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)

so glad to hear john is better! now excuse me while i die of bronwyn weber cake envy.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTana

I'm so glad to hear that John is out of the hospital and so sorry that you guys had to go through all that. Cheers to all those who made your ordeal any easier and boos to those who made it more difficult. The part about those cab drivers made me tear up. Both of you get some rest and know that we'll be here sending hugs your way.


~bonnie b

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie

So, so sorry to hear about all of your troubles. Really hope John fully recovers soon, and that you can both get some much deserved rest. Your site keeps me laughing so much, and my 11yo daughter and I search for CakeWrecks every time we go to the grocery store! :) Love and prayers from Memphis, TN.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbeth

WAHOO for being out of the hospital!!! So happy for you both. Thank God that John knocked his noggin when he did. God works in mysterious ways!

Two more dumb jokes that I thought of:

What did the construction worker say to the wall?
"One more crack out of you and I'll plaster you."

Two ditch diggers were out working in rocky soil. The first ditch digger says, "Where's the shovel?" The second replies, "Sure does."

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica H

Yay glad t hear he's recovering!!

And despite Murpheys law hitting you two in the head, and more; you two were able to make the best of it.

((((HUGS)))) Love and Prayers

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGoof

Best of luck to you both, dear. Glad everyone's doing better. Now take a deep breath and RELAX!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine

Yeah for being out of the hospital. And if I promise to wash my hands and wear a mask and not bring my snotty nosed kids, will you add a So Cal date to that newly rescheduled tour? We'd love to see you (and we have nice hospitals here...ocean views, botoxed nurses and tan doctors, not that you'd NEED a hospital, just sayin'.)

Still praying for you both.

I just got a note from BookPeople saying that you've rescheduled your Austin visit for this Saturday. Is that true? Are you really resuming your tour so soon?

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMorning Glory

Adding my "so glad you're doing OK!!!", etc. to everyone else's well-wishes :)

I also wanted to thank you for such an awesome book. I haven't had the chance to get more than 1/3 of the way through it yet, so far it rocks!!!! :)

However, the enjoyment your book & blog give me are only part of the reason I wanted to say "thanks". Another part is this: I got the book to give to my mom this weekend as a birthday present, because I know she'll get a kick out of it too :) She took a few cake decorating classes when I was very young, and made all my birthday cakes (and piano recital cakes, etc.) growing up.

The most important part of the "thanks", though, is that my grandmother passed away a few weeks ago, and my mother (and her siblings) spent 2 weeks with my gran in the hospital before she finally passed. It's been an emotional time for my family; so I can't wait to give your book to my mom and sit & laugh with her as I introduce her to your wonderful world of Cake Wrecks. It's gonna be great to see her enjoy it as much as I do.

So from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU, Jen & John--and all of the rest of the Cake Wreck readers--for everything :)


October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwenx

Okay. Go home. The tour can wait. Get healthy and stay there.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterelaine

I'm so relieved that John is out of the hospital - I was worried about you two! (I'm a nurse, so you can imagine where my mind was racing too - it goes best without saying, trust me.) Sounds like the over-all experience has been good for your "world" tour, and hopefully, it can be rescheduled when everyone feels better. Just stop John from pre-writing the posts! The Nostradomus of bloggers there - sheesh!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

I have been SO WORRIED. Seriously. I mean, to get this worked up over people I've never actually met, never corresponded with? I've been reading this blog for something like a year now, have friended you Facebook, and follow you on Twitter. (This isn't stalking, is it???) I feel like I *should* know you guys. Anyway, I'm so glad John is feeling so much better and things are still going so well for you guys. What would I do without my daily dose of CW???

I'm gushing. SORRY!! I'm such a dork. Hey, on your next tour do you think you could talk The Powers That Be into having a stop in Phoenix? Cuz that would be awesome. For me. :)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSariah

Selfishly, I am very sad that I won't be seeing you here in NYC today as planned; I was so looking forward to it! I am very happy to hear that everyone is on the mend and that a reschedule is in the works. Rest up and come see us soon!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Jen, I'm so happy to hear that John is doing much better and that he is on his way back to good health. You're still loved here in DC and I can't wait until you and John are eventually able to make your way here.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Dog

I don't know if I should laugh or cry (with you). I'm glad he's ok, and you're ok, but please - don't do this again!! I don't know if my heart can take it!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMirror Images

Sitting here crying. So glad to hear John recovered from is ordeal. What a nightmare for both of you.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

Get-well wishes from a Missouri transplant down here at the TexMex border!! Gee, I lose computer access for a few days, and all heck breaks loose around here. I'll have to hunt up the boxes with my cake stuff in it and create a wreckplica in honor of John's recovery! {{HUGS}}

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJasry

Although I know that God works in mysterious ways, I would never have guessed He would have gone the 'crack a head in a hotel bathroom' route:) Glad to hear that John is on the mend and that you'll be coming to Cincinnati;) maybe you can combine those personal thank yous with a 2nd world tour:)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAng and Mike

Even in the face of destruction and pain you continue to post! Good for you! I would be in pieces if my hubby was in the hospital. We're all so glad to hear that he's doing better and wish you both the best recovery (because emotional recovery is tough too)!!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPuckerTucker21

OMG! That post made me all teary! I hope you make it home soon. There is just something about being in your own bed that helps recovery! Hugs to you both.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Obviously, keeping the snarky sense of humor is what's helping you get through all this!!

I'll say tehillim (psalms) for your husband's recovery and for everything to get back to wrecky normality for you as soon as possible.

Take care!!!


October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That's quite an adventure. So glad you are both okay again :). Take plenty of time to fully recover... and eat lots of cake to help... especially ridiculously chocolaty or pumpkin with cream cheese frosting cakes (my personal favorites at the moment).

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNJS

Get Well Soon John. We love you Jen!

Jenn in CA

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

SO glad to hear he's doing better and out of the hospital. Who knew a slippery bathroom would actually be the savior in catching that infection.

Whenever you get to NYC we'll be there with open arms. Take care of yourselves!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Really happy to hear that John is on his way to recovery and that the world send you good wishes to surround you! I am sorry to have not sent a joke for recovery. Our standard practice in my family is to make fun of someone until they get better and I didn't feel we knew each other well enough to get away with that... However, if you can get past the complete wrongness of it all, I believe our sense of humour delivered us through my mum's battle with breast cancer (hilarious!!) especially when I made that joke one time about the bright side being mammograms only taking half as long (insert cheesy drum roll and cymbal clash), not to mention all the places the "cutlet" ended up.... A sense of humour can carry you through some of the worst things in life and thanks to you two, a great many people are a lot less sick than they could've been. (Probably not less incontinent, though....)

Bless you both and, John, may someone who's close to you make fun of you until you're better!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCitricSugar

Did my part to help with the medical bills and got my copy of Cake Wrecks today at the local Barnes and Nobel. The sales people all love the book.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

As much as I hate talking in 'text'...OMG. You are both amazing, and huzzah for blessings in disguise with that head bump. Glad everything is so much better!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Wynn

Wahoo! So happy to hear John is back at your side. Take your time recovering--we snarky folks can wait a little longer.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTari

More good thoughts coming your way. Best to you both!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

I'm so glad to hear that John is doing better! It's funny how the internet can really make you feel like you know and care about people that you don't actually know, but I've been worried about y'all since this started. Thanks, Jen, for providing us with the story. I'd been wondering how the head wound was connected to the pneumonia and the blood infection.

A joke to aid further recovery:
What goes thumpthump ARRRR thumpthump ARRRRRRR?
A pirate falling down the stairs!

Word verification: trago. Tragedy to go! Much more interesting than your ordinary home troubles. It's a useful word right now!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

So glad John's on the mend. I'll be thinking about you both!!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFrances

Wow, that sounds like it was scary! D: I'm glad that he's out of the hospital though!

And some marvelous (er, un-marvelous?) wreckage there!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRiley Joy

A married couple were chatting as they golfed the back 9. The wife asked her husband, “So honey, if I died, would you re-marry?” The husband, used to such queries and half unconscious responded, “Well, yes, I suppose I would.” Mildly distressed, the wife asked, “Ok, would you let her live in our house?!” The husband replied, “Well, honey, I think I might, the house is paid for.” The wife then insists, “Surely you would not let her sleep in our bed!” He gives the same answer, “Well, I probably would, it is paid for.” The wife, growing perturbed demands, “Oh honey, tell me you would not let her put her dirty hands on my golf clubs!” Without thinking and nearly asleep he groans, “Of course I wouldn’t let her use her use your golf clubs. She’s left-handed.”

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReluctant Kerry

What a crazy time you guys have had! I am SO glad John's out of the hospital and on the mend! Take good care of yourselves, okay?

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

Soooooooo happy to hear that ya'll are doing better! I have had you both in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you will be back in the Sunshine state soon!

Long time reader, possibly first time commentor

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Woohooo for John being sprung from the hospital! Hope you two are on the mend and getting plenty of rest! I think you both deserve a seriously good vacation after all of this (and I hope you get to take one). At the very least, maybe some cake ;)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJules

Jen and John, I read your Twitter updates with my heart in my throat. I can only imagine!

I hope that in a few years you will look back on what an amazing/harrowing/terrifying adventure your book tour was...and laugh!

Rest up, and take care of yourselves.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLindentree

wow this is almost like a horror movie wear each day it gets worse first its a cake wrecks "world" tour then they get sick and miss some days and now john cais in the hospital ill i hope is that this is the climax and things to turn around Jen my best wishes to you and John

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I am so happy to hear that John is okay...and that you are feeling better too. :) yes I read your tweets. Looking at this website is the highlight of my day...and I cannot wait for the book. Take care! :)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjess

I'm so glad things are looking up for you two! John- glad to hear you're feeling better!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Wow. What a story! That's just unbelievable. I mean, I believe you, but... well, you know what I mean. I'm so glad to hear that John is doing better. I've really been wondering about how things were going for you, and it's really great of you to fill us in. So many bloggers would just tend to their issues and leave us all hanging, and I think it's incredible how you've managed to keep us all posted with all that you've had to deal with. Thanks, and rest up, and have some cake! You guys deserve it!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJellyJo

So glad to hear that John is on the mend and that all is well! You had us worried for a while, but I'm so glad that things turned out all right.
On a lighter note, you won't soon forget your first "wrecky" book tour! God Bless!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I am so glad to hear that John is out of the hospital and recovering. You can never say that this has been a boring book tour!

Send you and John lots of positive thoughts and (((hugs)))

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa

So glad everything is ok! Have been thinking of you and spreading the word to friends to keep you in thoughts and prayers! Hang in there!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris

This might be the first CakeWrecks post that has made me cry. I'm glad you're resting in a hotel instead of a hospital (horrible place to have to recover in). I hope John continues to feel better.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

So glad John is ok and that you guys made it through that! Seriously, it's all uphill from here!!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMommyAmy

I'm so glad to hear that John is doing better and out of the hospital! I'm so sorry!! Be sure to take care and take time to get better before you even consider rebooking those tour dates! :)

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJ.M.O.

so glad hubs is out of the hospital!!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

so happy he's going to be ok!! great that you found out when you did. good luck with everything!!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTori

wow that is quite a stop on tour!

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucille Ball Jr.

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