Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cake After People

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What would happen if every baker on earth...[dramatic voice]...disappeared?

This isn't the story of how they might vanish. It's what happens to the cakes they leave behind. This is just part of the journey that will take us to the future of once active bakeries, as well as haunting sites already devoid of taste. Welcome to earth, population: zero.


1 year
after bakers


An abandoned ring and silk flowers bear mute witness to the echoing loneliness...of desolation.


10 years
after bakers


In the depths of bakery windows everywhere, dust gathers. Icing crumbles. With no workers here to clean, once-sweet treats become deadly harbingers of disease.



Sun-bleached displays now resemble so much worn, waxy marble, making it impossible to distinguish what once was a timeless tasty treat.


Uh. Lot of alliteration in this half of the script, huh?

Sound guy: Alliter what now?


Never mind.


100 years
after bakers

Geothermal flash floods bring with them river rock and debris. Amazingly, the petrified pastries persevere.

Seriously? "Petrified pastries persevere?" Who wrote this?

sound guy: I think it was the new guy; he had to finish up when Jerry took leave. Look, just go with it; we're on a roll.

[sigh] Fine.

In dank, darkened displays, filthy, festering folds of fondant mask the moldering malformed mess, made more malignantly misshapen in much...

[throwing script down] Oh come on!!

sound guy: What?

I'm ad-libbing from here. Deal with it.


sound guy: Ok, but you're telling Jerry.

Fine. Let's wrap this up.


10,000 years
after bakers



Yeeeeee-haw!

Come and get it!!


sound guy: Seriously?

Seriously.




Hey Carly T., Tom H., & Clair W., did you know that all these displays are for bakeries still open for business? Seriously.
Veloxiraptor said...

Clearly, movies and video games need more scenes that take place in post-apocalyptic bakeries.

Hannah from England said...

Oh.My.Word.

how do these places pass Health and Safety or Food Hygienes regulations?!

Amy's Cooking Adventures said...

Those dust bunnies are an extra nutritional bonus!

But, eeewwww...how do they not notice the dust!

Anne Boleyn said...

Eww, but still, I have not been put off cake. I've been reading your blog for ages now, and just wanted to say I think its amazing and you're a really great writer! I cannot believe how many bad cakes there are out there, wow.

KIRSTIE said...

Morning Jen. Happy Holidays!

Mary said...

"filthy, festering folds of fondant"

LOL love it!

Ohhh a twinkie cake. How, erm...cute? lol

Rachel said...

Love this post!

Mary Connealy said...

I can kind of get into the twinkie castle.

Trevor said...

Wow, that's a lot of alliteration there. I'm impressed :)

and you're right, those twinkies will live on forever and ever. That's why I advocate eating them; we'll have so much of the chemicals in us that we'll live forever, just like they do.

Anonymous said...

I Love the reference to the 10,000 year old Twinkies! :D

Kaaren said...

LOL! My hubby & I just watched "Life After People" last week. This is pretty much the cake version. Nice!

Kellysaurus Rex said...

I kind of love the Twinkie cake.

Gary said...

I think the second picture is of Miss Havisham's wedding cake from "Great Expectations."

Tricia L said...

With the exception of the Twinkie cake, they all appear to be from non-US bakeries (and the two with river rock from the same bakery). However, it is a good lesson for all of us who work and/or own businesses to look though the eyes of a potential customer. Would someone want to come into our business? Would they want to buy our products as displayed? Would they want to hurl looking at them? Time to vacuum and dust, people.

Heide said...

This post is hilarious! I can't imagine anyone in his/her right mind actually eating anything coming from a bakery that had a display like this... except for the Twinkie cake. Those would be popular where I come from.

Marcie said...

You could also add alongside the picture of the twinkie cake, the picture of the cheeto "cake" made to celebrate the male life being given by a coworker of mine. She pretty much lives on artificial cheese whether found in frozen mac 'n cheese or cheetos, so the gathering of cheetos into tiers and putting ribbon on to make look like a cake alongside the dish of homemade mac 'n cheese was probably her idea of heaven. The rest of us just hoped she thought we were laughing with her.

Summer S said...

Having been a big fan of "Life after People," I applaud your references!

But the cakes?! Holy Health Inspector, Batman, WHY ARE THESE PLACES IN BUSINESS?!

Alex T. Valencic said...

I totally want to make a cake out of Twinkies! In fact, I think I'm going to recommend it as a wedding cake option for the next friends who get married. That way they will still have viable cake to eat on their anniversaries for the rest of their natural lives!

lynne said...

I don't understand the cakes on window screens surrounded by river rocks. Is this a cake preparation technique? Some new misguided decorating theme? A failed method of cake preservation?

Janw said...

Oh my, I was just watching Life After People last nigt. I can't believe they missed covering this important - and terrifying - subject! :)

Amanda said...

Best laugh today!

Malia said...

What's the deal with displaying cakes with rocks?

Anonymous said...

Is it my imagination or do the first and third cakes appear to be from the same bakery? And the fourth and fifth cakes seem to be from the same bakery. So hopefully there are only 3 bakeries involved in these sad disasters.

WV: bectann: a new medicine devised for people who eat cakes that have been around for a little too long.

Flartus said...

I don't care what anybody says, I'm ordering that Twinkie cake for my next birthday!

(Love today's theme, btw. You are still cracking me up!)

Stella said...

Say, is that the Queen in the corner of cake #3?

Anonymous said...

I love the Twinkie one!!! It's actually kinda cute! I mean it's not a great master piece for Sunday Sweets or anything but it's original and well done. Cute!

Gween said...

Who's in the mood for zombie cakes now?
It can't be just me, right?

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is, that if there were no other cakes around, I'd eat these.

WPArtist said...

You know, weddings are all about symbolism, and I can't think of anything that might represent the eternal love and commitment of a newlywed couple than a Twinkie Cake!

And darn cute, too! So wrong and so right all at the same time....I am dumbfounded....

Pretzelogic in Philly PA said...

Another hilarious post - and I'm delighted to finally not be the only person I know who's been morbidly fascinated with the Life After People series! I mean, really, what's the deal with that show - are we talking about the Rapture or something? From the start of the first episode, we see land-line phones dangling from their cords and food still sizzling on the stove in mid-preparation, but the people are just... abruptly... gone... leaving no messy corpses behind to clutter things up. Weird. Still, it seems like I just can't... stop... watching...

8-/

WV: "seigall"

I don't know about you, but I "seigall", and a lot of it, in the attitudes of these bakery owners toward the upkeep of their displays!

Jen said...

Wait, there are TWO cakes with the words worn off and rocks around them? WHY??

Stoich91 said...

Haha! Twinkies last FOREVAH! Long reign preservatives...not. :D LOL Great post!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... If humans go extinct in a giant nuclear war, will Twinkies become so mutated that they actually come alive?

Creeeeeepy...

-Jacob

T said...

bwahahaha :)

this is the kind of stuff that's missing from horror films!

metzdarling said...

Heh, the dust and grime on the bottom layer of the first cake made it blend in so well with the tray it was on that at first glance I thought, "Oh, one year after bakers, survivors get so desparate for cake they start frosting and decorating irons."

Little Lovables said...

so, is this like langoliers or i am legend virus type attack... or nuclear pastry waste?

Anonymous said...

This reminds me so much of the movie "Idiocracy"! I love it!

Connie Moreno said...

HYSTERICAL!!

Sara said...

Not gonna lie, I would possibly get married a second time just to have a Twinkie cake. Well, and yeah because I love my husband.

Fluffy Cow said...

HA ha ha ha ha ha!! The Twinkies! The sound guy! The narrator!! The "cake"! The alliteration!

*sniff*

LOVE this post!!! And that's not just the cold medicine talking!

Anonymous said...

Twinkie the Kid cleans up real nice. Diggin' the twinkie tower. Wouldn't eat it, but it's still cute.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this was your intent, but I now MUST watch "I Am Legend."


~Vik

Rachel said...

Is it really THAT expensive to re-do the display cakes once in awhile?! Merciful heavens.

JLH said...

Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine ate the cake that was hundreds of years old...

Mary Lou said...

OMGosh, the Twinkie cake is way too funny!!!

drgns4vr said...

The worsening wrecks of writing had me writhing on the floor, flopping fitfully face first.

WV inguite. One hundred years from now the world might go up in flames, but that icing will not inguinte.

coeurdechoeur said...

One of the best posts in a while. Great parody.

clan of the cave hair said...

but not in the US, right? RIGHT?!

Michele said...

I love the Twinkie cake. That's the only one that looks (or smells) like you could still eat it 10,000 years later. :) Kinda like Sally Davies 6 month old happy meal http://www.flickr.com/photos/sallydavies/sets/72157624739645253/, or Dennis Stoltzfoos' 15 year old CUPCAKES http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2010/10/1995-and-counting-nondecomposing/
Credit to Sarah of thehealthyhomeecomomist.com for links from her page

Jennifer P. said...

Definitely one of my top 5 wreck posts ever. There could not have been a more perfect ending than twinkies. If you used Bruce Willis' line from Die Hard instead of Yee-haw, it would've made #1.

Shay said...

I love Life After People. Thanks so much for another awesome post.

pikkewyntjie said...

Amazing alliteration artistry awesomely applied!

StefRobrts said...

That's disgusting! But that Twinkie cake is a total win!

Craig said...

I like the Twinkie cake. I like cake on the rocks (get it?). Most of the rest look like they are made of rock (perhaps they are -- by now).

I don't think I want the back story on the first one, though -- it looks sad.

Little Luxuries said...

... So, Twinkies actually will survive the apocalypse?

it05jb said...

Just come across your blog... words dont describe how bad some of these cakes are!

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

If it wasn't for Twinkies and Coca Cola, I would have never made it through college.

Anonymous said...

And I, too, want to know where the health inspectors are! I run a small bookstore and sell candy bars and lollipops... all wrapped goods. And I still have to pay a $150 "food handler's fee" and suffer an annual inspection by the Inspector. These cakes would never get by him!

WV: "mortsp" - Mort (Death) has more assistants than just Death of Rats - there's also Mortsp - Death of Cakes!

Merry at Annie's Book Stop

ZealofZebras said...

Twinkies DO have an expiration date! Really! For proof, I cite the almighty Wikipedia.

the-ped said...

You've been watching the History Channel again, haven't you, Jen?

"Life After People" has obviously twisted your sense of humor, further.

Although, the alliterations were funny.

Alison said...

Amazing! I love Life After People and you've got the tone down pat.

Anonymous said...

Tricia L said...

With the exception of the Twinkie cake, they all appear to be from non-US bakeries ...

How the heck can you tell??? Crappy food prep/storage hygiene is everywhere. It knows no boundaries.

The twinkie cake is cute ... except for all the chemicals I know are in those things. And no, eating them will not make you live longer, it will just preserve your body longer after you die. No joke. Believe it or not, humans (on average) now take between 3 and 7 years longer to fully decompose compared to what we did 50 years ago, solely because of all the chemicals in our diets. Gross, huh?

Elizabeth
Sydney, Australia

annek said...

The only thing missing...is SANDRA LEE!

mladybright said...

Seriously?

Ok, so the only think left after total nuclear annihilation (don't ask me how to spell it) will be grody cakes and the cockroaches to eat them.

That said, I'm totally in awe that there weren't cockroaches on these "lovely" displays of current decorator's art. *snort*

Oh, man, I have got to get some pics from the bakery in the basement of the ex-church.

Who would honestly want to purchase a cake after viewing these 'presentation pieces'?

love the cameraman...
~~Di

Donna M. said...

I groaned through the entire post...until I got to the Twinkie cake :) Then I laughed :)

I want a Twinkie Cake now *g*

That dusty yellow one, they forgot to write "it a gril" on it :)


WV: hemblec What passerby say when they see these cakes in bakery windows

Jmthomas said...

The second cake looks disgusting. Problem is that I have seen cakes in bakery windows that look like that. Which explains why I buy my cakes usually at a supermaket. Great post.

archersangel said...

i think that second one is growing stuff.

this post is all the more funny because we (my brother & i) are watching life after people streaming on netflix and we do wonder who writes that overly-dramatic narration.

Jeffrey said...

Great post! Great alliteration. Shouldn't it have started "In a world where...", though?

Aliza said...

Loved the melodramatic alliteration!

And am in shock that these are bakeries that are still in business. Seriously, if their freshly decorated cakes are so much worse than these battered aged specimens, I'm sticking with Costco or Loblaws (I'm depressed to report I've never seen a wreck in their displays) or a really good local bakery I know of. Or making my own. (They're not pretty-- I have minimal decorating skills-- but they taste great)

And if these bakeries LOOK that bad, can you imagine how their cakes taste?

Anneke (Mudhooks) said...

Back in the 1970s when I was in college, I used to go by this bakeshop every day while I lived in Toronto (on or near St. Clair Ave). The cakes in the window could have been decades old. I wonder if it is still there and still has the same cakes! In fact, I wonder if these are those cakes?????

While I was still in high school, for a few months, I travelled from Ottawa to Toronto on the Voyageur bus. There was, for many, many years, a truck stop along Highway 7 called "The Whispering Pines" (I called it "The Withering Pines" because of the food) where the buses would stop for a break.

The first weekend, I was perusing the desserts in the cooler and noticed a piece of cherry cheesecake with a fork stuck in it in such a way that the cake had cracked. At the end of the weekend, on my return trip, I noticed the same piece in the same corner of the cooler... and again at the next weekend.... and the one after that.... it was there for the full six weeks that I travelled back and forth.

The Whispering Pines closed quite a few years later.... I wonder if it was because someone finally ate that piece of cheesecake?

Jennifer said...

That Twinkie cake makes me think of the Family Guy episode when after Y2K the Griffins search out the Twinkie factory because they know they'll survive anything!

As for the other cakes... I guess these bakeries haven't changed or updated their designs in a dog's age, you know, since they don't feel the need to take these hockey pucks out for a cleaning or even to replace them with newer ones.

Carrietastic said...

I freakin' love "Life After People"! This is brilliant! Love it!!!

Ice Queen said...

Bwahahahaha!

Anonymous said...

Blech, what is going on in these places

Shelley Parker Chandler said...

Love it! "Life after People" is one of my favorite shows. I just wish there were more episodes. This was great!!

Craig said...

@Annek, you're right -- Sandra Lee should be represented. Here's why:

This is about life after bakers. I know bakers. Bakers are my best friends (well, my best friend & fiancee is a good cook & knows how to bake). Sandra Lee is no baker.

Arlene said...

I always knew twinkies never die. Scary that these places have not changed their displays in decades. Makes one wonder how old their wreckerators are cause maybe they are immortal. Now that would be horrifying lol.

Mr said...

Is one of these the fairy cake that's been at the center of the Total Perspective Vortex for the last few millenia?

Smuze said...

All i can really say is wow!

I have 6 high-end cake shops around my house, and the cakes in the pics are WAY nicer.

Anonymous said...

:D the creativity level of this blog just keeps ramping up- this is why you have such devoted fans!!

-Barbara Anne

Anonymous said...

"Mr said...

Is one of these the fairy cake that's been at the center of the Total Perspective Vortex for the last few millenia?"

can't breathe-laughingtoohard-call911-bwahahahahhahahahahhahaha-

-BarbaraAnne

kmawesome said...

i just have to say that i love the twinkie cake it's so cute...and also love that it's the 10 000 years later cake too.

Loretta said...

Y'know, the twinkie cake actually is kinda cool looking! But, uh, we know what this stuff does for your arteries. Honestly though, it gave me the idea: if you can't bake, just take a whole lot of mini pastries and stick them together like some kind of sculpture - heck - then you can put in a whole bunch of tastes and flavors to accommodate everyone's cake likings! Right?

-Loretta in NJ
www.internalgardens.com

Brooke said...

I'm not much for puns and more often than not I don't catch your references but I loves me some alliteration.

Oooh and that twinkie cake is adorable.

Steve the Pocket said...

Aw, man, the one day I leave town, I miss another neglected display cake post. Anyway, I think Napoleon Dynamite had a word that would aptly describe these: "decroded."

According to a comment from the last one of these posts, display cakes are real frosting on top of an artificial base, like styrofoam or something. So how lazy/cheap do these bakers have to be to not just hose them off and re-ice them every few weeks or so? Honestly.

jeliecam said...

INCONCIEVABLE!

Jeffrey said...

@Jeliecam

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Amanda said...

Awesome!

Adorably Dead said...

But the twinkie cake, it is so cute! I must ask, why all the rocks! O_0 why! What is that?

ali said...

i would be miserable to receive any of those cakes. I would think some1 didn't like me or outright hated me.

Except for the twinkie cake. That would be great as a joke cake, like 'my first cake failed, so this was my back-up' (which may have been what happened)

wv: zoothe
I zoothe [soothe] myself w/ warm baths.

Heide said...

I love you for this post! That's one of my faves on the history channel. And I love the fact that the Twinkies are still intact, like they said they would be. tee hee hee!

Queen of All Wild Things said...

I was walking along a street in London looking for a snack and saw a bakery. I decided not to go in when I saw those first three cakes in the window. Although I did consider going in to tell them that I had decided not to go in. Conundrum?

Tom said...

I took the picture of the second cake in Otavalo, Ecuador at a local bakery. They must have seen me taking pictures and then they felt guilty, because the next day, this cake and others like it had been removed from the window display!

AvengersWasp said...

Manager- The cakes in the window are moldy!
Worker- But we dropped the key of the display cabinet down the toliet, remember?