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

Nifty Neat-O Penmanship

To wrap up this week's "virtual" tour, we're heading over to Neatorama, repository of all things interesting. From geek crafts to fascinating architecture, urban art to bizarre animal facts, there's a little of everything here.

While debating what Wreck theme to do for Neatorama, I remembered this article titled "Is cursive handwriting necessary?", and I thought, hey, this would be an excellent time to voice my opinion on that very question!

Hem hem hem! Ok, here goes.

Firstly, I'd like to begin with:

In addition to:

(No wonder her hands were shaking; hellooo, creepy bear heads!)

Secondly, I'd like to point out:

(Poor Aligod.)

And furthermore...

Some skeptics, of course, disagree. To them I say:

So in conclusion, ladies and gentlemen:

Thank you all. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Ashleigh E., Anony M., Alison P., T.X., Heidi, & Abby M., I trust you got my point?

Don't miss my virtual visit with Alex, Neatorama's founder, here!

And if you live in Portland, don't forget to come see me and John at Powell's tonight!

- Related Wreckage: A Lesson in Proper Penmanship

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Reader Comments (98)

@ Brandy, my dad moved during grade school and the school he left hadn't started cursive, but the school he went to had already covered it. He did the same thing - connect the printed letters. He still has sort of odd looking handwriting and he's 76. There's hope for your brother. :-)

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNorkio

I am a long-time Wrecks devotee but I do not often lolz. I just wanted to reiterate: Poor Aligod indeed.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterraych

I'm 27, and I never learned cursive in school... Growing up I was always under the assumption that it was an archaic form of writing that had been replaced by typing!

Though my printed writing is (I'm told) quite pretty and very easy to read, which is what my teachers all focused on. We were always graded on spelling and legibility.

Can't wait to see you tonight, Jen!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNimras

My friend and i were having this very discussion the other day. She's a spanish teacher and she spent an entire class period teaching the kids how to sign their name because none of them knew how!!!

Also - so sad! I just moved away from portland! Enjoy the rose city!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergayle


That's all. Just 0_0

(come to think of it, that's my reaction to a lot of your posts!)

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa (& Billy)

*head tilt*
I'm pretty sure some of those are written in Kanji.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdenestria

No, I believe the last cake says:

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteraction jaqson

Creepy bear heads? I thought they were screaming tapeworms!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I openly admit to having poor handwriting, my grandfather still rolls in his grave, but OMGOSH what the HELL are some of those trying to say?

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Queen of Chaos

Hem hem hem!

Don't let Dolores in the kitchen! I can imagine what she'd do if those were her students:
"Wrong again, but we're out of time. Go home, you're hemorrhaging all over the cakes."

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Sad, I love cursive. I'm 24 and still make changed to my cursive to make it more elegant. I also loved it when I was young and I could write in cursive and my younger siblings couldn't understand a word. :)

WV: grail
"Whhhaat, is your Quest?"
"I seek the Grail"
"Whhhaat, is your favourite colour?" "Blue!"

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJuno

"CogratuiottaH" and have some bear heads dangling from ribbons!? (Seriously? Those are bear heads? I'm not sure I see it.)

Totally LLOL today, good job Jen.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhollyml

Those were the worst writing I've ever seen!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElleah

Okay, so the first cake was intentionally misspelled (well, except the "opps," which is delightfully ironic); but what's the excuse for the way the globby balloons are bleeding color onto the white icing? Just how old do you think that cake was??

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterabi

I am trying desperately to laugh quietly, so as not to wake my husband, while tears roll down my cheeks. Poor, poor Aligod!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBuffy

I believe the creepy bear head on the left is a different part of creepy bear anatomy....

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

Doctors turned Wreckerators--that's where these came from! They're changing professions before the health-care reform.

WV: profflan--these cakes make Jen use profflanity. Also, these make me anti-cake and profflan.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKeeley

Oh sweet Jesus. I just laughed so hard I cried! Thanks for brightening my afternoon. :)

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrude

Die cursive DIE!!!!

(I HATED writing cursive in elementary school, it took way too long to write and was illegible (at least when I wrote it.))

See ya at Powells! :D

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

Meh, some of us are not blessed with beautiful handwriting despite our best efforts. I *failed* handwriting in third grade -- and despite having good grades in EVERY other class, they tried to hold me back. I can write, it's legible, and I can sign my name, but for whatever reason, I cannot do cursive.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbatshua

Cease fou 5th yr? Is that Navy Seal for something?

Did they actually cross out the wrong spelling on the first cake?

Oh, the aneurysms.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfrigglesnitz

They did not cross out "Ashley" on that first cake and write "oops" next to it. I know I must be seeing things.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPeachkins

Wow. All I have to say to that is a very simple "Hapoy Bartkdai 7tk Lirka!" I'm sure it would look better if I wrote it in icing.


September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJosh (the DMT)

Creepy bear heads? I thought they were flamingos.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhomeschool mamma

Makes me sad that people actually paid money for these crappy cakes. What a bummer!
It is more lazy than just your average crappy decorations.r

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCanCan (Mom Most Traveled)

That one cake looks like when ET was dying next to Elliot.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

I am currently teaching 5th grade and have taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. What do we teach in school? Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies, Good Citizenship, Critical Thinking Skills, Work Ethic - we teach kids how to be productive citizens in our future world. Seriously, you can't just "google" everything and have a well-rounded education.

Secondly, our school teachers handwriting in the 3rd grade, but from then on its up to the students as to whether or not they print or write in cursive. We have to be very careful how we use our time with our students. Having an extra fifteen minutes to enrich math, reading, or science is much more valuable then harping about handwriting. Besides, how often do you use cursive other than to sign your name?

Oh - and D'Nealian is the most popular form of handwriting b/c it does have a nice carry over to cursive. D'Nealian printing does not necessarily have to be sloppy - it all depends upon the writer.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Too funny. I once dumped off a cake in a different dept in Wal Mart after they handed me the one they screwed up. Childish I know, but I didn't feel like shelling out 20 bucks for bad penmanship.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

"Aligod" had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes.

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I actually sent in the photograph of the Yellow and Blue one and it said Happy Birthday and then sideways Morgan. We saw it as we were leaving Fuddruckers in NJ in the refrigerator and had to open the fridge and take a picture of it. We desperately wanted to go over to the tables where they were holding the party and give Morgan a hug for the terrible cake she was about to receive.

That said, I love the first one - you gotta love someone that has the balls to cross off someone's misspelled name, write opps and then write it right and make someone buy it.

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

I am 22 and went to a Montessori school, where we ONLY learned cursive. When I switched to public school in 6th grade I gradually started writing in print more and more in order to fit in with how everyone else wrote. Now my cursive is horrible and ugly.

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterderomanticize

I wish our teachers required us to give out homework handwritten. I absolutely love writing things out. However most of my courses are large, so the teacher can't grade over 300 students for just ONE of her classes :P

When I took the SAT, it took us around half an hour to get past the cursive stage. The woman in charge had to help everyone individually, teaching them for, the first time in their life, how to do cursive. (Thing is, I'm fairly certain that some had never written period.)

Although, not so humbly, I have extraordinarily beautiful handwriting. Even when I hurriedly jot down notes in classes, they're clear and pretty. (Everyone tells me so, so it's thankfully not just arrogance, haha!)

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter~ L. K.

I don't get how people just don't care about their handwriting on a cake. I'm not a decorator but I do work in a bakery, and it only took me around 3 weeks to write 1000x nicer than these cakes. In cursive. How can they continually not get yelled at and wrote up for that?

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersasagawa-chan

Er... what exactly did that last cake say??

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPriscilla

was that last cake supposed to say "Class of 04 5th yr"???? Are they giving cake to 5th years seniors now? I didn't get cake from my school and I graduated in the time allotted by the school board.

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

For me the answer of "why cursive" is pretty clear: It's far faster to write neatly in cursive (if you have practice) than it is to print. If you're having to take notes and want them to be legible later, or if you're having to write under time pressure (as when taking an exam) it's pretty important to be able write quickly and clearly.

It's not just "fancy" writing that looks pretty. It's meant to be practical and efficient.

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRana

posts like this irritate me a little. i filled in for a girl who broke her arm in an albertsons bakery once. i was expected to personalize the cakes if someone wanted it, but they gave me no training and with my closing duties, there was never time for me to practice. my penmanship was atrocious and there was nothing i could do about it.

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTanja

The Prayer of an Untrained Cake Decorator

O Pastry Bag, be
Thou kind to this fearful cake.
I need rent. Amen.

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

I look at health claim forms most of the day, many hand written. And I constantly find myself wondering why someone would let a 4 year old fill out something as important as a health claim.

I see now that some of these preschoolers are also into cake decorating! Too precious!

September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTom

I suppose the Ashley/opps/Ashleigh cake COULD be intentional...maybe folks have been misspelling her name for years, and now it's sort of a running gag in her life.

But "opps" has ALWAYS bothered me! "opps" would rhyme with hops. It should be "oops". There, I've gotten it off my chest!

September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTom

I lament the demise of cursive handwriting! After teaching school for many years, I am now hearing students complain that they cannot read the instructions on the board unless I print. Worse yet, they grumble about all the "hard words" in my lectures and want me to simplify the vocabulary. These sad cakes demonstrate that this is a national problem.

September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDjinn

I will verify the last cake's

Class '04
5th yr

I also graduated in 2004 and we just had our 5 year reunion. That would help give the cake a purpose although the delivery is all wrong : )

October 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

Are those items on the second cake REALLY BEARS? I thought they were just ugly garlands and flowers! Cake Rorschach test!

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Re: the cursive writing thing-I recently saw an internet article saying how schools are skipping all but 1 year of cursive. Instead, they are focusing on computer skills. Can't you do both? How sad. BTW, we homeschool, and my 7 year old's cursive handwriting is better than most adults...

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commentervalarina_palemina

re: the cursive writing thing: I recently read an internet article about how schools are now skipping cursive writing (instead they are training in computer skills). This woman's 8th grade daughter didn't know how to SIGN HER NAME. That's one reason we homeschool-my 7 year old's cursive handwriting is better than most adults...sad.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commentervalarina_palemina

lol, poor Aligod indeed! That is the best cake ever!

A) my name is Alison (Ali to my brother)
B) it is in my brother's handwriting EXACTLY.

I know what cake i'm demanding for my next birthday!

November 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteralison

At first, I read 'Aligoo', which also makes no sense unless it's a nickname bestowed by a 6-month old. Then a CFL went on over my head (it was dim at first, but only took 20 minutes to reach full brightness -- thanks, Congress!) and I read 'Ali 600'. When someone begins their 7th century, it ought to rate more than a badly written cake.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

With most of these cakes, they were better off being left blank. It's astonishing what bad penmanship can do. Can't they just spell with candles and make it easier for everyone?

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAuditions Los Angeles

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