Gloppy whipped cream pies, barbecued chicken and Elizabeth Taylor Warner all came together yesterday at a fundraising picnic the Alexandria Republican City Committee threw in the middle of Ford Ward Park.
"Here you go, George" Warner, wife of GOP Senate nominee John W. Warner, said as she plastered party activist George Cook with a heaping plateful of the stuff. Cook, whose face was already refrigerator-white from previous successful whipped cream hits, licked the residue off with his tongue.
Warner, Cook and about 600 people participated yesterday at the Grand Old Picnic, put on by the local Republican organization "because somebody thought it would be nice to have one," said organizer Carlyle C. Ring.
"A decade ago you'd call for a meeting of local Republicans and get 14 people in my living room. Now look at what we've got," he said.
What he had was 800 pounds of chicken, 200 pounds each of cole slaw and potato salad, 40 pounds of frank-furters, gallons of whipped cream, Warner, Fairfax County executive Jack Herrity, Virginia Attorney General Marshall Coleman and other politicans jammed together at historic Fort Ward Park.
"This is for you," said clowns Aram Girogosian and David Bridges (they were wearing circus costumes), handing Warner an arrangement of balloons shaped like a dog.
My husband will love it (because) it doesn't do anything on the carpet," she said. Her husband was in the rural community of Dinwiddie delivering a speech on agricultural policy, she told several people.
While people swarmed around Warner as avidly as they swarmed around the barbecued chicken being prepared by John Dorney and his crew of 16 helpers, the showstoppe rof the day was the pie-throwing contest, formally dubbed by Republicans as The Pie Assassination Contest.
Those placing their heads in the docket, and their bodies in a protective plastic garbage bag, included Ring, Alexandria sheriff Mike Norris, Cook, Del. Gary Myers, party leader Stan Taylor, activist Nancy McCabe, city council member Bob Calhoun and state Sen. Wiley F. Mitchell Jr.
Rusty Ring, 15, hit his father in the face with a pie "because I owe him - for everything." Charley Pavlick hit Norris right between the eyes "because he's a great guy."
Lou Cook, a member of the school board, evened a score with Myers with whom she has feuded over summertime use of school playing fields, by smashing a two-inch high mound of whipped cream in his face. "God, that felt good," she said.
By far the greatest sale of pies was made when Mitchell, a popular and influential politician, stepped into the docket.
"He's an old friend of mine," said Bod Lineberry, scoring a direct hit. "Wiley's always talking, so I thought I'd shut him," said Earl Campbell, manager of the nearby Southern Towers apartment complex, lobbing some goo.
"It feels exactly the way it looks," Mitchell said afterward, trying to get clean.