Jen came across a photo of white sheet cake with orange and yellow flowers that read “Best Wishes Suzanne… UnderNeat that We Will Miss You” in lovely brown frosting. This struck her as so funny that she started a blog about cake decorating mishaps. When Jen initially began posting funny cake photos on Cake Wrecks, she never expected to find so many cakes that had gone “hilariously wrong” or devoted readers who share her campy sense of humor.
It’s not only that Jen posts unbelievably funny photos of cakes that went astray, these photos, funny enough on their own, are accompanied by Jen’s uproarious captions. Like, for example, the post depicting a photo of a large, eggshell-colored sheet cake decorated with neatly spaced mini-carrots topped by small waving babies. The photo is unquestionably hilarious on its own but Jen’s title, “Naked Mohawk-Baby Carrot Jockeys”, take it over the top into hysterical territory. It doesn’t stop there, Jen’s witty commentary goes on: “This cake is so disturbing, I’m almost glad the picture doesn’t include the whole thing. The plastic cone babies wearing naught but mohawks are bad enough, but then they’re also riding carrots. What do you do with that? It looks like some kind of perverted vegetable rodeo, or maybe a bizarre clone military exercises, what with their little plastic fists raised high in identical salutes. And what kind of occasion calls for a ‘naked babies riding carrots’ décor, anyway? Wait, maybe I don’t want to know…”
“It’s not only that Jen posts unbelievably funny photos of cakes that went astray, these photos, funny enough on their own, are accompanied by Jen’s uproarious captions.”
Within two months of her first blog entry, Cake Wrecks was posted on widely read website and things began to snowball. Now, Jen gets hundreds of messages each day and scores of comical cake photos. She was approached by agents and publishers and is currently finishing up a book about Cake Wrecks, which is due out this October.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” says Jen. Before Cake Wrecks, Jen helped her husband with their specialty painting business but “had tons of free time and battled with boredom. I explored new crafts but thought ‘I want to be doing something meaningful.’” Jen responds to a consistent stream of messages from fans every day. Their notes regularly bring her to tears. “People are going through hard times and they tell me that I made them laugh…. One girl said she was at a funeral with the whole family. Everyone was really sad and they went to the Cake Wrecks website and laughed and laughed. It’s not changing the world but I like helping someone get through the week.”
Cake Wrecks has also helped Jen get through some hard times of her own. A year and a half ago, Jen woke from a dead sleep at 2 am because her heart was racing. “I thought I was dying,” she remembers. After sitting for 5 minutes just trying to catch her breath, Jen woke up John. They went to the living room and tried to watch TV in hopes that the distraction would calm her down. But her heart rate kept speeding along and they headed to the emergency room in hopes of reassurance. Jen could barely speak in response to the nurse’s questions, which prompted the nurse to place a monitor on Jen’s finger that immediately started beeping. She was rushed to another room and now felt even more convinced that she was dying. For 5 hours, her heart rate stayed above 150. Test after test and four days in the hospital left the doctors scratching the heads. Some of Jen’s blood work came back abnormal but nothing really explained her heart rate. Jen describes those four days in the hospital as the “lowest point in my entire life.”
In the months following her first episode, Jen spent many sleepless nights coping with a racing heartbeat and worries about what it meant. Amidst it all was when Cake Wrecks was born. Jen feels that Cake Wrecks has “been a miracle in my life” and that through this project, “God has given me a lifeline and it gives a little balance…When people start saying ‘Wow, you can write’ and ‘You make me laugh’, I love that. It was a natural high and very affirming. It helped me get through the nights.”
Now, two years later, Jen is learning to live with her condition, which she gratefully discovered is not life threatening and seems to be due to some malfunction in her autonomic nervous system. She’s been on lots of medication but the episodes still stop her in her tracks from time to time.
Cake Wrecks continues to be the best medicine. Jen says her readers “are really funny people, they make me laugh.” Fans keep her on her toes with regular feedback, declarations of love, and even a couple of marriage proposals!
Visit the Cake Wrecks blog online here: http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/
Thank you Jen, for sharing your Story with us!
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© 2009 by Jenoa Briar-Bonpane and Story of My Life