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

My Thai Font

The best man at Julian and Janny's wedding decided that he wanted to surprise them with a cake. It was supposed to have "congratulations" written on it in both English and Thai since the bride was from Thailand.

Unfortunately, however, somewhere along the line someone's computer (probably a pc*) didn't recognize the Thai font (surprise, surprise), and so changed the font to...

waaait for it...

You guessed it! Gibberish!

(Or more precisely, gibberish that means nothing to anyone other that a few computer programmers who will no doubt point out my immense stupidity and poor lineage in the comment section.)

What gets me is that not only did the guy who printed it out not notice, but the hugely talented decorator didn't question it, either! For some reason I'm picturing a perfectly groomed English guy in a starched jacket and cummerbund saying, "Hm, yes, well. This is a tad awkward. But tally ho! Onward! What what! Good night, Westley! Good work! Sleep well! I'll most likely kill you in the morning!"

Wait, no. That's the Dread Pirate Roberts. Anyway.

Thanks to Julian and Janny
*Actually, it was a Commodore 64

Update: Apparently the font is not gibberish. It's called Mojibake or "an unintelligible sequence of characters." So, ya know. Gibberish. Only not gibberish. Everybody clear? Good good...

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Reader Comments (98)

Not to nitpick, but those aren't wingdings. The accented characters may not be used much in English, but they are in other languages.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel Hoffelder

it is a very pretty cake though.

I think you forgot the S on surprise at the beginning, btw.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachael

I once had a classmate turn in a paper in wingdings because the teacher said we could use any font we liked. (My computer actually has 3 versions of that dreaded font.)

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFanboy Wife

Where'd the first part of the post go? The part before "urprise"? I'm sure it'[s supposed to be there...

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGaladriel

Um.... that's not Wingdings. It's" rel="nofollow">Mojibake.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMiff

First of all, most modern PCs have foreign font packs installed (I'm talking Windows 7 here). Second of all that isn't Wingdings. They're just the closest ASCII representation of Thai characters. I enjoy Cakewrecks as much as the next person but don't go around bashing things because out of plain ignorance or you will lose a reader.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAvenphire

I used to type Bible verses in wingding and make a legend for my Sunday School class. I can't think of another use.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

Looks like the beginning of this post was somehow cut off! :( But the general gist of the post is understood~.

The decorator spent so much time making it look nice! How could he not notice a flub like that? xD

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterReba

Uh, john, did you really mean to start this with "urprise" or was that a wreckerator mistake?

Anyway, it is nice to see how to translate "congratulations" into Thai and then into Wingding. (No one uses Wingding because they can never figure out what key to hit to get the character.)

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia L

Yes, I'm sure they were very "urprised."

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hi John,

The first line or so of today's post is missing. I'm using Firefox and the first thing that appears under the title is "urprise them with a cake..."

Thanks for your and Jen's hard work!

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

YAY! Bonus Saturday post AND Princess Bride references! It's going to be a great day after all!

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenniffer

Jen, John- Great Post. Totally Hilarious.

And seriously- anybody else, lighten a bit.

I'm a PC, and I am not easily offended. Otherwise, I would not read blogs snarking about things, because everything would offend me.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTamar

Gotta say, I think this is more of the cake orderers error than the cake maker. If that's what he/she/they signed off on, then I think the decorator actually did a great job! And by the way, that's Klingon, not wingdings...

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm thai, and this made me chuckle so much this morning. too funny!

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Hey guys,

First off...

Umm. Whoops. Apparently we found a NEW and GLORIOUS thing that is wrong with our format. I don't know what happened but I'm blaming Google.


Julian, the submitter, told me that the font was Wingdings and so I went with it. I have now changed it to gibberish which I don't believe is a font and I'm sure is still wrong.



Please accept my deepest apologies that I offended you so terribly with my lack of knowledge and my blatant disregard for the true nature of the font in question. My Father was a hamster and my mother smelled of elderberries.


This post made me actually laugh out loud, which is saying a lot since it's still a.m. on a Saturday and I haven't had coffee.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLarissa

It's a good thing though that yummy cakes need no translation!!!

Like music, food is an international language as well! Yum!

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Wingdings, gibberish.. whatever.

If nothing else, when I first saw the cake, I thought that the names were Tulian and Tanny. The J looks just like a cursive T.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I <3 that you're as big a fan of Princess Bride as I am. I squee inside each time you quote it.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

John - I have to tell ya' - LOVE the way you always know in advance that there will be some commentors who have an answer for and get offended over everything!! You completely rule!

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Jennifer

I think what happened is the customer sent the email in ISO-8859-11 (Thai) encoding and the bakery's software read it as ISO-8859-1 (Western). Working backwards, that would give ขอให้โใชคดี. Although Google doesn't quite know how to translate that, so I might have messed up my math. Or the baker misspelled the nonsense.

John, you crack me up........I think gibberish may well be my second language - why do you think I have this outrrrageous accent....

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

"" hehehehehe. I want to know who comes up with these fonts and then find someone besides a computer programmer who can read them. I kind of think that the people printing and writing out the font, have never seen the Thai language so they just assumed that it was like hieroglyphics or something.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEat Cake

First off, if you start a sentence with "hate to be a stickler" or "not to nitpick" --you are lying. You are a wing ding. The end.
Jen- Your parenthetical statement made me laugh the hardest. I don't ever comment, so I didn't realize that people "reluctantly" (or happily, I guess) point out mistakes most of us don't care about.
Not to be bossy, but enjoy the cakes or step off, people!
John- I like the smell of elderberries.
But the hamster? Inconceivable!

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaren

Thanks for The Princess Bride quote at the end. That made my day!

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Come on... when you are doing something for a major event, such as a WEDDING, would it kill ya to double-check things?! I would never put something of another language onto a cake unless I have checked from several sources that it says the very same thing! LOL... not to mention the fact that anyone with common sense should have seen that the "Thai" writing looked more like alien writing from a sci-fi movie! '

Check out my blog:

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter~Nikki~

Thank you Jon, for the Python reference in your response to Avenphire. I need to go clean off my monitor now!

wv: reedifi - what these weird fonts do to the English language.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Brilliant! And the people correcting you is even funnier :)

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeaven is a Cupcake

Wow - tough crowd! Criminitely.

If I start a sentence with "Not to be bossy" -- I am lying because I DO mean to be bossy when I say c'mon, settle down and have fun! Save yer outrage for sites that aren't nearly as clever, witty, and just plain awesome as this one.

~ Cynthia

WV: natherog: There's natherog with today's Cake Wrecks entry.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Between all the comments about Princess Bride and Monty Python references, I clearly should be watching more movies.

Anyway, in honor of john's father, the hamster, perhaps we could have some rodent cakes for Father's Day.

wv: brazoole

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia L

Cynthia -
I read "natherong" in the accent of Inigo Montoya ...
i.e.: "There's natherong with being so drunk that you can't buy brandy."

Avenphire - If witty comments about computer fonts get you in such a tizzy, I think that you have bigger problems in life. Some that may be solved by getting an actual girlfriend. I'm just sayin...

wv: shins ... There's no fun to be had when the wv is an actual word, like shins! Lame.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErica

I hate PCs too, you are officially my hero. :)

Jon, Best apology for non-offensive behavior EVER! And on a weekend too. Total awesomeness!

WV hinghsh: language created when english is translated into Thai and printed in mojibake

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSiouxzr

Avenphire, have fun storming the castle. We'll miss you.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Holy Guacamole!! When did everyone start getting so nit-picky and hostile? Wingdings, Mojibake, crackerjack? Who the heck cares? It was funny. Laugh and move along...

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaneyGrrrl

YAYYYYY!!!! BONUS SATURDAY POST! I knew you guys couldn't really stay away on Saturdays!

Awesome wreck AND I think the comments are darn funny too!

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYogaGal in the NW

For those that are curious, the Thai text, when de-scrambled, reads "ขอให้โชคดี" which Google translates as "Good luck."

It's Thai text that's been encoded as" rel="nofollow">TIS-620 and then read back as either" rel="nofollow">ISO-8859-1 or" rel="nofollow">Windows-1252. Most likely it was an email sent by a user whose computer is set to Thai to a user whose computer is set to English, and one of them us using a dodgy email client (which either didn't send or didn't recognise the charset header).

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip

*cough* The character in The Princess Bride is actually Westley, not Wesley. *tsk, tsk*
I thought for sure such great Princess Bride fans would know that.

...or maybe it is a sore spot with me since my son's name is Wesley and I am always having people ask me in all seriousness if I named him after "Wesley in the Princess Bride". ;)

Other than that, the scripting is very pretty and the sentiment is lovely. It sure would have been nice, however, if the baker had verified what it should have said. It seems like anyone that has tried to type up half of a term paper at home, then the other half at school would be very familiar with that gibberish.

....but if the decorator had thought of that we wouldn't be having this laugh. :)

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAni

I'd just like to note that whoever actually wrote that on the cake did a decent job of making all the random symbols legible - some of them can be hard to tell apart, but because they did a decent job of it, it was easier to figure out what all the characters were, which made it easier to run it backwards through the scrambler.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip

I don't know if I love you more for the cakes or the Princess Bride references!

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDMVGirl

Holy guacamole! When I went to look wistfully at yesterday's post to fortify myself until Sunday Sweets, what a delightful surprise! A Saturday post! (The whole thing, nothing cut off.) And even better, hilarious replies to the comments about John's "immense stupidity and poor lineage" - bonus! John, you really know this crowd to anticipate those comments. Yay for CW!

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMindy

Thank you, Maren. I will refer to the nitpickers as wingdings from now on.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergrace

@JaneyGrrrl -
your comment wasn't yet published when I wrote mine- and I almost used the terms "nit-picky and hostile", too. I think Rebecca phrased it best.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMindy

The most glorious wrecks of all in this fabulous blog are those reading a HUMOR blog with no sense of HUMOR.

Avenphire - EPIC FAIL... don't let the door hit you on the way out!

And John (hubby of Jen) - next time you flame someone so efficiently, please give notice - my nasal passages are now burnt from hot beverage...

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebra

wow....Princess Bride and Monty Python in one morning...can life get any better?!

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter~jill




You are absolutely right. I have seen the move 87 times and I had no idea. Seriously. I bow to your superior PB knowledge and am going to correct it now.

Thanks and Wreck On!


Oh, John, husband of Jen. You REALLY need to read the book. The Princess Bride is way better in print. Hilarious. And, you'll learn how to spell all the names. Humperdink

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermandi

Oh, Please tell me this was because the decorator lost the page he printed and went to babble fish or used their own computer to type and translate!!!

Please oh please oh please oh please

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterComfyDenim

Huh. Stupid people. It took me all of 10 seconds to find that Congratulations, in Thai, is:

I should be a proofreader for bakers!! Wait, no, then there would be no wrecks for us to enjoy. NVM.

Lisa Marie

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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