My Other Blog

What's a Wreck?

A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I'm not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.

Now, don't you have a photo you want to send me? ;)

- Jen

The Day the Tour Stood Still

Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I suppose John's blood-curdling yell at 8AM should have tipped me off that our day in Dallas was going to be a wee bit difficult.

As it was, when I skidded into the hotel bathroom, still half-asleep, and saw the golf ball-sized lump on John's forehead, I was hoping it was merely a flesh wound. (Heh.) The irony, of course, is that it was merely a flesh wound, and would soon be the least of our worries.

Since John was laid out on the bathroom floor, my first order of business was making sure he was conscious (and would stay so), ordering a car to get us to the hospital, and getting us both decently clothed - in that order. In addition to the head wound, John was beyond miserable with what we thought was the flu, so the walk-in clinic we first went to turned us away (none too nicely, I might add), since they couldn't tell if his symptoms were from the flu or the head bonk. So, we called another cab, and waited. The clinic doctor came out and threatened to call an ambulance if we didn't leave quickly, or if John closed his eyes for too long, so it was a long, tense wait. (John was alert enough that we didn't think an ambulance was necessary, but we both had only had a few hours of sleep that night, so he kept trying to put his head down.)

Skipping past a few hours of tedious misery: John was laid out in the ER and on an IV. His head seemed Ok, and the flu test came back negative, so they planned to get just one more bag of fluids in him and then release him. It was getting late, though, so I had to head back to the hotel to get ready for the show. I figured I'd do it solo, and then meet up with John afterward at the hotel.

I should mention that at this point I thought the show at Legacy Books started at 3. It did not; it started at 2. Yeeeah. (Thanks, Amy, for that phone call. And sorry 'bout the screeching.)

I arrived at 1:50 to a lovely crowd of cake-hungry Wreckies:

However, thanks to a host of technical difficulties, all the store's horses and all the store's men could not get my slide show together again. (Not for lack of trying, mind you. Kyle & Jeremy, you guys are awesome.) I really would be doing the show solo: no slides, no John, and not even a mic, at first. Heh.

But here's the crazy thing: it was a great event. Seriously. The crowd was so enthusiastic, and so happy to be there, that I think we all had a fabulous time. It didn't hurt that we had a gorgeous cake on hand, courtesy of Bronwen Weber's Frosted Art Bakery:

Mmmm. Chocolate.

(The three lovely ladies you see here are students at a local pastry school. Since Bronwen was at a cake show, they generously volunteered to help serve.)

Plano really turned on the Southern charm for me. Check out these girls' shirts:

Some even brought gifts, like this gorgeous apron Brooke W. made for me:

Isn't it cute?
(This is Brooke's photo, not mine. I only wish I had a Lucille Ball dress like that.)

And we can't forget our cupcake Wreckplica winners!

From left to right: Kayla, Nicole, & Christy

Here are their entries:

It's Snappy! Haven't seen him in forever.

She even added the rose petals. Awesome.

Fondant censor bars FTW!

When I was about three quarters of the way through the signing line, I found out that John was not only still in the hospital, but that he also had pneumonia. I'm glad I didn't know the whole truth yet (no one did): that in addition to his lungs being filled with fluid, he was also in shock and had a bacterial infection raging through his blood stream.

John was in critical condition for the next two days, and we are still finding out all the many and colorful ways he could have lost limbs or even his life had the infection taken a nasty turn - or if he hadn't been admitted when he was. Yep, all told, we are very happy he bonked the bejeepers out of his noggin.

So that's the story, my dear Wreckies. Well, not completely: I could go on about my fractured emotional state, the tears, the worry, the hotel that locked me out of my room that first night when I was trying so desperately to get to John, the kind nurses who still let me in when I got there late, the fact that John was calling hotels from his bed in ICU to get me into a better & closer hotel, the cab driver who spread the word about us, so that I had other drivers telling me they were praying for John, the ICU food staff who brought extra meals when I hadn't eaten all day, my amazing contacts at Andrews McMeel (Kathy & Amy) who repeatedly told me not to worry about the tour, but to take care of John...yeah, I could go on about all of that.

Or, better yet, I could go on about all of you. The e-mails, the stories, the jokes, the offers of help: you Wreckies made us laugh and cry by turns, but most of all you made us feel like we had one big, snarky family pulling for us. If you'll forgive the gushiness for a moment - I promise we'll get back to poo jokes soon - please know that John and I will always be indebted to you for your kindness these past few days. You've shown us that you are not just our readers, you are our friends. I only hope we can thank each of you personally someday.

Today John is out of the hospital (wahoo!!) and recuperating in our hotel here in Dallas. We're still figuring out what's going to happen from here, and when we'll get to go home, but I believe a rescheduling of the missed events is in the works. So stay tuned. In the meantime, I'll do my best to keep the Wreckage coming. ;)

Thanks to Brooke W., Katie T., and David H. for letting me use/steal some of their photos.

« I'll Have Whatever They're Having | Main | "World" Tour Wrap-Up: Chicago »

Reader Comments (347)

So glad he is out of the hospital and resting by your side! Now you two take it easy and get all better before you try to conquer the world again :)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAllBlueZoo

Wow! That's quite a stop on the tour. It's good to hear that John is better, especially after hearing all the stuff that went wrong.

We will each be awaiting our promised thanks in person. That's gonna give you a lot more stops for World Tour 2!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTayor@MyOlderBrothers

Bless you, Jen and John... I got your book in the mail last night and was laughing, then crying thinking about John's health. Know that we all love you for what you give us daily: love and laughter!

John, stay down!!! It took my sis about 3 months to fully recover, coincidentally, in Dallas, too.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commentereilbeback

Glad to hear that John is feeling better. Take it easy and take care.

Thank you for the many laughs I have gotten the cake wrecks. And some of the eewweess too.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSuz

So glad to see things are looking up, health wise. Hope John is fully recovered soon, and that the remainder of the tour is successful. And a big shout-out to all the caring Texas folks who have been looking after you (and raspberries and stale CCCs to the few rotten eggs)!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

What a roller coaster you've been on these last few days! I was staring open-mouthed at the computer as I was reading it. I just got my husband out of the hospital on Friday, after a 4-month stint that included six weeks in ICU for sepsis and dehydration, so I kinda get where you are right now. I'm thankful for that bonk on the head, too. You guys will be in my prayers daily, and I hope John recovers quickly.
Sincerely yours in wreckage, Ashley Foreman

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Knock knock
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock knock
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock knock
Who's there?
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn't say banana again?

Christy, age 9
PS - Continue to get well! Laughter is good medicine! Bye!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Glad John is okay. Hope you both rest and relax for a bit before heading out again. We can be patient till you're both feeling up to more cake skewering.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

So glad John is better - what a scary, crazy. intense few days. Here's to some rest and recuperation for both of you.

And OMG you got to have a Bronwyn Weber cake - even if she wasn't there, she's my favorite from the Food Network cake challenges.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLara Starr

We are so glad to hear that John is recovering!

And hey maybe you can talk the publishers into an even larger tour in the new year!

Take it easy. Lots of cake. Rest too. Your crazy snarky huge wrekky family is behind you and pulling for you.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrista

Jen I am so thrilled that John is out of the hospital and doing better. You two have definitely been in my thoughts and prayers for the past couple of days.

Hang in there and the most important thing is that you guys get better. Like you said the tour can be rescheduled.

Take care of that fabulous hubby of yours, he is definitely a keeper!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJayde

I'm so glad that things are looking up I've been following your blog right from the get-go and I'd never left any comments but now that I realize how much they mean to you and John I'll make sure to keep it up ;)

Bless you xOxo

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElsie

Very sorry for all the horrible things that have interfered with your brilliant book tour. I hope you go home and regroup and recuperate and think about touring later, Scarlett. Every day is a virtual tour of Wrecky Goodness at your blog, so keep up the good work. We're all buying your book anyway, so don't worry about the tour. There's always TV ;-)

WV: That Amber series of cakes was really slesi.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAuntie Meme

Jen & John,
I just wanted to pass along well wishes for a speedy recovery for John. I just found your site recently and it has turned into a daily must-read for me. I hope you both get some much needed rest and wanted to thank you for providing a hilarious and clever escape from reality. Take care and best wishes.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

Aww, Jen. This post made me misty. I've enjoyed your blog for quite a while now, and I've been checking obsessively for news of John these past few days. I'm so glad to hear that he's on the mend, and thankful for the bump on the noggin that sent you guys to seek medical attention.

Thanks for making my mornings a little brighter, and best wishes to John for a speedy recovery.


October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChelleBelle

Thanks for the update. I am glad John is out of the hospital. Hope things get back to normal. *crossing fingers*

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterangie

Wow, that sounds like a gong-show.

Get recuperated soon, John!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow, YIKES! I'm so glad John is resting comfortably now, sorry that you're not in the comfort of your own home. Best of luck!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJAM

I've never posted a comment before but I've been a follower of your blog for some time.

I'm so glad to hear that John is on the mend and that things will be getting back to normal. Take it easy and get better, all of your fans will still be here when you're ready to go back on tour!

That being said, I had kind of hoped that a tour stop closer to(or in the vicinity of) Albany, NY would have been in the works. We have a few huge bookstores (Borders and Barnes & Noble) here and I know there are a lot of wreck fanatics in the area! I would gladly make a wreckplica for the signing! There have been many nights where my hubby and I will sit and go through every entry on this blog and just wind up doubled over, breathless and crying with laughter. There aren't many people who can do that! And we love you for it!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

My goodness, how one can tell such a serious tale and envoke laughter and tears all at the same time I have no idea. But you do it!
I am so glad to hear that John is out of the hospital and that you are hainging in there as well.
*holds coffe mug in the air*
Here is to a full recovery and more wreckage (the cake type) to come!


October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks for the latest installment of "When Book Tours Go Horribly, Not-So-Hilariously Wrong."

Take it easy and keep getting better, John and Jen.

I hate to be critical at such a time, but that chocolate cake in today's photo is no Cake Wreck. What's funny about a beautiful, perfectly-made, delicious cake, with three charming student bakers serving it? I would have sent it back. No, I wouldn't-- I would have eaten it and loved it.

I got the book last night, and stayed up late disturbing the neighbors with deafening howls of laughter. When I finally caught my breath again, I had an idea: Make a special dictionary for cake decorators, with the correct spellings of "Birthday," "You're," "Daddy," "It's," "Anniversary," "Congratulations," "girl," "and," etc., and a section on cake punctuation. For example: Never use quotation marks on a cake.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGary

What an adventure! Glad he's going to be okay. Hang in there!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRapunzel210

I've been a big fan and follower for several months now and I have to tell you that it really bothered me to hear about all the bad things that were happening to you and John. For days I debated whether to post something or not...After all, we don't know each other and words seems to fail me when it comes to stuff like this. So maybe I should tell you that you are a bright spot in my morning ritual. I get to work early so that I can write a letter to my soldier, check my email, etc... But before doing ANY of that, I check out Cake Wrecks. I love it. It has made me BUST up laughing, over and over, day after day. It's genius. So, I hope all is going well for you. I hope you get to complete your tour and I hope that on payday I'll have enough left over to order your book. *grin* Thanks for the laughs. Lord knows I need them right now.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterConnie Moreno

I'm so, so glad that John's health is turning around--sometimes it's good to knock yourself stupid.

And, my son's favorite knock-knock joke. (He's four. He doesn't get the concept.)

Who's there?
Banana who?
Banana says ding-dong! Ding-dong! Ding-dong! (Repeat until someone begs him to stop.)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

I'm thrilled John is safely out of the hospital and resting down there in Dallas. We all hope you both get to go home soon where he can more comfortably recover, and we can't WAIT to see the get-well cakes!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSam Snoek-Brown

Glad it is all over. I know how scary those things are. From experience, both pneumonia and infections in the blood leave you with considerable fatigue. In the future it's useful to know that when you take an ambulance to an ER you NEVER have to sit in the waiting room. Ever.

Meanwhile, I've never posted a joke, mostly because I rarely remember them. So this one goes way back.

A boy is riding his bicycle around the block. The first time he comes around by his mother he says "Look Mom, no hands!". The next time he comes around, he says "Look Mom, no teeth".

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

I love that 9 year old's comment of the Banana Knock Knock joke. So sweet!

I am truly grateful that John is out of the hospital and recovering. Wow, I can't believe that he could have lost limbs and such had he not gone in. Scary stuff!!

It is a good thing you didn't mention which hotel chain locked you out of your room or they would be inundated with nasty calls and emails from all of us.

Continued prayers your way!!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercelestejohnson

Let me echo everyone so far - very happy to hear that John is out of the hospital and beginning to recuperate. My thoughts and prayers will remain with you both.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I've been so worried about how John is doing & how you are holding up. Thanks for the full story! I'm so glad to know John's on mend & hopefully you'll be home soon for some much needed R&R.

My whole family loves the book. My 3rd grader wanted to take it to school but I had to nix that because of the 'naughty' chapter. He doesn't get it, but I bet some in his class would & I didn't need that call from the office ;-) He just wanted to show his class the poo cakes. For some reason that chapter appealed to him...

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthreekidchaos

I am so glad to hear that John is better. I have been praying for you both.

WV: untrav - what you have been doing lately.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFamous Hat

I'm sooooooooooooooooo happy to hear John is out of the hospital! I was in a meeting until now and all I could think of was "When will he stop talking so I can get back to my desk and check on Cake Wrecks?"! Now you guys go home and get some well deserved rest!

BTW, how about coming to Belgium on your next book tour? I would be the first in line...with the wreckiest of the CCC you could possibly imagine! LOL!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAna

Huzzah!!! so glad to hear John is on the mend. Hope things continue to improve on the health front. Thanks for sharing the story today.


October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdebbo

So glad things are taking a turn for the better. I hope this doesn't prevent you from returning to Dallas again someday, it really is a fine place when you're not laid up in ICU and juggling a million worst case scenarios! Keep feeling better, we all love you guys!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Thanks for taking the time to share with your "big, snarky family". Even when it's crazy and scary and serious you make us laugh. Now take care of yourselves!!! The book tour can wait.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCariOkie

Hey Guys,

I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kind words and prayers. My nurses in the ICU thought I was nuts because I would be giggling at a joke and than crying at a sweet comment.

Jen said everything in the post that I could have and did it better, as usual, but let me just say that you will never understand how much you all mean to me. I am forever grateful. Thanks again guys and WRECK ON!



October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjohn (the hubby of Jen)

Oh my gosh! So So So glad you are doing better! Keep on the mend!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHyla

I just started reading your site after you were mentioned on the Pioneer Woman's page. I love what you do and can't thank you enough for the laughter you've brought to my life and the lives of my coworkers. I'm glad to hear John is feeling better and wish you both the best of health and good fortune! Who knew a head wound could save a life? Thank you!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

awesome news, jen. glad y'all are out of the hospital environment. hope y'all can manage to get to the comfort and safety of your own home very soon.

still praying for the both of you. thanks so much for keeping us updated.

to hell with the alamo. you'll always remember dallas! ;-)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Lee

Wow! Quite the tale. Glad to hear John's feeling better. I had pneumonia last year and it laid me low for several weeks. Take it easy John! Don't overdo anything! How fortuitous that you whacked your cranium when you did!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Hickmott

I am so very glad to hear that things are looking up for you guys!

All the Best from Trinidad (the Caribbean one) :)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrini

I never know what to say when someone is going though something rough. I always comes out sounding trite. So, now, just let me say that, I'm really glad everything is getting better and John is doing well.


October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiss B. Haven

Glad he is out of the hospital and on his way to recovery!

My kids' favorite knock-knock joke:

Knock, Knock

Who's there?

Interrupting Cow

Interrupting C...

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBradC

Don't let him try to do too much too soon. We don't want a relapse. In the meantime, prayers are going up for a full and complete recovery!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter5thsister

Yay! John is out of the hospital! Glad to hear you had so much support from the people there and help from everyone who met you!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGina

I am a firm believer that the body knows when there is something wrong and will do what it can to get others to take notice. I've seen too many people who have a minor issue go get it looked at only to find that there was something major going on beneath the surface. I'm glad to see John was one of those people who had good defenses in place and that he is now on the road to recovery.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBill

Goodness me, what an amazing tale. I'm so glad he's well enough to be out of hospital. I'm so glad that in with the stress and rubbish hotel people and clinic meanies you've experienced real kindness. SOOOO glad the prayers were answered!

I honestly cannot believe you've managed to BLOG this last week. BIONIC people!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

So glad to hear recovery is going well! I am coming out of lurkdom to tell you how much I love CW and want to thank you for my morning giggle every day. Take care....

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Pneumonia's awful. You guys take an extra week now.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersiltedrepose

I've been following the drama on Twitter, and I'm relieved to hear John's feeling better!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Soooo glad things are turning around for you guys. Take your time and heal, we will all still be here when you are better.

Cori in Kansas City

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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