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We have been faced with many an epic smackdown in our time. Cassius Clay vs. Sonny Liston. Jets vs. Sharks. Harry Potter vs. Voldemort. Two sides clash. Only one may emerge victorious. In fact, perhaps only one may emerge at all.

Yet, there is one war which wages on even as other fights are definitively won and lost. One question of allegiance which is even more divisive than the great *NSYNC-vs.-Backstreet-Boys rivalry of 1998 that drew Mason-Dixon lines smack down the center of middle-school cafeterias across America.

You are either on Team Cake or Team Pie.

I am on Team Pie. Pie is better than cake. Penn students, where do you stand?

“Cake is definitely better than pie,” College senior Allison Rhodes asserted. “There is no icing on pie and icing is the best part!”

Excellent point. Yet, wouldn’t a true icing aficionado just eat that stuff right out of the tub, as one who loves peanut butter devours it straight out of the jar and leaves the bread for amateurs? Isn’t the cake superfluous? Cake without icing is barely a cake at all. But pie without, say, crust, is still as magically delicious as a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Pie isn’t just more scrumptious than cake. It is also more American than cake. Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, she’s as American as apple cake?” Um, no, you haven’t, because while cake is great and all, pie is the truly patriotic dessert. If you like cake more than pie, you are letting the terrorists win.

And cake totally lacks pie’s comedic value. Can you cake someone in the face? I guess you could, but The Three Stooges never did. Pie in the face is a classic. Cake in the face is just weird.

While other holidays let religion factor in when it comes time to celebrate, Thanksgiving (just around the corner, kids!) is only about one thing: food. Sure, it is also technically about Pilgrims and Native Americans, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and being — what’s the word? — thankful. But really, Thanksgiving is about food and also watching your cousins get drunk. And what is the chosen food that tops off this feast? Pie. No such thing as cake on Thanksgiving, is there? Of course not. That would just be awkward.

Or, maybe not. When I posed the question as my Facebook status, College senior Emily Strupp replied, “Cake. Even on Thanksgiving.” Wow. That is a zealous cakester right there.

There is one potentially fatal blow to Team Pie, and that is this: the birthday cake. Linked in our hearts and minds as it is with parties, presents and wishes coming true, birthday cake tugs on the heartstrings of even the least sentimental among us. I will admit that birthday cake has played an important role in my childhood as well. But is it the cake that makes the birthday, my fellow Quakers, or does the birthday make the cake? Would the festivity by any other dessert taste as sweet?

“I have been requesting pie instead of cake for my birthday since I was three years old,” College senior Kris Abbate said. “Pie all the way.”

Clearly he has been a valiant soldier for Team Pie for almost 20 years. Keep fighting the good fight, Abbate. As you can see, there is no gray area here, no middle ground, no room for comprom—

“I’m Switzerland. Pie for holidays, cake for birthdays,” College junior Kelly Higgins said.

Oh, well, now that you mention it, I suppose it is possible to like both. As long as you acknowledge the inherent superiority of pie tomorrow when you have your pie and eat it too at the end of your holiday dinner. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Jessica Goldstein is a College senior from Berkeley Heights, N.J. Her e-mail address is Say Anything appears on alternate Wednesdays.

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