He was defending his title at the Bridgeport County Fair’s Annual Pie-Eating Contest, she was protesting the event, and as soon as they locked eyes they knew they were going to be together for the rest of their lives.
Knowing he had a large lead over his fellow competitors, the man had taken a brief respite from eating pie face-first to take a look out at the crowd. He was attempting his seventh consecutive Bridgeport County Fair’s Annual Pie-Eating Contest crown, and had gained some notoriety for his achievements in the process. About 650 people had come from all corners of the state to watch the man eat pie, and 2 people had even come all the way from Australia after hearing about his feats when they accidentally went to bridgeportpieeatingcontest.com instead of sydneypieeatingcontest.com.
The woman had lost several family members to desserts — her father choked on a cannoli when she was 8, both her uncles succumbed to heart disease in their 40’s after an ill-fated attempt at an all-donut diet, and her brother died at the age of 16 because he slipped on loose ice cream near the edge of the town canyon — and was sick of how dessert was taking away the ones she loved. Scouring the internet for anti-dessert groups, she was able to find one made up of two dozen other cursed souls that called themselves “Sugar Free.” It was not a great name. Through the group, the woman protested various pro-dessert events around the continental United States, including pie-eating contests, cookie conventions, and Cake Boss viewing parties. The Bridgeport County Fair Annual’s Pie-Eating Contest was going to be the largest event they had ever protested, and the woman was named the head of the event because of her consistent effort and the fact that no one else wanted to take on such a big responsibility.
Sugar Free started their protest at the fairgrounds three days before the Contest started because they forgot when it was going to happen. That was not the woman’s fault — she had taken on all the other jobs and delegated Date Duty to someone else because she thought it would be hard to screw up. When it did happen, the group was ignored by most, and a few mean teenagers mocked them by kissing slices of cake. The Contest itself went off without a hitch, and the woman felt as if the preparation she had put in was all for naught. Depressed, she stared blankly at the stage the Contest was being held on until she made eye contact with the man who had stopped eating. She held a sign that said “Stop Pie” as she faced the man, the nine other competitors who were eating, and the twenty judges who were doing their jobs.
Thanks to a fast metabolism that hid the fact he had the internal health of a 145-year-old man who only ate fried lead paint, the man was in good shape and had a sweet, pie-innard covered face that the woman couldn’t ignore. The woman had a tired look, but one that showed an undeniable passion that endeared the man to her even if she was protesting something he loved doing. They stared at each other for the remainder of the contest as 44-year-old Brent Gregory finally caught up to the man and won. The man did not care and asked her out by the funnel cake stand that only hours earlier she had chanted “Burn it down!” at.
They dated for six months before the man asked the woman to marry him. In these six months they became fully devoted to one another and forgot about their prior pastimes. She did not protest the opening of the Jell-O Theme Park in town and he did not compete in the Eastern Midwest Regional County Fair’s Annual Pie-Eating Contest, something he had finally qualified for and had dreamed about for years. They became entirely consumed by one another and their relationship served as a model for the townsfolk (Bridgeport’s divorce rate was 94%, 32nd worst in the nation). He proposed unknowingly at the canyon where her brother died, but she was too happy to care.
The kids came along and they solved any money problems that might have come up by getting back into their old passions, but in a moderate and more mature way. It was what they were best at and they knew it was the best way to support the expanding family. Wanting to live a longer life for his kids and wife, the man decided to go into judging the Bridgeport County Fair Annual Pie-Eating Contest rather than competing. The pay was significantly less (his usual $200,000 winners check was replaced by a $100,000 judging check), but it allowed the man to be around something he was starting to miss as well as let him spend a lot of time with his family. Judging did not require eating, so the man was also able to abstain from further destroying his body.
After initially being blackballed for her relationship with a pro-desserter, Free Sugar eventually forgot to continue doing so and the woman began speaking at various anti-dessert events around the state. She no longer worked on the anti-dessert battlefield but was still able to feel like she was making a difference, inspiring the new generation. It paid well and completely supported the family during the three consecutive years the man had his year-end check be taken away by a rogue breeze.
Whenever people asked how they were able to avoid arguing over dessert, the two would give the questioner a passionate 30-minute lecture about how love conquers all and how ultimately their different feelings on dessert had no sway over their feelings toward each other. Eventually they became bored of answering these types of questions so they would chalk it up to “Opposites attract.”
Although he had the appearance of someone whose heart was not calcified by a layer of chocolate frosting, the man was a ticking time bomb. The doctor once told him that his blood looked like tiny slices of pie, and he did not seem to be joking.
His health began to deteriorate and he had to stop judging the Contest for fear that a piece of pie might inadvertently fly into his mouth and kill him. The woman quit the speaking circuit to take care of him full time. Money became tight but the family made do as two of their three older sons got jobs as baggers at the local high-end grocery store, forcing them to occasionally come into contact with better versions of the products that were responsible for the degeneration of their father.
The man wasn’t getting better, and all the pie he had eaten in a previous life had taken control of his body like a kamikaze pilot. The family sat around his soon-to-be deathbed and he and the woman told the story of how they met at least a dozen times. The man died six days before his daughter’s eighth grade dance, but the doctors say the man would have died six hours after meeting the woman if she had not inadvertently stopped him from eating more pie.
Four years later the woman married a man who slaughtered cows.