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)

Thanks for the update on John and his episode in the John.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkyooty

I'm so happy to hear he is on the mend!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDrL

I am so VERY relieved that John is doing well (well enough to post, even) and out of the hospital. My heart sings for you (trust me this is waaay better than my voice singing).

It's quite a talent to make someone cry and laugh at the same time, so my hat's off to you, Jen.

Stay on the road to better health and we'll be waiting for the Tour, Part II.


October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

The bit about the cabdrivers made me a little teary. I'm glad John is getting better!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEyebrows McGee

Just wanted to "de-lurk" to tell you that I've been following your and John's status for the last few days and I'm so glad to hear that he's on the mend. I can't believe how tough you two are! You carried on with the show and he called hotels from a hospital bed?!?!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGS

Dang John! You gave all of us in Wreckyland quite a scare! So glad you're recuperating in a hotel room now.

And because you need the trifecta, here you go:

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Orange who?
Orange you glad you bonked your head in the bathroom now?

Take care of yourself and remember, bathtubs are slippery!

Blondie in Dallas

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBlondie

Everybody over here at" rel="nofollow">NobodyLikesaJerk (which is me) is very happy to hear that John is out of the Hospital and that Jen has gotten some sleep and food too. We're pulling for both of you to make a full recovery.

Yesterday, because the Bethesda stop was canceled, my friends surprised me at dinner with a copy of the book. So I'm ready and willing to have you sign it (for a small fee of course...just let me know who you want it made out too!)

In the Joke Dept:
A Frog, a Deer, and A Cake Decorator walk into a Bar...OUCH!

(I have an alternate version of that with a Priest, a Rabbi, and an Imam but didn't want to offend any readers)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDarryl

i am so glad john is better. what a scare....i love your blog and thank you for brightening my day with your wrecks.

blessings to you

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Bell

What an ordeal you all had to go through! I think this will be the first time I ever say this to someone...but I am so glad you conked your head, John!! Rest and relax in that hotel of yours...don't try to do much too soon!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

I'm so, so happy to hear that John is out of the hospital. Take it easy, both of you, to recover from all of this. I hope you get to go home soon.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCorrie

Dang the gushiness! I hate crying before 8am and at work too!

I'm so glad that John is better and out of the hospital. What an amazing coincidence that he bonked his head when he NEEDED to be in the hospital! I firmly believe you had an angel watching over you. And still do. Plus you have all of us who love you dearly and love to read your words everyday.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterleannwoo

That's great, great news! Gotta love the power of prayer :)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMallory

I don't usually comment. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure I've EVER commented. But I love you guys. I'm sorry the tour took such a dramatic turn, but I'm so glad everyone is okay, and I'm so thankful that (by no coincidence) your fans and friends have been there for you so much. You guys rock, and I'm wishing you all the best! <3<3<3

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thank goodness the whole ordeal is over (not JUST John getting better, but the chaos that happens when emergencies arise when you're away from home).

Ok. Out with the stress. In with the funny.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGhoul Friday

I am glad that fortune happened to smile on you and while he bonked his head, it saved his life. My parents have a similar story with my dad's lung having collapsed and his fire-ant allergy sending him to the hospital after 6 months of undiagnosed coughing.
Quick and full recovery to John! Best of luck to both of you on the rest of your tour!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjamina1

I'm so glad to hear that John is out of the hospital and on the mend. You both have been in my thoughts a lot the past few days.

I hope that for the 2nd "World" Tour, you will be able to make it to Kansas City. We missed you guys!

Blessings to you both for a quick and full recovery.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

So that's what happens when a book tour goes "horribly, hilariously wrong"..... You sure know how to wreck an event. I missed the Chicago event and I am feeling really bad about that right now. I hope everyone mends quickly. I can't speak for all Wreckies, but I think we'd all show up wherever, whenever. Get yourselves better so you can Wreck on! We'll be waiting for you. BTW, you've provided an excellent learning tool for my 4th grader. She loves to visit your pages.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteragent99

So glad to hear that John is out of the hospital and on his way to recovery. What a scary few days that must have been for you both. I wish you lots of rest of relaxation over the next few days and weeks--you'll need it!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

Thank heaven everything turned out all right... Take good care, both of you, eh? Your blog has so often made me laugh. May God continue to bless you and your loved ones, and all of your endeavors.

I am so happy to hear he has been released. Make sure he does not try to push the rescheduling too quickly. He should allow himself at least 6 months to really, fully recover. Then we will be happy to party on with both of you.

Now try to rest yourself, since I am sure you have not done that yet. We love you both!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatiedid1806

I'm glad to hear that John is feeling better. It really could have been a lot worse.

I can't think of any funny stories off the top of my head. And normally when I send someone to an awesome/funny website it's Cake Wrecks.. ^-^

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

So glad to hear John's getting better! Make sure he doesn't over do it too soon Jen! We Wreckies would much rather see you both happy and healthy, even if it means the rest of the tour is kaput!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGossamer

You guys really are lucky, I let "a cold" go so far, not even realizing it was that bad, and when I finally "crashed," (I woke up from a nap with a 103 fever and chest pains), the docs admitted me into the hospital and I didn't walk out for 2 weeks. My blood had become infected, and they had to hoover my lungs.

I'm glad he's okay!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRhapsody

I'm so relieved to hear that John got better so quickly! That's awesome news.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMorning Glory

Glad to hear John is doing better. I'll keep you both in my prayers while he is recuperating

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBronwynn

Here's to a speedy recovery.
Linda in Seattle WA

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Soooo glad that he is with you and getting better. :)
I hope that you can reschedule your events, and this time it goes a little more smoothly. (And this time come through ATL. Just sayin.)
Here's to a SPEEDY recovery!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Okay, I was doing fine until I saw John's comment. That's when I almost burst into tears!

I was really scared to death and praying my heart out. Welcome back to the land of the living!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKapten Clark

Honey - you take care of that man and yourself first. We'll all be here when you're ready.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermaxon

So glad John is out of the hospital. Now someone needs to get a cake in the shape of a staph bacteria!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

So glad to hear that this story is trending toward a happy ending! I hope you can get a chance to relax and enjoy your forced time off together!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea

Happy to hear John is getting better! Thanks for keeping us informed :)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline


I was just imagining a huge, sword-wielding guardian angel standing next to me as I prepared to thrust my head forward to vomit. Then, just at the precise moment, he lowers the split toilet seat just enough so that as my head comes down, I smack it just above my right and left eyes. Then, as I lay screaming and vomiting on the floor, he strolls innocently from the bathroom, hands clutched behind his back and whistling a jaunty "How Great thou Art."

Very cool,


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

We are just so happy that John is ok and out of the hospital! You guys rock...even when things are out of your control!


October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPixie

so glad to hear that John is feeling well again. although, i still hope you guys can make it to NYC at some point in the future, the Big Apple would be very happy to have you both.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

I'm all verklempt!

I'm glad to hear he's on the mend. Take it slow and don't try to do too much too soon.

All my best wishes to both of you. And, for real, take a day or two off from posting wrecks. We can wait!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda in Austin

Wow, my computer had a virus and I was "offline" for a couple of weeks. Sheesh, what I've missed!

Glad John is on the mend. What a scary turn of events.

Sending prayers your way!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

So glad to hear that John is out of the hospital. I'm sorry that you two had to go through all that!!! I'll be praying for you both, as you try to get life back to normal!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

So glad to hear John is out of the hospital and on the mend!

And the bit about the cab drivers made me teary too...

I'll have to revisit some old wreckage now. My snark/sentimental balance is off a bit... :)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjmb367

I've got it!!! John can spend his recovery time coming up with Cake Wrecks: The Calendar. Monthly pix of the worst of the worst. I can't wait! If he has an extended extended recovery, he can work on a daily calendar for 2011.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLizziebeth

I am so glad that John is out of the hospital. I cannot imagine the fear of that, not having your home support network, being in a strange and unfamiliar city, all of it. We have been praying for him.

Suzanne (very jealous of the Bronwen cake.)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter*~*Zann*~*

Outstanding! It's fantastic to hear that John is on the mend. Make him take it easy -- it'll be a while before he's up to full speed. :)

Take good care of yourselves!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCLD

Aw, bless. I am glad that John is better. Fingers crossed for a rescheduled Austin date!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

Glad things are looking up! We missed you in NYC, hope you will do a makeup tour soon! Angie

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

Oh my goodness, I am here in Plano and so glad you have been taken good care of by my fellow Planoites!! Praying for you to get some rest and and John's quick recovery. I can't imagine the stress and worry you've had. Bless your heart! I LOVE your blog, check it everyday for a good laugh. Thank you for bringing joy daily to many! Take Care! Babs

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

OH my goodness, what hell have you guys gone through. I have been praying for you guys a ton lately as I was really worried when you told of all and various things wrong via twitter. How crazy is it that during the happiest time of your cakewrecks career, is also the scariest? Hugs and much health and rest to you both. Reschedule whenever the heck you want to. REST first! I am in Austin, and its ALL good.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterF

I hadn't commented yet, but I just wanted to throw in my well wishes and give you a wave from down in Killeen. Take your time getting to Austin.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterM.Brayfield

That's quite a story. What a blessing that he bonked the heck out of his head, really!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEG

I'm so glad John is out of the hospital! May God continue to bless you. I cannot tell you how awesome your sense of humor is - it's one of the many special things about you guys! Remember that everything happens for a reason - enjoy each other and please know that we are continuing to pray for you!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBlaire

I can't believe you're still posting. You are amazing! As is John. Staph infections can be a long journey, so stay in touch with your doctors!!! I hope life returns to normal for you very soon. You guys bring a lot of joy to people who don't know you (like me!), so I'm glad you're getting some of the good juju you've put out to the universe back. You deserve all the goodwill and support in the world.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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