Forgetful senator gets pie in face

June 15, 1994|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Sun Staff Writer

State Sen. Michael J. Wagner got his just desserts yesterday at the hands of a gleeful 8-year-old with a pie in his hand and payback on his mind.

The Ferndale senator had made the ultimate mistake. The second-grade class at Overlook Elementary had spent months planning and planting a "forest" behind the Linthicum school.

The culmination of their work -- part of a social studies lesson on the importance of community involvement -- was to be a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony with Mr. Wagner as the guest of honor.

"When I called his name on the program, he wasn't there," said teacher Pat Riggin.

"Senator Wagner picked up the wrong calendar and he said he thought he didn't have anything to do that day," said John Dornbusch, the blue-eyed, towheaded pie hurler. "He forgot to come, and today he said he would make up for it."

Mr. Wagner, who was watering his wife's azaleas that fateful morning, said he was horrified when he realized his mistake. "I got up Tuesday and thought it was Monday and missed their little deal," he said.

To make amends, he offered to make cotton candy with a new machine he recently acquired for his catering business.

But interest on the debt accrued quickly.

Many of the second-graders asked for hamburgers and hot dogs as well. Then John suggested the pie treatment.

Yesterday, Mr. Wagner grilled 400 hamburgers and hot dogs, served up snowballs and signed autographs for about 150 first-, second- and third-graders. After the children had had their fill of cotton candy and the senator had his official tour of the 47 trees they had planted, the time came for dessert.

Mrs. Riggin lifted John so he could look Mr. Wagner in the eye, and, as his classmates squealed in anticipation, he catapulted the cream pie into the senator's face.

"This is the first time I screwed up a bunch of kids," said Mr. Wagner, wiping whipped cream from his eyes.

"You can miss those Democratic Club breakfasts and nobody cares.

"These kids were really disappointed."

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