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Pie and beer just friends?

Saturday , July 26, 2014 - 2:22 PM

How long have you people known me? Five, 10, maybe 15 years or more?

And in all that time, have I ever attempted to use my position as a local columnist to incite you, the reader, with wild, unfounded accusations and inflammatory, overblown hyperbole?

OK, sure. Plenty of times.

So then, it should come as no surprise when I do it again today. But given the current climate in this state, what I’m about to say is likely to be just a tad controversial. Still, I feel like I’ve just got to bring it up.

Last Tuesday, I wrote a column about radio station KRCL 90.9 FM hosting a “Pie & Beer Day on Pioneer Day” fundraiser at a downtown Salt Lake City restaurant. It all seemed like good, clean fun at the time. But then, the other morning, I happened across the poster for the event again, and this time something struck me as slightly out of place. I think we need to talk about it.

I fully realize how pretentious it appears to quote oneself, but it’s the easiest way to get you up to speed. in last week’s column I wrote: “The flier for Pie & Beer Day on Pioneer Day features an anthropomorphic slice of pie and a bottle of beer smiling and holding hands — a la the popcorn, drink and candy that sang ‘Let’s all go to the lobby’ in movie theaters beginning in the 1950s. And at the bottom of the flier is the tongue-in-cheek small print: ‘No handcarts please.’ ”

That little image of the pie and beer got me to thinking.

Just to check my math, I’ve now shown the poster to a half-dozen other people. And all agree that, if they had to assign a gender to the faces on the beer bottle and pie slice, they’d say both look overwhelmingly male.

But here’s the thing. The beer and pie dudes are holding hands.

Personally? I don’t care one way or the other. Straight beer bottle, gay beer bottle — or even transgendered pie slice — it makes no nevermind to me.

But I do suspect there’s a sizable population out there that prefers its cartoon characters the way it takes its Kool-Aid — straight as a North Dakota highway.

Some may accuse me of overanalyzing a silly drawing involving a couple of cartoon characters. Maybe so. But all I know is if a bunch of uptight folks can think the Disney movie “Frozen” is a significant part of the Hollywood gay agenda just because the ice queen character sings a song about letting it go, then it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that two guy foodstuffs holding hands are gay. For all we know, whoever created the image on KUER’s Pie & Beer Day poster intended it as a wink and a nod to Utah’s marriage equality movement. After all, that whole debate continues to be front and center here in the Beehave State.

And hey, who knows? Maybe next year’s KRCL poster will feature our beer and pie life partners taking their relationship to the next level.

Perhaps picking out curtains with an adorable little handcart print?

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Like him on Facebook at

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