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)

I work at a writing center on a college campus and student came in, wanting help in writing his assignment in cursive. For whatever reason, his instructor wanted it handwritten in cursive--not typed--and this student had no idea how to write in cursive. It's quickly becoming a lost art.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

"Cogratulation" on decorating a cake with a squiggle-pen while having a seizure during an earthquake while driving offroad wearing a blindfold.

At least the bear-faced E.T. tapeworms distract from the mistakes.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTaylor@MyOlderBrothers

Kate, that's sad! Lost art is right, cursive writing is something that's lovely and individual and can be very artistic. Did you ever find out why, was he not taught or did he forget how to write?

Man, those bear heads are frightening. I hope that wasn't for a small child. Heck, I know grownups that couldn't handle that cake. Yikes.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFahnette

Wow. Just wow.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras

That second cake looks like someone's small intestine has been draped over a cake and then used to write with. Hideous!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoMama

OMG, does that one really have "Ashley" scribbled out, then an "oops!" before "Ashleigh"??? Really? And I thought the ones where they've obviously scraped a word off and redone it were bad... I think that's FAR preferable to this.

Speaking of cursive, my little brother (who is now a freshman in college) was taught to print using this "Italics" alphabet (apparently you can write as well as type in italics, who knew?), that was designed to make printing similar to cursive so that all they'd have to do is connect the letters and *poof* it's cursive! But he still doesn't write in cursive, he just has goofy print handwriting.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrandy

Kate - that is SAD. What do they teach in schools? My daughter is in 4th grade and they've been working on cursive since the 2nd grade, so I know it's still being taught around here!

And the penmanship on those cakes is just atrocious. I work hard to make my naturally sloppy handwriting legible; these people obviously have not!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

As a calligrapher and a current English teacher in China, I teach that while pronunciation is important, so is handwriting! Not all my students have computers (even though internet cafes/bars are common) so I receive much of their work in handwriting! I'm proud to say that theirs is soooo much better than these cakes! (What were those glow worm things?)

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWriteCards

OMG my eyes... they BURN!!!

wv: singbard

The Shakespearean equivalent of "Glee"...

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterllama,llama not yo mama

Ouch. I can't even make out what the last one is supposed to say :(

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdasunbekannte

Holy Moly!!! Those are terrible. I can't imagine picking up one of those.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScrapingirl

unbelievable. i'm speechless, which is a rare thing.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Lee

Oh my goodness... did they actually scribble out a name with icing, write "Oops!" next to it, and then try again?! That's.... that blows my mind. :)

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

frankly speaking, I don't know if it's becoming a lost art too fast, or not nearly fast enough.

I feel much better about my own handwriting today.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrbnhood

Do they not teach that in the 3rd grade anymore? My goodness! ;)

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCasey

Remember those pens that move when you write to make "cool" swirly patterns? Maybe they have those for cakes now...

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHorribleLicensePlates

I think the last one says:
Class of 04
5th Yr

Is that what I'm seeing? Can someone verify this is correct?

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTaylor

Actually, I think that they wrote "opps!" after Ashley rather than "oops!" Ouch.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

for the last one, my money is on:

"Cease boy
5th yr"

...which is passive-aggressive enough to be creepy/hilarious even without the horrible handwriting.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEvalis

These aren’t just wrecks; they’re multi-vehicle pile-ups with explosions and screams of terror and Bruce Willis running from the scene screaming, “The icing! It’s gonna BLOW!!!” And then…nothing but sprinkles.


September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTigerwolf

Does the third one say 'Happy Birthday Aligod?'

What is with the special and unique baby names these days?

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaryAnne

I would not have paid for any of these cakes, unless it was with the specific purpose of sending it on to Jen. Speaking of, I am THIS CLOSE to buying these huge decorated chocolate chip cookies, because they pre-made a "banner" that goes on them so they have a space to write a name or occasion...only the banner looks a lot like a male member.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

This reminds me of when I was in high school and worked at the local grocery store. I worked in the customer service booth. One night after the bakery had closed a customer wanted a cake, so I went back and got one for her. She wanted writing on the cake. "Happy Birthday Junior!" Writing on cakes is harder than it looks! After she saw the effort it took just to make the H, she told me just to write H.B. Jr. LOL

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Wifey

Please tell me those were practice cakes!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChar

That second to last one looks like a competent decorator made three of the borders, then went on a cigarette break and a 2 year old took over to do the front border and writing! Or maybe the competent decorator took halucinatory drugs and they just kicked in as she was getting to the front border.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterI Love Baby Quilts!

Cake 2: Because every dieter needs a tapeworm cake.

And...drumroll please...the BEST. VERIFICATION. EVAH!


It just writes itself.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAuntie Meme

Sadly, I don't think that says "oops." I think it says "opps!"

HOW do those cakes make it to the case? HOW do these decorators still retain their jobs? Oi.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKrusho

Those are all really bad, but the first one is LSD-tastic!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAdnoxious

It took a bit, but I believe that last cake says:

Class of 04
5th Yr

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTralix

OK, well, even when I took my glasses off to read the screen, I still couldn't make out what any of the names. Gees, i hope my vision is alright. :)

thks for the chuckle - taylor@myolderbrothers, you took the words outta my mouth...

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStella

My daughter asked what "cursive" was, and my husband said "It's a lazy way of writing." D:
Afterwards, I laid into him about it.
I have really bad penmanship;it's genetic -- my dad has nearly illegible handwriting, and my paternal grandmother had to write really, really slow to make her hand writing look neat.
But I would never assume that I could work as a professional cake decorator. Nor would I assume I could fill-in for one. I hope none of these people had to pay for these messes.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSuzie Q

That Ashleigh cake...
they even spelled oops wrong! (opps!)

That last cake looks to me like it says "Class of OU 5th yr"

I have no clue who the yellow and blue cake is for.

And I think you guys are seeing pink bear heads where there are none, just to try to make sense of a horrible wreck.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBin

I can't believe they put "oops" on a cake. I think I would have preferred an obvious smear from them wiping the frosting off and re-writing it. Also, I am so excited to see you guys tonight!!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Little Tracy Fam

Either a doctor or a pre-schooler did these. Just not sure which.

And, yes, Kate, you're right. Cursive is becoming a lost art. Especially the elegant handwriting of the 40's and earlier..sad.

Amy B

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Have fun in Portland! Be sure to stop by Voodoo Donuts.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFiberQat

Re: the first cake... I'm the Ashleigh in question, and my friend got the "misspelled" cake as a joke. (As you can imagine, a lot of people misspell my name.) We thought it was doubly hilarious that the decorator accidentally misspelled "oops"!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAshleigh E.

I learned a handwriting method similar to the one Brandy described, except that in the mid-80s they called it D'Nealian. All of the letters had little tails on them, and the premise was that when it came time to write in cursive you would already be halfway there. It backfired though, and everyone I know who learned that method has the most appalling handwriting. I actually don't know HOW to print, my handwriting is mostly cursive and completely illegible. Although that's precisely the reason why I can time 100+ WPM, which is partly how I make my living, so...thanks, D'Nealian!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRB

I can't even tell what the last one says and I've been staring at it for five minutes.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer B

Neatorama is quite possibly one of my favorite sites ever. I'm glad it got a feature on your fabulous blog! :) Oh, and all that horrible handwriting? I think I know a guy that can do worse without trying, lol, however he is smart enough not to be in the cake decorating business.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Oh man, Taylor@myolderbrothers you made me laugh so much :)

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ok, I'm going to go practice my handwriting now. It's not as bad as those, but somehow that's not much consolation.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersiltedrepose

And on the third day, Aligod made croutons. And he tried them on a salad. And they were good.

I'm sure there's lots of reasons that cursive is a dying art. For me, it died when my 7th grade English teacher mocked me mercilessly about what she decried as "the worst handwriting she'd ever seen" and started marking down perfectly good essays because she allegedly couldn't read them. The other teachers I showed them to had no problem reading them, however. So to spite her I started writing everything in regular old text and it just stuck. I think these cakes might be enough to give her a nervous breakdown, which secretly makes me very happy.
To this day, 20 something years later, the only thing I use cursive for is my signature.
WV is tardis...your geekiness is oozing into the word verification software, Jen. Not that that's a bad thing. :-D

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

I'd just like to say that I like the "Ashley" crossed out, followed by "oops!," followed by "Ashleigh." At what point do these icing technicians decide the cake is too damaged to keep? Not soon enough, I suppose.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Seriously, that second cake? They aren't bears. They're worms. Probably tape worms come to get the sugar off the cake. They look like rejects from Alien, actually.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

In defence of the second cake (pink) that's more an "icing fail" than a writing fail.

That's someone squeezing the bag too hard and too far from the cake, possibly the icing is too runny or has chunks in it, as well.

BTDT on the way to learning how to half-assed ice cakes.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

A friend of mine who is 30 said they did not teach cursive in his schools growing up (rural Pennsylvania). Apparently there are some teachers who see it as an archaic form of writing. Not only can he not write cursive, but his printed hand is so bad I cannot read it, and he can barely read his own hand. He's also an atrocious speller when he communicates with text. What do they teach in school now? Everything you would ever want to know or learn can be googled in an instant.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle S.

A friend of mine who is 30 said they did not teach cursive in his schools growing up (rural Pennsylvania). Apparently there are some teachers who see it as an archaic form of writing. Not only can he not write cursive, but his printed hand is so bad I cannot read it, and he can barely read his own hand. He's also an atrocious speller when he communicates with text. What do they teach in school now? Everything you would ever want to know or learn can be googled in an instant.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle S.

Opps indeed!
wv: skerba

It's not cursive writing, it's just skerbaling.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWATERBABY CHRISTINE

Does that first cake say "Happy Birthday A$$hole"??? Wow. Seriously bad.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNorkio

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