The Democracy Pie Eating Contest: Stuck

Hey, I get it. You know it’s a pie eating contest and you are stuck at a party you don’t belong to. As much as you’d like to be at the other party, doing your part, eating that pie, it’s just not where you are.

So, you are thinking it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to participate in the contest. You can eat any pie you want. And, as long as you don’t eat the pie at the party you’re stuck at, you’re not helping them with winning the contest so why does it matter. No harm, no foul.

You are likely correct. Because this contest is designed as a winner takes all game, one person deciding not to play does not really affect the ultimate outcome.

But, sometimes we do things for deeper reasons. For instance, because it “doesn’t matter” in the grand scheme of things you’re not forced to have the pie they serve you at either party. You can choose any pie you want. You can pick your own pie. One that you like best. Perhaps picking your own pie is a reason; it’s a message that you are opting out of the entire idea of pie eating contests or even the idea that the contest should be limited to only two parties. Yay you!

But here’s the thing… As nice as it might sound to flip the bird to both of them while eating your delicious pie, the truth is no one cares about it. While you feel satisfied, ultimately those calories are empty and meaningless and do nothing to make either party care what the hell you eat or even what you might want to eat in the future.

You know what the party you’re stuck at does care about? You know what sends a stronger message and lets them know you are there, in protest, flipping them the bird? You know what really gets under their skin? You know what makes the party you’d like to be a know you still give a care about helping them out and, in turn, makes them care about you?

Eat the same flavor of pie from the party you want to be at. Even if it doesn’t help win the contest. Eat the pie while looking at the people from the party you’re at in the eye, smiling at them, enjoying every delicious moment. Make them uncomfortable. Even offer to give some to a couple of people at that party when they pass by. Tell them where they can get more (at the other party in the contest) if they like it (they sure seem to love Infrastructure Pie, even if they don’t believe it when you tell them who made it) . Make that your reason for eating that pie instead.

Isn’t that more satisfying and delicious than living with the knowledge that no one cares what pie you eat?