DENVER — Despite the growing demand, donations of cream-filled pies are down 65% at clown colleges across the U.S. , according to a report in USA Today.
“This is an urgent concern for our students,” said BoBo, Dean of the National Clown Institute. “We depend on donations of pies – particularly coconut cream and lemon meringue – to continue the strong clown education associated with our accredited curriculum.”
In years past, clown colleges received truckloads of day-old pies from bakeries such as Marie Calendars and Coco’s. “On any given week,” noted Bobo, “we’d go through 5,000 to 10,000 of the sweet, creamy desserts.”
KoKo, a renowned clown instructor, agreed. “It’s always been an unwritten rule,” he explained. “If you don’t sell your pies by the end of the day, you donate them to the students.” He contends he never would have gotten his start had it not been for the generosity of “pie makers and their spoiled goods.”
With the nation’s economy still in neutral, however, pie production is down by over 30%. “We strongly support our nation’s clown schools,” said Peter Dookay, vice president of Pie-Away, the charitable foundation funded by Coco’s, “but the fact is, when demand is down, fewer pies are made and the volume of excess pies decreases.”
One solution is to simply raise tuition and purchase the pies outright, but Bobo called it an “unrealistic proposition” that doesn’t reflect the realities of a contemporary clown education. “If the families of these kids had that kind of money,” he explained, “do you really think they’d be sending them off to clown school?”
Another suggestion is to transform the prestigious establishment into an online university, where students could pursue their clown studies on the Internet.
Bobo called that a “non-starter,” insisting that pratfalls, human cannonballing, and unicycle high-wire riding “are not easily practiced in one’s living room.”
NCI is considering an alternate solution recently proposed by — of all people — Ronald McDonald, arguably the most famous corporate clown of all time. In a surprise announcement, McDonald’s Corporation has offered to donate $5 million worth of apple turnovers to clown schools across the country.
Bobo called it a “generous offer,” but hasn’t decided yet whether to accept.
“Yes, technically speaking, it’s a pie,” he said, but admitted that the thought of getting repeatedly smacked in the face with a hard, oblong pastry crust containing burning apple bits “hasn’t gone over well” with the students.
Bobo said he is more apt to seek alternative funding opportunities that will not alter their traditional, time-honored pie program.
To illustrate his point, his stripped off his clothes and smashed a banana cream pie onto his genitalia.
“See?” he noted. “Whipped cream is funnier.”