Thursday, January 31, 2008

Moon Pie. A History.

So this is my first entry on this site, and I've decided to dig up an old entry on the other site.

Perhaps not exactly a clean slate, but I'm putting something here to have something here.

As you can already tell, I am a master of the written word. Sigh. Here 'tis:

I don't usually respond well to orders, but a friend of mine once assigned me the task of writing about Moon Pies for no good reason. That was reason enough for me. After exhaustive minutes-long research, I responded to my task.

And I thought it might not be a bad inaugural blog post. So here you go.

My Assignment: Moon Pie

I have never understood the concept of a mud pie. Just because something is round and flat, why is it classified as pie? Pie should be something delicious that you would be proud to put in a windowsill to let cool…if anyone did that anymore. How on earth did we get a non-edible substance to be called pie? The solution must be children, for only they are excused for playing in mud and eating it without being heavily medicated as a consequence (we only do that if they daydream). So clearly, we all know as adults that just because it's round and flat, it isn't really pie and we're not eating it. We know better.

And yet...

You put a whole bunch of chemicals and sugar into a flat, round shape, slide it into a plastic sleeve and voila!! MoonPie.

Lemme just back up a sec...

Moon. Pie. Because on the moon, this is what a mud pie would look like? Because in the future (where everything has a "moon" prefix no matter when the "future" is for you), pies will be more compact and filled with marshmallow? Because in space, we lower our standards and believe that flattened cake is pie?

But logic doesn't matter, here. We're talking snacks.

And since I have the world wide web at my fingertips, I can look up the history of the MoonPie.

Ok, I just did. According to the fine folks at, the nomenclature of this particular snack was given because there was a full moon on the evening some hungry wild coal miners wanted something for their lunch pails that was solid and filling.

Apparently, they were also sick to death of nutrition.

So Capt. MoonPie (whatever his name actually was, I can say with near certainty that he would like to be known posthumously as Capt. MoonPie…I would) went to his bakery with this assignment of a solid, filling food that was as big as someone's hands framing the moon.

I think I'm gonna do that from now on. I'm going to go to bakers and other food artists and demand filling food that is about as big as something far away I can frame with my hands so that I can put a SearsTower Tart in my lunchpail.

While worrying his task (knowing full well that hungry coal miners will substitute blood for any food they desire and that they travel in packs), he handily noticed some workers putting graham crackers with marshmallow on the windowsill to dry.
Lemme back up a sec...

Not an apple pie cooling in the window, as we previously discussed. Not a loaf of bread. Some yahoos employed by a bakery were dipping graham crackers into marsmallow and putting it outdoors (in a coal mining town...mmm...sooty) to get stale. Clearly, he wasn't getting skilled labor.

So he did what any man in a pinch would have done: he layered it again and dipped the thing in chocolate in the hopes that no one would know that it was stale sugar and cracker underneath.
Apparently, these tooth reducing concoctions got so popular in the south that the phrase "RC Cola and a MoonPie" was very common.

Lemme back up a sec...

RC Cola. AND. A MoonPie. Carbonated sugar water and a chocolate-coated sugar cake.
This is why coal miners do not pinup models make. I'm just sayin'.

And as a bonus, apparently the same company that warded off a herd of angry coal miners also produced such products as the Peekaboo cookie and the Lookout Bran Biscuit.

As in, "Lookout!! It's a Bran Biscuit! That sounds healthy! Get me a MoonPie, an RC Cola, a tub of cotton candy and twenty sheets of rock candy. Stat!"

Ok, ok. Coal miners didn't say "stat". They probably couldn't. They didn't have any teeth left.

And today, as times change, the MoonPie sits on shelves eye level with a small child's eyes so they can reach for it with their grubby little hands that have mud all over them. Then they can hand it to their parent and ask for it by name.
"Mommy, can I have dis cake?"
"Pie, sweetie. MoonPie...and no, you can't. You had four mud pies already, you silly silly child. Don't touch me."

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