The Story Behind the Name

Brain Pot Pie.
It sounds like absurdist theater, right? 

But the name has roots in an episode from many years ago that has stuck with me.  

Back in 1988, I spent a week at a Cape Cod beach house with some of my closest friends.  We had our whole lives ahead of us, and were about to graduate from college—full of knowledge and ambition and possibilities, even if we didn’t quite know how we were going to make good use of our degrees in the real world.  During that week, a family reunion was taking place at the house next door.  We made friends with the young kids staying there—the sisters, brothers, and cousins.

One afternoon, we found ourselves playing a one-upsmanship word game with these kids—trading innocuous fake insults for a while.

“You’re a worm.”

“You’re a noodle.”

“You’re a booger.”


You get the idea.  The littlest ones had some trouble crafting their insults.  But boy, they tried.

And then, for the perfect finale, the youngest one—a boy of about six with a huge mop of red hair, brimming with frustration at how he was faring in the game, stammered out the best line of all.  “You… you’re a brain pot pie.”  What a great image!  Insult?  Maybe not.  But it set the bar high.

For me, this episode captures all that makes Brain Pot Pie what it is—plugging the creativity of the unburdened, childlike mind into the genius of an energized group of people.  

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