job over a meat pie

The meat pie. It’s objectively one of the world’s great foods, and something that it horribly underrepresented in U.S. culinary tradition. Today we’re talking about in in relation to sports after Sutton United goalkeeper Wayne Shaw ate a pie on the sideline and started “Piegate,” also known as “Pieaffair.”

Shaw ate a pie on the sideline after learning that bookies were taking bets at 8-1 odds that he would eat a pie during the game. It was a lark, but also a serious violation of betting laws and created a quagmire he wasn’t fully prepared for. On the plus side, he got to eat a pie.

I’m of the fervent belief that almost any job in the world is worth losing over a meat pie. For the uninitiated, this is a small, hand-held pie with buttery pastry and filled with a mixture of meat and gravy. Sometimes you can have mushrooms in it, maybe some onion — this is a free area because all meat pies are good pies.

Australia Day: Aussie Icons Photo Illustration by Ian Waldie/Getty Images

We have been tricked by a false god in America. We have been led to believe that a hamburger is better than a meat pie. Some have gone so far as to take the common pastie, a British culinary treat and passed it off as a true meat pie. This is false. The difference between a true meat pie and a pastie is the meat-pastry ratio, which is perfect in a pie and skews too far towards pastry.

Pastry is cheap, so it’s understandable — but it must be a vehicle for the meat. The pie is the ultimate meat conveyance system that is unencumbered with fancy toppings, lettuce and tomato the same was a burger often is.

Basically what I’m saying is that while it’s a shame Wayne Shaw lost his job over a pie, it’s also worth losing your job over a pie, particularly a good pie. Heck, most jobs are worth losing over a bad pie. The margin for error with a pie is so vast that a semi-soggy gas station pie is still really good, and vastly better than the wrinkly rotating gas station hot dog, for instance. Unless the hot dog is from Sheetz, because Sheetz has good hot dogs.

Sutton United v Arsenal - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round
Wayne Shaw, goalkeeper and pie enthusiast.
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Anyway, I digress. Really what the meat pie shows is part of a larger discussion, which is once again: Pie vs. Cake. In meat form, the pie is perfection, whereas meatloaf is meat cake and almost always disappointing.

It’s difficult to screw up a pie. You can get some frozen pastry, simply cook some meat or fruit and you’re done. You know what you’re getting every time. Cake has too much wiggle room and too many problems. Too dry, bad frosting ratio, too sweet — it’s a minefield. Pie is there for you all the time. Bad pie is still good pie, bad cake just ruins birthdays.

Cake is a vestige of when fruit was expensive, so you just throw some dry goods together with eggs, oil, and water and make a dessert from your disappointment. Pie is proof that humanity evolved and possibility was bountiful. Possibility. That’s why things are as “American as apple pie,” and not “American as a vegan apple tea cake.”

Go eat a pie. Eat several pies. Have yourself a pie-based dinner.

  • Appetizer: Mini quiche (egg pie)
  • Entree: Meat pie
  • Dessert: Pecan pie

Live the dream, just like Wayne Shaw did. Like Icarus he flew too close to the sun with a pie in his hand, but never let that stop any of us from trying to fly.