Stepping into the big white tent next to Grapevine's Embassy Suites, the first thing you noticed last night was that it smelled great inside. The air hung thick and fruity, and as more than 400 people in white plastic ponchos chattered and paced across a spotless new carpet, you could feel the anticipation building.
The next thing you noticed is that, no, after a few seconds inside there it didn't smell very good at all. There were 1,200 pies -- chocolate, cherry and apple -- lined up on folding tables around the crowd, and the sweet smell was a little suffocating. You started to get a glimpse of what the pie will smell like tomorrow as you pick it out of your hair, or next week when it's still caked in your shoes.
It was a little sickening from the start, but the pie-infused air was only a hint of the sweet, sweet victory to come, once all 434 people hurled the gooey desserts into one another's faces for a full minute, breaking last year's world record and depositing 3,000 pounds of pie on a brand new carpet.
The carpet was key to the stunt, which was organized by Shaw Floors, as part of the Georgia-based carpet maker's winter meeting. Once the pies were thrown, and worked into the carpet by more than 400 pairs of bare feet, black socks with sandals and protective plastic booties, organizers shoveled off the carpet and gave it a deep cleaning.
The participants -- sales representatives in Grapevine for one of the company's winter meetings -- were friendly enough with one another before the contest began, but turned vicious when the time came to hurl the pies. They cleared the folding tables of pies in a matter of seconds, and many spent the last half of the 60-second contest grabbing handfuls of pie filling off the floor and sending them sailing across the room.
Guinness World Records judge Danny Girton certified the record afterward, announcing they'd beaten the old mark of 269 pie-tossers set in September on an episode of Live! with Regis and Kelly.
Shaw also headed off potential complaints about wasting food by announcing they'd made a donation to the Tarrant Area Food Bank that would help pay for up to 70,000 meals.
After the fight, Shaw president Randy Merritt guaranteed us the carpet would come away looking as good as new. (The results, and footage of the big fight, are up in a promotional video the company posted earlier today.) "We were looking for a fun way to start 2010," Merritt said, and that his marketing team wanted to show off the carpet "in a way that consumers can relate to."
Click to page two for more shots from the fight, or check out all the action and aftermath from the fight here in our slideshow.
Check out more photos here in our slideshow.