Saturday, October 24, 2009

There's a Fly on My Cake!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

So I'm browsing around the internets the other day looking for bug cakes (don't ask) and I come across the Flickr page of Second City Warehouse. What I saw there made my trackball come to a screeching halt. It seems that Steph's boss, Carl, was leaving for a new and better job and it was Steph's job to pick up the booze and the cake. But I'll let her tell you the rest of the story:

"Of course, I wanted the cake to be very special and couldn't think of anything else to put on it aside from a bat fly." [I feel like we're missing something here.]

"So, I picked out Carl's very favorite microptics print [Who doesn't have a favorite microptics print?] and took it to the bakery to see if they could replicate the image on a cake in frosting. "At the bakery, I decided to cut to the chase, so I pulled the picture out first thing in order to make sure they could transfer it. The bakers were stunned into a profound silence as they stared at the photo. I opened my mouth to explain, but a little voice in my head said, 'No no, don't. It's funnier this way.' "When they finally tore their eyes away to look up at me, I smiled and said, 'So. You guys are the experts, let me know what you think. I was thinking of a blue border, but I'm not sure about the decorations. Balloons, do you you think, or flowers?' "The manager of the bakery didn't really answer my question, just silently filled out the order form and wrote 'balloons.'"
Y'all ready to see this thing now? Here 'tis:


"When I got the cake, I was tickled to see that they had attached frosting balloon strings to the hind leg, the wing and somewhere near the head. I suppose they weren't sure how a microscopic insect might choose to hold a balloon." [Well, that makes about 75,000 of us.]

Let me just say that this cake has given me a whole new appreciation for grocery store bakers. Thanks for letting me borrow your story, Steph!

Note from john (the hubby of Jen): Several of you have noted that this isn't a "wreck" in the strictest sense of the word, to which I say, true that. It is, however, a fun cake story. And it's Saturday. Go with it. Peace out, yo.
Jenn said...

Awesome. Just...awesome. :)

Courtney C. said...

Perfect sprinkles... :)

Kachine said...

Kudos to the grocery store bakery! That one could have been a real disaster. Now if you would excuse me, I would like a slice of thorax please...

Maria said...

This is just weird! But hey, at least the colours of the balloons match the fly!

Sunshine Mom said...

too funny! the bakers have a great sense of humor

Z, J and M said...

From the next picture it looks like they work in a field museum. Maybe that helps explain things, maybe lol.

PetalsYoga said...

Soooooo loving this cake on every level. Makes me want a bat fly cake too.

3xEMonkey said...

I have never been so interested in a backstory since Death to Smoochy. Why a bat fly? Why any insect at all? Why so large? ... And I love the detail on the balloon strings. That's my favorite part.

Sharon said...

Isn't that a camel cricket?

That poor bakery, lol. Shame there wasn't a hidden camera to capture the expression on their faces when the order was brought to them.

But they rallied to the challenge. /cheer

togetherforgood said...

this is just seriously awesome. :)

Michelle said...

As a person that worked a whole summer in a bug lab in north Texas, I'd say these folks work in a museum or a university :) Entomologists get really enthusiastic about their work!!

I think an Odonata Anisoptera would have been prettier (dragonfly).

Kate said...

Mmmmmm, I call the thorax!

Christine said...

The fact that she PLANNED it to be weird and hilarious makes it totally awesome! Almost funnier than if she hadn't planned it that way :)

♥ xtine
http://www.stuffbyxtine.com

Tabitha said...

That is one of the best cakes I have seen on here-so weird, so detailed, so numbingly gross you just want to take a bite...lol

Cyndi said...

I can't decide whether this should be a wreck or a Sunday Sweet. Either way, it's hilariously AWESOME!

Rebecca F. said...

I don't know. That might have been a Sunday Sweet to me. LOL.

Mama G said...

The batfly looks like it would be crunchy. Was it crunchy? Eeeeeww!

Half Assed Kitchen said...

The picture cutting off at the elbow is a nice touch. It is called an elbow on insects, isn't it?

Joel Polowin said...

Bug cakes?

Stephanie said...

Not horrific, but definitely amusing. :)

Llora Jean said...

Clearly Carl is an entomologist! (they study bugs) =)

knitorpurl said...

Went into the wreck with eyes wide open- love it.

myfaithlasts said...

That was awesome that the bakery totally accepted her idea and even had a sense of humor. What a great story!

Amanda said...

That is awesome--and I agree Jen, this restores my faith that at least some grocery store bakers are awesome!

A Paperback Writer said...

The most impressive thing to me is that these bakers actually knew to put a comma before the direct address!!! Wow! I believe that is the very first time I have every seen a comma placed in the correct spot for a direct address on a cake featured on this blog (even on the Sunday cakes, the "good" ones, the bakers don't seem to know much about basic punctuation).
I am truly impressed today -- even if I had no idea this insect existed, with or without the balloons. :)

Kari said...

Agreed. I just can't decide if it's a wreck or a sweet. I suppose that lies in the eyes of the beholder.

Sparky said...

Surprisingly well made considering the order. Just remember all you cake decorators out there, just because your cake is up here doesn't mean you're bad at your job (or even that you messed up)!

I would however like to know what makes that...thing...appropriate for a farewell cake. An inside joke, surely, but one that will boggle my mind for an unnecessarily long time if I'm never filled in.

Mhays said...

I don't know that I'd call this a Wreck, exactly - more like "Bakers make the best of a bad situation and very kindly don't send the smirking customer packing."

That being said, it's hysterical and definitely earned its place here! Thank goodness for food-coloring inkjet copiers! I want one for when I turn 50!

Karen said...

Hey, the balloons don't even look like sperm! That's a step in the right direction!

Mjx said...

I'm not only impressed by the accuracy of the punctuation, but, going by the images I turned up online, I'd have to say they got a pret-ty decent representation of a bat fly.

Crazy People I've Worked With said...

Great job on the cake - altho a bit unappetizing...

Debbie (Nerd Goddess) said...

Very nice. :D

spike said...

Surprisingly, it was accomplished with little wreckiness on the part of the bakers. The dead bug looks realistic, and the balloons don't look like sperm. The only wreckiness is from the order itself.

Anonymous said...

Very cool. I don't think a weird cake is necessarily a wreck--this is quite specifically tuned for a particular recipient and works quite well in that context. Trust me, scientists tend to be very into their work.

Betsy said...

Definitely not a wreck! The customer is 100% to blame for this bizarre and unappetizing cake that they INEXPLICABLY requested. The bakers/decorators were just following the directions given.

NinjaMickey said...

I love you guys! My job sucks (maybe I should apply at the grocery store bakery). Inevitably find my way to CakeWrecks for cheering up. You never fail to please! Gracias!

Gwen said...

Veterinarians love cakes like this too! It's awesome!

sendingtheclowns said...

John, don't feel that you need explain "browsing around the internets the other day looking for bug cakes." Personally, I do that every chance I get, as do countless others, I'll be bound.
This one is superlative.
I was a bit surprised to find out that there was such a thing as a Batfly; at first I'd assumed that you were talking about a fly ON a bat. Which does happen, sadly enough.
Learn something new every now and again, eh?
Oh, and I find the Batfly's feet interesting in that they look like tiny high heels, or horse hooves.
Fascinating!
And maybe try interbugnets next time.

Natalie said...

This cake is so rad!

M said...

The decorators deserve a Medal of Cakery Honor--the cake is absolutely brilliant!

Maybe there's a blog sub-category needed for bakeries that do their noble best on weird orders made by difficult customers (not that there's anything wrong with insects or the people who love them...some of my best friends are bugs...:-)).

Hari-Kari Cake Wrecks?

Suicide Frosting Missions?

The Few, The Proud, The Decorines?

Doug said...

I want this cake for my sweet sixteen in January. :)

Anonymous said...

To any newcomers & others who need reminding, look at the home page definition of what makes a wreck:

"it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons."

I LOVE this cake and find it highly amusing with both the original story and Jen's commentary. Yes, the subject is a bit odd/wrecky, but that is part of the fun behind it.

Kudos to the bakery for a great job! Wreck on!

-WM

Lucille Ball Jr. said...

ohhhhhh!!!!!!! that picture makes me cry!!!!

E.M. Green said...

I was also under the impression that wrecks weren't always cakes done unwell but cakes that had unusual decoration that might make the cake seem undesirable.

And I'd say a microscopic bug blown to thousands of times its own size smacked on my cake like a fly on a windshield might affect my appetite.

The balloons help.

That being said, fantastic job!

word verification: zariner, like a mariner but zanier.

Amy said...

Having worked in a grocery store bakery, I can only imagine what kind of conversations happened amongst workers after she left. I bet they told everyone they could about the "Crazy insect cake lady"...then again, who wouldn't gossip about such a thing?

Sook the Cook said...

ha ja it makes me laugh! :)

Tiff said...

This cake is too funny!
And I must thank you for giving me the heebie geebies for the next 5 years, because I googled images of a bat fly...

jedijson said...

If you combine the fact that this is a cake of a balloon-strewn bug with the fact that she was also in charge of getting the booze, this is one HA-LARIOUS cake! I mean, it looks to me like this party "animal" tied on a few too many. He got seriously guano-faced, and so he's going to have one serious hang-over in the morning.

AlohaAroha said...

Maybe they are Fatcat and Fishface fans?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkbqUdtj86A

I think it is awesome that there is now a batfly cake to go with the batfly puppets - as long as it isn't guano flavoured!

lorileelott said...

Being the stick in the mud that I am, may I point out that this is just one of those photocakes (picture printed on edible paper) that you were making fun of a few days ago. I guess since it is a picture of a fly instead of a company logo or coat of arms makes it acceptable. Good job on the balloons though.

john (the hubby of Jen) said...

lorileelott,

I'm honestly confused. What are you upset about? This is just a cake story that I thought was funny.

john

archersangel said...

*blink*
i looked up "bat fly" http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/55703/bat-fly & don't get why someone ould want that on a b-day cake.
good story though.

WriteCards said...

I grew up in "Deep South" southern Mississippi (insert degree of accent) and have squashed many a cockroach. Now, in Mississippi, cockroaches aren't tiny little things, but are majorly BIG bugs that can FLY! My least favorite part of doing such a thing was how they sounded when you stepped on them . . . CRUNCH (as Mama G said) with WHITE "STUFF" coming out of them.

Now, this cake, almost all white, would just conjure up nightmares for me. Would that bug go CRUNCH and would white frosting ooze out?

EEK! (Running off in fright with hands waving in the air!)

WV: wherm . . . might have been better if a wherm had been used instead of a crunchy-looking bug!

Gary said...

This is definitely NOT a wreck! It's very, very cool, and definitely deserves a space on Cake Wrecks just for its coolness.
Thank you for showing it to us.

K0dama said...

I love that they attached the balloons so festively to the little guy!

Keeslermom said...

A Picture! Why didn't I think of that 3 weeks ago when trying to figure out how to make a hissing cockroach birthday cake! Genius!

Anonymous said...

Ummm...I don't get it.

holly said...

I look for bug cakes too. I showed these to my sons and husband with the hope that one of them will **take the hint** and get me something like this just once.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smallthingsiced/3784798682/

(the second one on this page)
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.beach-wedding-themes.com/images/MintDragonflyCake.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.beach-wedding-themes.com/dragonfly-wedding.html&usg=__3z79DyEKyZFz0AjZKy48Yur2ffo=&h=411&w=299&sz=26&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=3gD04IZEiB0luM:&tbnh=125&tbnw=91&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmost%2Bbeautiful %2Bdragonfly%2Bcake%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1

Pirate Alice said...

It's not just A Field Museum they work at it is THE Field Museum, in Chicago. The Field Museum of Natural History. The bug makes a sort of sense that way.

Love the cake, wish I knew what bakery in Chicago made that I'd order my next one from there.

Charles said...

A little creative Googling turns up Carl's homepage and the 100,000 specimens of Bat Flies at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago (75% of known world species represented!). Which I guess is an explanation. Sort of.

Anonymous said...

In defense of this as a photocake, rather than just being a rectangular transfer slapped on to the cake, the bakers either carefully cut around the edges or did a superlative job matching the background to the frosting.

- Eli

Sarah said...

So well executed. Hard to believe it's from a grocery store bakery.

In addition to a photo-realistic fly, they managed to create icing balloons that look like balloons instead of sperm. Imagine that.

Amy said...

OMG! I love it!

Amy B-H

Anonymous said...

Carl is an amazing guy who does pretty neat research and also put tarantulas and giant hissing cockroaches on my kids . . . . and I can imagine he must have thought this was the coolest cake ever. Carl can make horrifying bugs seem pretty cool . . . he got me to hold a tarantula, although my wife passed.

He's off on a trip involving insects somewhere or other at the moment, but I hope Steph showed him this or at least sends him a link when he gets back. He'll get a kick out of this.

Haiku Joy said...

"I don't know why she
swallowed the batfly. Perhaps
her poo will be dyed. . ."

Now everybody sing!

*star.mama* said...

While I agree that the overall idea is awesome and funny, at least to Carl and Steph. The edible image could have been cropped better. Other than that, kudos grocery store decorator! You did an excellent job with the request made of you.

Victoria S said...

John, you use a trackball? That. Is. Awesome. I feel less alone! I'm surrounded by mouse-users who can't stand using my computer since it means having to use my trackball.

Jessica said...

I was at this going away party and I ate this cake. Oddly enough none of us thought it was weird at the time. But that's what happens when you work in a museum.

CRUSTYBEEF said...

I think it's a wreck, because it has a long, err,..johnoptic leg.

CRUSTYBEEF said...

the balloon strings remind me of--gag-pinworms or tapeworms..

eeek...
One crusty mom-E

Aviatrix said...

I'm pleased to see a feature here on what could be considered a wreck from the baker's point of view. I'd like to see more posts on the wrecky things that customers want.

Sexy Sadie said...

It looks like the poor fly needs balloons to stay up!

Aimee said...

LOL I just laughed loud enough in the airport to make nearly the entire waiting plane party look in my direction.

Anonymous said...

What I like about this wreck is that it seems as though the "Carl" of the sentiment just might be the fly...

lisagems said...

Lemme essplain... no. is too much. Too much funny. and too much awesome.

lisagems

Anonymous said...

With the Bug looking dead, and then saying 'We'll miss you Carl', one could wonder if they are wishing him well at his new job or is this a cake for the wake?

Mandi said...

Thanks for making me disturb everyone in this library by obnoxiously laughing my butt off.

Sabrina Messenger said...

Is that the fly's leg or is it just 'glad to see us?' lol just sayin'