One of the oldest clown tricks around is to smash someone in the face with a shaving-cream pie. Shaving cream? Why not whipped cream?
At Circus Smirkus camp, kids are taught the ancient art of pie throwing so that they can do it both effectively and safely.
The Smirkus Index reports the little-known fact that it takes only 2.5 bars of shaving soap to make 100 “clown cream” pies at camp!
Another circus tradition is that of celebrating someone’s birthday by “pie-ing” him or her with a clown cream pie. You want to sneak up and catch the person unaware, and then make sure you get a good smear, all over the face.
One of my favorite stories in Circus Smirkus, a True Story of High Adventure and Low Comedy, by Smirkus founder Rob Mermin, goes like this: “It is an inescapable fact, fated since the day a trouper was born, that if it is your birthday during the [Circus Smirkus Big Top] tour, you will get a pie in the face.”
“Sometimes even when it is not.”
“(Having an off-season birthday, I escape this fate. However, one December I received a package from trouper Leo containing a can of shaving cream and a pie tin with the note: ‘DO IT YOURSELF.’)”
“Why not whipped cream?” you might ask yourself.
The clowns informed me that whipped cream would stain and could also smell rotten if it stayed on your clothes or in your hair, whereas shaving cream is just soap. It washes off.
Given how many pies you can get out of a bar of shaving soap, it’s probably also more economical. So we’ll save the whipped cream for some of our real pies!