Sunday, June 28, 2009

And the glory of Cake Wrecks shone down upon me

Published June 28, 2009
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

Naked Mohawk-baby carrot jockeys!
If these words mean anything to you, then you are one of a legion of fans of Cake Wrecks, the award winning humor blog that gleefully chronicles what happens “when professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong.” If you’re not a fan, you should be.
The link is The blogger is Jen Yates. The aforementioned carrot jockeys are babies…tiny, plastic, naked, babies with tiny, plastic, Mohawks…inexplicably positioned astride frosting carrots on top of a carrot cake. Why? The world may never know, and according to Jen, we probably don’t want to.
The hilarity continues, from a picture of a life-sized and somewhat frightening cake effigy of a bride to a passel of cakes with literal mistakes like, “I Want Sprinkles” written in icing on the top. Add to that creepily lifelike newborn baby cakes (which admirers are supposed to chop up and eat) and you have the makings of a really good time.
Being a fan of Cake Wrecks has its perks, but it isn’t all laughter and hilarity. There’s hard work to be done. The photos of cake wreckage don’t just appear on the blog like magic. They’re sent in by dedicated “Wreckporters” from all over the country who are either the unfortunate recipients of “wrecktastic” cakes or who put in a few hours a week of their time, scouring bakery shelves for blog fodder.
I want to be a Wreckporter.
I want it more than I want chocolate. I want it more than I want syndication or education or vindication or, uh, fluoridation. My name is published in this newspaper every week for thousands of people to see. My published work is in your hands every Sunday morning, and all I want in the world is to see an italicized, “Thanks to Wreckporter, Sarah C!” posted on that blog beneath the “wrecktacular” cake I found for Jen.
As an aspiring Wreckporter, I stop by the bakery section of every grocery store I enter, hoping to snap furtive photos of frosted disasters with my camera phone and email them to Jen. So far, my attempts have been thwarted by the talent and English language skills of the local decorating workforce. Store after store, all I see are beautifully decorated cakes. I’ve been known to throw myself across a bakery display case, yelling, “My kingdom for a cupcake catastrophe!”
I’ve considered ordering a cake wreck on purpose (something die hard fans are known to do for fun on holidays). Knowing my luck, I’d specifically request a cake that says, “Hapy Britday Mom with hearts and roses” and some overly educated bakery manager would cluck her tongue in pity and fix my “mistake” to save me from embarrassment.
If I can’t find a wreck to submit, the other option is to become a “Wreckorater” and create one myself. It wouldn’t be hard. My one and only foray into cake decorating happened at a Wednesday night meeting of my church youth group when I was a teen. I listened during the lesson, looked at my round, layer cake, panicked and covered it in spikes of yellow frosting. I told my leaders it was the sun and represented the love of God on the earth. They huffed about my negative attitude and forced me to cover my cake with a very questionable likeness of Barney instead. I smashed it with a hammer when I got home.
Of course, according to the Cake Wrecks submission rules, the only way a wreck of my own creation can be submitted is if I go pro. I’ll have to get myself a job at a grocery store bakery, start pumping out wrecks, and hope some hardworking Wreckporter sees my stuff before I’m thrown from the building and told to never come back. If I see my cake in all its glory on that blog, it will all be worth it.
If Jen commissions a cake to commemorate getting a restraining order instead…well…that works too.