Monday, July 14, 2008

Lost in Translation?

Monday, July 14, 2008

I know what you're thinking, you crass people, you. You're just bursting to say something devastatingly witty that involves the word "crap" right now, aren't you? Uh-huh; I knew it.

Alright, then, rather than stifle it, let's just get this all out of systems, shall we? It'll be cathartic. Turn to the person next to you...what, there's no one nearby? Ok, go get someone. I'll wait.

Ok, are there at least 2 of you here now? Good. Now, look at the cake, turn to the person(s) next to you, and make all the obvious, disgusting, and profane jokes you can think of. You get extra points for saying the exact same thing at the same time. Running low on material? Try guessing what that inscription says, or what occasion the cake was for. (For example: Just-Found-Out-My-Boyfriend-Is-Cheating-On-Me Day, with an inscription that includes the word "eat".)

All done? Got it all out of your system? Can we discuss this like rational adults now?

Nah, I didn't think so, either.



Before you comment: yes, we all know what it looks like, people, so there's no need to spell it out for us, mmkay? Let's try to keep our comments as clean as possible, or failing that, to at least use the "*" key when necessary. Thanks, all!
Melissa DiStefano said...

I mean in any language flies on poop is just wrong, right?

How is that right, in any language, what am I missing!

Oh maybe the inscription says "Oh, Poop!"

That's gotta be it!

*Michelle said...

oh i hope someone wasnt expecting that to be bee's around a hive and ended up with THAT instead!

Lili's Cakes said...

I cannot even begin to imagine what inspired this er.... creation.

At least some people are thinking outside the box.

Jamie said...

It says Happy Birthday in traditional Chinese characters...

Lisa said...

I'm looking for the fondant diaper that would make this the perfect companion cake to the baby cake in previous post. :-P

Jen said...

Thanks for the translation, Jaime, although it's oddly disappointing. I guess I was hoping for something a bit more explanatory, you know?

Annie said...

I get it! It's a "sheet" cake!

Amanda said...

I've seen a few poop cakes in my time. This one isn't too bad... except I'm a little confused by the brown polka dots around the pile... I'm trying to figure out the logistics, when really I should just stop staring at the picture.

giz said...

Someone really didn't get enough attention as a child.

cakeguy said...

What did it say before? The image has been run through PhotoShop or something similar judging by the looks of the cloning in the big open spaces. It was probably even funnier with the original writing.

Anonymous said...

Dang. Annie beat me to it.

Mary said...

The biggest comment we had here at work about this one was..."eeyyew" and "yuk". We wondered if this was meant as an insult to someone.

Events by Evonne, LLC said...

Hmmm... poo and flies on a birthday cake? I don't care how good the cake tastes, it just looks disgusting!

Tom Terranova said...

Actually, a little pile of poo is a good luck symbol in japan. Here's an explanation from another site (url at end).

Dear Alice,

While browsing through the souvenir shops at Narita Airport, I came across a curious Japanese good-luck charm. It featured a gold poop. Why gold poop? -- Diane O., Redmond, Washington, USA

Dear Diane,

What you're missing is a pleasing piece of word play. The product you saw is called Kin no Unko (The Golden Poo), a name that plays on the fact that the Japanese word for poop (unko) starts with the same "oon" sound as a completely unrelated word that means "luck." Japanese enjoy this kind of pun -- traditional storytelling is full of them -- which may help explain why more than 2.5 million of the lucky little loads have sold in the last seven years.

There are many word plays in Japanese religion because puns make information easier to teach and remember. One example is a talisman in the shape of a frog used to pray for the safe return of a loved one, the pun being that the word for frog (kaeru) is a synonym of the verb "to return." "This Golden Poo is very much part of that tradition," Mitsuhashi asserted.

Furthermore, there is a long history of poo-related worship in Japan, according to Mitsuhashi. "There are more gods in the Shinto religion than it is possible to count, and they reside just about everywhere, inhabiting natural things like trees, rocks and waterfalls," he said. "Bodily functions are very important -- think what a problem it would be if a person couldn't defecate or urinate properly -- so it's natural that people worshipped deities linked to these functions." Mitsuhashi, who is in his 60s, remembers his parents burying a pair of god figures, one male and one female, under the privy in his childhood home.

At the risk of getting too graphic, I really must address shape because everyone I spoke to brought it up. Diane, you described the Kin no Unko as looking "disturbing like soft ice cream," while Fujii, its creator, expressed it as a "nice tatsumaki-shape (tornado-shape)."

The difference in perception may lie in toilet types: a Japanese-style toilet consists of a shallow basin built into the floor over which you squat. There's little or no water in the basin until you flush the toilet. So to someone who grew up using Japanese-style toilets, a healthy result would be in the shape of a spiral pile.

from tinyurl dot com/58xut2

Jen said...

Tom,

I never thought this site would be considered educational, but I for one have now learned something.

That still doesn't explain the flies, though. ;)

Kari said...

It reminds me of my days aboard ship when we called the soft ice cream "dog" for obvious reasons.

Humingway said...

Oh, there was an article about poop on Salon years ago! There's a good amount of gross-out humor here -- I doubt it's a totally straight-faced Shinto thing:
http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/1999/12/13/poop/

Anonymous said...

You know, for some reason I am reminded of a cake I bought years ago from a grocery store bakery. The label described it as: 1/2 SHT BUTTCREME.

Which, obviously, stands for half sheet buttercreme. So, why it reminds me of this particular cake I have NO idea.

hooper said...

@anon...very, funny!

Anonymous said...

reminds me of a t-shirt a guy wore at my highschool. it was gary larson-esque in it's color illustration but the subject matter was not. it was a bar scene with a presumed male fly asking a presumed female fly 'is this STOOL taken?'

i about fell out of my chair in regards to the 'sheet' cake. that was TOO much. *snicker*

Faith said...

Oh, that's just nasty! And my sister always tells me that I have the sense of humour of a 10-year-old boy, and she's right, but even I wouldn't do that one!!

Anonymous said...

I just came here to say what Tom already said! The little pile of poop is a pretty big thing over there! You can find it on jewelry, clothing, stationary and even food ;)

Cary said...

I've heard of sh** on a shingle, but never cr** on a cake!

Anonymous said...

"Sorry I ran over your dog"

Seoul Brother said...

And to think that for some people this would be an erotic cake.

Amanda, I'm guessing the polka dots meant that rabbits were involved.

And that's just a truly mean spirited cake. Think about it - you're a fly. You're buzzing around, and you see a fresh pile of brown buffet. You tell your buddies. They come buzzing along, and when you tuck into what you thought was dookie, you think "What the hell? Butter frosting?"

Wow. I don't feel so clean any more.

Ted said...

"Sorry I ran over your dog"

You nailed it. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

I used to find these presents in our yard regularly. One day I drove up and witnessed our neighbor watching their dog leave a deposit. We had a friendly but direct conversation that (to my amazement) didn't result in an apology.

pepperjackcandy said...

The image has been run through PhotoShop or something similar judging by the looks of the cloning in the big open spaces. It was probably even funnier with the original writing.

Based on the placement of the clone tool markings that I see, I bet the clone tool was used to remove the name of the recipient.

Alison said...

What a hilarious cake. I'm going to make it for my husband's next birthday...bathroom humor is a necessity in our home.

"Sorry I ran over your dog"...that's hysterical. Way better than "Happy Birthday". :)

Love it!

Jen said...

For other poo-food that's more funny than gross, check out this link: http://www.fundistraction.com/2007/08/poop-like-pastries.html

Thanks to CW reader Ashlee for sending it in!

akukoomori said...

Re:Tom

The term "Lucky little S#!t comes to mind...

Chris said...

Is it wrong to be more grossed out by all of the flies than the poo??

ArmandoJavier (MANDO) said...

I just don't know what to say other than AW CRAP, I forgot your birthday!

sadieloree said...

No, I said I want a pupu platter cake!!! Not poopoo! Ugh!

Katy said...

I love this cake. Having just spent two years in Japan and having seen Unko on many 'lucky' items...why not cake!?

kimjohannes said...

Asia has some very stinky extracts for food creations. I wonder if the cake smells and tastes as bad/wrong as it looks? Ok...off to the bathroom because just the thought is making me want to hurl...i bet there is an extract for that too...when will it ever end!

Poop w/flies + cake = Ewwww!

Mary Luce said...

FYI, where I come from, it costumary to wish "good s***" before a school exam, for success - you're not supposed to thank the wisher or it will be bad luck.
Cultures are weird.

maya said...

great theories, people, but it says "Happy Birthday" in chinese. so...that pretty much just makes it stranger.

ari mandible said...

It's most probably from Japan. From my bad memory of Japanese lessons the same characters for happy birthday can be used as Chinese. And Japan has a poo fad right now, you can buy collectible little plush "piles" of that shape that go on your mobile phone, sit on your desk, whatever. They have a few diminutive words for it, the equivalent of "poopy" or "doo-doo" or something I guess.

/end foreign language nerditude..

Sam said...

When I was in Korea poop was also everywhere.

I was interested to read the comment about the poop/luck pun in Japanese. The Korean word "ddeong" is a false cognate with the English "dung" so if the the little soft-serve poop swirls my students doodled on their books wasn't enough of a give away, the word is essentially the same.

I still don't understand how poop is such a cute, marketable decal for children's pencil cases and the like...

I saw one character called Dongchimee who pretty much blew my mind:

http://www.dalkiworld.com/about/c_dongchimee.asp

I also got this dung coffee mug as a gift while I was in Korea:

http://seoulseek.blogspot.com/2007/05/jave-jibe.html

It would go well with a slice of lucky poop cake!

littlelisa said...

The inscription says "Happy Birthday" in traditional Chinese characters. No idea about the flies on poop, thing, though. That's just odd.

Anonymous said...

I made a cake like this for my mothers' group at church not long after my husband left me...and mext to the pile I wrote "MY LIFE IS..."

Anonymous said...

It's Japanese. Some characters are similar between Chinese and Japanese, but with the intention here being to wish a 'lucky' (the poo) Happy Birthday (basic translation) it is definitely Japanese.

Joshua Samuel Brown said...

The cake says "Sheng Ri Kuai Le," Chinese for "Happy Birthday"
There is a restaurant in Taipei that has a bathroom motif - customers sit on toilets, eat out of toilet bowls, and much of the food is excrement themed. I had chocolate ice cream there once. It was pretty good. Maybe this cake is from there?

I love your site!

Anonymous said...

One million flies can't be wrong...

Starry Heavens said...

It definitely isn't Japanese. There's an extra character to "birthday" in Japanese, the "kuai" character doesn't have the same meaning in Japanese and Chinese, and Japanese does not use the traditional Chinese form for the "happy" character. That's definitely a Chinese cake (as well as a Chinese picture, from the green text at the lower right).

Michael said...

"生日快樂/Shengri kuaile" is definitely Mandarin Chinese. Japanese would be "誕生日おめでとう/Tanjoubi omedetou," or some variation thereof.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a dump cake to me.

Anonymous said...

What's with the Japanese and their weird obsession with crap?

Smitty said...

I love poop, especially when it's a cake! Thanks for the link Brendada!

Jenni said...

We had a poo cake on my externship!!!! It was a pile of poo!!!


It was a really shitty experience, by the way. =) lol.

MindfulMama said...

this has become my favorite blog in the whole world.

Jen said...

Well.... That's a sh***y cake if I ever saw one!!!

Brian said...

For the last time:

Those are not Japanese words. They are Mandarin Chinese words printed in the Traditional (as opposed to Simplified) variant. They read (in my approximation of American phonetics):

Shung-rr kwy-luh

The Japanese would say/write:

Tahn-joe-bee oh-may-day-toe.

THE END.

gamemakerblog said...

Man, that's sickening!

Hoooogan said...

Well, I'm glad everyone got that out of their systems.

electricllama said...

Happy birthday! I'm dumping you.

;P

Anonymous said...

Lol, poop.

Jason said...

Y'know, I've watched a fair amount of Asian tv shows...read a good bit of manga...viewed a hefty amount of anime...

And do you know what I've learned? Something about poop REALLY amuses people in that part of the world. It's insanity.

That cake made me Giant Sweatdrop.

That'll be funny to SOMEone around here, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

So, did you hear about the cannibal who dumped his girlfriend.......?

P0keylittlepuppy said...

I think I can clear things up for you all. In my family we have an expression reserved for people who look utterly depressed. Whenever we are gathered as a groom and someone makes a miserable face, someone else always says "who sh** on your birthday cake?" No lie.
My mother actualy put a Baby Ruth candybar on my birthday cake as a joke one year.


I dont know for sure, but I', guessing that this cake comes from someone else familiar with that particular expression.

Lost Eclipse said...

See I was thinking that it would be some kind of "you can get through this" cake. Like "Oh crap!" because the person hit a deer and got their car totaled or.... found out they were irregular? Okay, so I didn't think that far ahead, but it was a nice idea, right?

Christa said...

someone questioned the brown spots... I think those would be fly specks more commonly known as fly poop. You know it is true that flies vomit/poop everytime they land and eat it...well part of it. Those brown dots are what they leave behind

Shawna said...

Um. Who gets the piece of poop? I think I'd almost rather have a piece with a fly.

Caller, over bad cell phone connection: "I'd like to order a cake."
Baker: "Sure. What would you like?"
Caller, over static: "I want a sheet cake."
Baker: [blinks] "Uh, what was that?"
Caller, over more static: "A sheet cake."
Baker: "Um, okaaaay. What do you want it to say?
Caller, spilling hot coffee on self: "Oh sh*t!"
Baker: [more blinking] "All right. It'll be ready for pick-up tomorrow afternoon."

Ali said...

before jamie clarified i thought it might have said something like 'Eat $#!^' and delivered to an ex boyfriend

Matthew Baya said...

Moose Turd Pie! (google it for the Utah Phillips story)

Nanna said...

I went on one chinese mandarin class and there we learnt how pronounciation is very important. I don't remember which was it was anymore but Baba could mean Poop or dad, depending on how your pronounced it. So maybe the cakemaker heard it wrong?7

Anonymous said...

Nanna, no baba does not sound anything like what is depicted on that cake. As Jamie said earlier, it says Happy Birthday in traditional Chinese. But it does not mean Happy Birthday in Japanese, rendering Tom Terranova's tidbit, just that: A tidbit.

Miriam said...

It Says Happy Birthday in Chinese

Carrie said...

Please tell me that the poo pile is not solid frosting, please I'm begging you.

Melissa (& Billy) said...

This was...educational. 0_o Gross, but educational.

I'm not feeling very well; I'm going to lie down now...*turns a strange shade of green*

WV: Destiond. Whoever gets this cake is destiond to spend some time in the lavatory...

haleyknitz said...

hah! i love it.

Cherish said...

As I was reading this I happened to be listening to the parody "You'll Look Like Poo" on YouTube.

Cherish

Kaila T. said...

Well, in Japan the whole "cute little pile of poop" thing is pretty big.

Kaila. T. said...

The "cute little pile of poop" thing is pretty big in japan, but I just don't see how this cake is particularly cute.

sudaki said...

And since the cake is inscribed in Chinese, the popularity of cute poop in Japan is probably not related.

I imagine it must be some kind of in-joke on the birthday boy/girl.

Anonymous said...

The insciption says: happy birthday..Although the cake has a rather more subtle meaning than birthday..

Anonymous said...

C'mon y'all, so serious! Thanks for the info but I think yer messin' the poont. Just dump all the educational stuff and eliminate all seriousness. It is time to clean out the air and get down to business. Go to the library and constipate, er, relieve yourself of yesterdays business. Yea! Log on!!!!

Cupcakes Lady said...

ahahaha I just pointed and laughed at this....brilliant. Thats insane, but not in the least appetizing! lol x

Haiku Joy said...

Good luck enjoying
your birthday surprise this year.
You're going to need it.