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.

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Reader Comments (347)

I"m sure I speak for wreckies everywhere when I say, "Congradulations on you're rehabilitation!"


October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan

Dear Jen and John,

Well, this is awkward. My mailbox is full of positive energy c/o you guys.

My secretary, Karma, did a great job delivering and it looks like you both got it in due time. It's a backlog back here. I'm afraid I'm going to have to inundate you with even more positive energy! I suggest putting it in storage for later. Or, better yet, invest it. The spiritual economy is doing great!

Again, apologies for the lack of protective gear. I should have known you guys would have a reserve to pull despite my obvious transgression.

Now, back to wincing at those surgery shows. I just love those. Ugh...oh dear GOD! Yeah, that's good.

The Universe©

post metaphysical script: John, Luck says "You're welcome," about the bump on the head. I know, sometimes I don't get it, either.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Universe©

I am SO glad he is ok. How scary! I'm glad to hear about all the helpful people. Both of you, get some rest! We like you healthy!!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterK

Incredibly, incredibly scary.

I'd been praying for you both since your first post. Very, very happy John's on the mend.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRaignn

Awwwww, I'm SO glad he's doing better! What a terrible ordeal!! Thank you again for entertaining me on a daily basis. :hug:

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

Feel better John!!! We are all praying for you. We love you John and Jen!!!

~Kayla and family of wreckaddicts

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterK.

Glad to hear John is doing better. Thinking good thoughts for both of you.

Amy Raz

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thank Heavens, glad to hear that John is on the mend. Hope everything is better soon. May you get lots of Get Well Soon cake wreckiness!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJuno

SO glad you're both able to calm down and breath a sigh of relief! YAY for John being better!!! Really, it's lucky he is a klutz ;) Hope you both find the route home that's best for your emotional and physical health, be it straight home, or more tour! :D

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDea

You've got quite the "wreck" going! Glad to hear that things seem to be on the mend. I'm enjoying your blog.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara A Broers

Funny how worried you can be about someone you've never met (heck never even SEEN) but I was! I was checking the site more than my normal once a day to see if there were any updates. So glad things are looking up :) Keep resting and getting better.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Oooo! I love the apron. Great cakes.

Sooooo glad to hear John is out of the hospital! When I found your site, I was having a hard time smiling at ANYTHING. Really, seriously. You put not only a smile on my face, but made me quite literally laugh out loud. For that I'm grateful. That is why you have such loving, committed readers. We want to somehow repay you for what you have done for us!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristine

So glad to hear he's getting better!

And that chocolate cake is amazing!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Jen, im keeping you and your husband John in my hearts and prayers! Take care of yourselves!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Yikes!!! And hooray that all are on the mend. Now, to design a cake that says "Congratsulashins on hitting your head so that Drs would take you srsly!" I see a head with a big lump on it with an IV tube attached uncomfortably...

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeemack

Pedro: What do you get when you cross an elephant with a fish?

Pee Wee: I don't know, what?

Pedro: Swimming trunks.

May I point out that every goofy joke ever heard by a boy scout is posted online:

Congrats to John on getting out. I'll keep crossing my fingers for him.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

So glad you are out of the hospital, Jon! I hope you slowly, carefully get yourself home so that you can recuperate fully. Preferably with fully fluffed pillows and lots of tea, as Jen sounds like the kind of person who will fluff 'til she drops!

We are so glad the folks in Texas took care of you.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

I just want you guys to know, that all of us down here in Austin were pulling for you the whole time. No one I've talked to is at all frustrated, just concerned about you both. We all know things come up, and everyone is just grateful he's doing well now. When you get to Austin we'll show you a helluva time when you're fit enough to enjoy it. We love cake here so much we have little trailers all over the city selling cupcakes! WAAAAAYY better than hot dog carts. Feel better and take care of yourselves!!! Love, Austin, Texas

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMicah Porter

That Apon looks like Epcot Center!

Buddah walks up to a hot dog vendor and says "make me one with everything"

A horse walks into a bar, the bartender asks "why the long face?"

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm glad that John is out of the hospital! I wish him a quick recovery and hope that the both of you can get home and comfortable soon!

No one minds the interuption of the "world" tour. We just want you to get better! And when you schedule a make up, try to make it out to Pittsburgh! (Or Philly if it's during the summer. >.>)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Take care of yourselves! The tour can wait -- your health can not! *grin* Add to that a nice vat of chicken soup and another vat of theraflu and antibiotics you'll be fine.

Hang in there!

Cheryl Franklin
Cake Wrecks Devotee from Auburn, KS

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm so glad to hear that John is doing better and maybe you will finally be able to stop and rest for a moment! Our thoughts are still with you.

Keep him laughing, it truly IS the best medicine, but with a witty wife like you, I'm sure that won't be a problem

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrae MacDonald

Congrajoolayshuns on "leaving" the horsepistol.

The preceding wrecktacular week has been no JOCHI for John and Jen.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMerenda from Miami

That part about the cab drivers pulling together to pray for Jon really got to me :). I'm so glad he's doing better and that the bump to the head saved the day!

God works in mysterious ways!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Knight

I'm so glad he's doing better! Hope you two get to go home soon!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

Who would have ever thought you'd be thankful for a giant bump on the head? So glad that John is better... hopefully, you're recovering too! Your giant snarky family can't wait 'til you're better... so we can start mocking again.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVicki

Oh. My. God. *Hugs Jen* Have a hug, a nice cup of hot cocoa with whipped creams on top, a pillow I made (It has cute little bears on it!) with the help of my mom, my favorite quilt (It's nice and fluffy, and it's covered in Barbie, Bratz and My Little Pony), and...Hmm, the knowledge that I'm praying for you and John.
I was at Denver, my sister was getting the book signed and I came in when she was right there, and I told you I loved Sunday Sweets. Then we had to run out 'cause our brothers wanted to go home.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJynxie

I'm soo glad John's better! If you folks are ever in Toronto give me a shout and I'll show you around.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCanary

So glad to hear he is out of the hospital! I hope you guys can get home safely and presume life as normal! Best wishes!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

How do you spell relief? Hearing that j-o-h-n-i-s-b-e-t-t-e-r. Don't run yourselves ragged on our behalf (behalves?)!

Word verification is fecis. Eww.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm glad for that noggin-knock, too! I might not know you, but I'm full of sympathy for everything you're both dealing with.

So glad that John's out of the hospital. You're both still in my prayers.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

One more person who's going to lecture John about taking it easy for a while:

John! Down! Stay! Good Boy!

I had a very mild case of pneumonia this spring which was caught very early, I'm 23 and healthy, and it still laid me out for a week. My mother-in-law is also a nurse and a professional worrier with lots of horror stories. Pneumonia can be BAD, fatally bad, even without an infection on top of it. Please, go home and sleep for a couple of months before even thinking about resuming a tour. We'll wait! I promise!

I'm not totally surprised that you knocked your head - when you're that sick, your coordination goes, and a strange hotel bathroom is a fantastic place to injure yourself. Still - lucky! I love your image of a guardian angel, that will have me giggling all day.

So glad you're recovering well. Wreck on!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa


Somewhere between my righteous indignation on your behalf at the way you were treated at the clinic, and the end of your post when I found myself tearing up, I realized you're is like we're friends. huh.

Every day I check in to see what hilarity you have in store for us, and (almost) every day you make me laugh when I need it most.

What a bizarre and amazing thing this internet is!

Take care...we're all with you in spirit (think how crowded it would be if we were all there in person...yikes!)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterheather

Good to hear John is feeling better again! Take is easy and take your time to recover now :-)

Jen, I can't imagine all the stress you have gone through. And still updating the website in the meanwhile. You rock.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLettertjes

This post brought me close to tears! My roommate and I love you guys and this website so much! We were sad about John and you and the canceling of our tour stop, but we hope to see you soon and meet you in person! I'm so glad John is okay (my pre-med roommate got me REALLY nervous!)!! Hope to see you guys when you finish your tour!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Jen and John,

Thahnks for bringing me daily laughs, my life is much more fulfilled since I found cake wrecks ;) glad you're all feeling better, i just wish El Paso wasn't 9 dang hours from Dallas so I could do something to help you guys out!!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Glad to hear John is on the mend.

Usually my jokes are "joke-wrecks", here's an example:

What's a one L ama?
A Tibetan holy man.

What's a two L ama?
A South American animal.

What's a three L ama?
It's a great big fire.

Ta dump bump!

WV - ressin
I guess there was a good ressin your guardian angel smacked you in the head with a toilet seat.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrick

I can't think of better timing for a concusion. Mysterious ways is an understatement.

I'm glad he's out of the hospital and recovering. Get home safely and rest up. "No Leaping" (that's what my masseuse says after a massage.)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLindalou

Holy crap. ANY head injury MUST be taken seriously and dealt with IMMEDIATELY. I guess that clinic never heard about Natasha Richardson. I cannot believe they turned him away without dealing with it. That could have been a fatal decision on their part. (If Natasha Richardson isn't enough, ask me how and why my father died sometime.)

Where and how did the blood infection come about? And was it the cause of the fall that led to the head injury?

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterD.B. Echo

Wow. What a blessing you were forced to go to hospital at that time! So glad to hear John is out of hospital, and continued prayers that he recovers easily and quickly.
(and that you do, too)

And for what it's worth, saying a prayer for you both is small potatoes compared to the regular tears and gales of laughter you have both inspired. Thank you.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

So glad he is feeling better! And that apron is adorable!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

So sorry you've been through so much in the past few days--hang in there!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

So, I totally wanted to come to the signing in Austin. But I was flying home from New York that afternoon, so I realized I'd miss it.

I'm therefore convinced that the reason God allowed all this to happen was so you could reschedule Austin for a day when I can make it.

I know, this is a very self-centered way to see the situation. But wouldn't you be self-centered too, if you were clearly SO IMPORTANT to God? Yeah, I thought so.

(In all seriousness, I'm really glad John is doing better. My 37-year-old husband had some crazy stuff happen a couple of years ago, involving brain surgery, and pneumonia, and a blood clot. It's insanely stressful, and I'd imagine it's really hard when you're far from home. But the support of others is a true gift, and I'm very glad you've experienced that, just as we did. AND glad John escaped all those scary "could have happened" possibilities, just as my husband did.)

Lots of love & prayers,
Beth in Austin

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterC. Beth

Thank you for continuing to post during all of this! I can't imagine having the time or emotional energy to do so in your situation. I am SO happy to hear John is out of the hospital! If you reschedule a stop in Bethesda, maybe I will see you there :)

WV: deconis- the Greek goddess of decorating/wreckerating

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSkye

So glad he is out. Hope the healing continues and you can go home soon. What an adventure!!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBlalock

Hooray! No more hospital (for the moment). My daughter will be really glad to hear it, too, when I pick her up from school later. She really enjoyed attending her first book signing in Chicago and meeting two of the coolest people on the planet.

We couldn't think of a good joke to pass on while John was in the hospital, but the jokes that WERE posted were inflicted on everyone else in the house

Wreck on!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda (& Nikki)

Great to hear your husband's out of the hospital! It must weird at times to know you have so many followers on the interwebs, but it's surely times like these, when you need all the prayers and support you can get, that they really come in handy.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow... what an incredibly scary experience. Best wishes for a continued recovery.
-a longtime blog reader

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous


Thank you for sharing the story of John's head injury, illness and hospital stay. I have been checking the site multiple times a day for updates. I am so very happy that John is out of the hospital and feeling better.

It has been really cool reading all of the posts from readers around the world. It is nice to know there are so many folks who care about you and John and who enjoy the site as much as I do.


October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer

Like many others, I'll delurk for a sappy moment to say how glad I am that John's feeling better. It's amazing how I feel I know the two of you, just by reading your comments on 'wonderful' cakes. It must have been incredibly hard for both of you and I can't put into words how much I admire you for your strength.

Hope you're feeling 100% soon!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClare

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