Maybe Legislators Eat Too Much Pie

Hoosier Perspectives

Pie flap more symbolic than factual.

Published on: January 24, 2009

I've eaten many a good piece of pie in this state. Many of them were served up in farm kitchens by some of the best cooks in America - Hoosier farmwives. Just last Saturday I enjoyed a piece of pear pie - a first for me. It was served up by Jo Anne Thompson, of Morgantown, and it was delicious.

 

Why waste space talking about pie? Because the Indiana General Assembly wasted time talking about that very subject last week. It apparently started out as a well-meaning gesture to honor a hometown pie maker in east-central Indiana. But before the legislators realized what can of worms they had opened, media outlets had a field day wondering why legislators thought sugar crème pie should become the official Indiana state pie.

 

I'm not picking on sugar crème pies - my mom makes a pretty mean one. Honestly, though, it's tough to beat cherry pie with ice cream on it, especially if you sweat over picking those cherries yourself off of a tree in your backyard orchard. And I had a mighty tasty piece of mince-meat pie recently baked by Leighton Turner, an auctioneer in Bartholomew County.

 

What I am doing is wondering out loud why elected officials are wasting time on something so trivial when they're in a dogfight to balance the budget this year. Why didn't they spend those extra minutes they apparently had to spare searching for a way to make Purdue University's request for partial funding for improvement in animal science research facilities on campus a reality, rather than just saying it would have to wait for another time? Or why didn't they use those minutes to discuss some possible scenario that would still let them balance the budget while establishing a broader scholarship program for Hoosier kids wanting to go to college? After all, they found time to talk about that nifty idea last fall, during the election.

 

Being a legislator is a job I wouldn't want. I tried being a school board member for 11 months, and that's a job I wouldn't accept again either. There have to be moments of levity in life, but when you're in tough jobs like these and under the spotlight, moments of levity can be misinterpreted as not caring about real issues. Or worse yet, not having a clue how to solve the real issues, so you're taking on something you can handle, even if it's not important in the big scheme of things.

 

I'm still going to eat pie, and it won't all be sugar crème pie. The Rolling Pin from Versailles, a catering business, served up some super coconut pie at the Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District annual meeting last week. There were politicians there to eat it too. Let's just hope both the local politicians and those at the state level stick to doing the people's business when it's not either lunch or supper time.


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