Friday, November 6, 2009

Guess What I Want for My Birthday Cake Next Year...

Now it’s no secret that I’m a fan of baked goods. I’m also quite fond of mocking others’ mistakes. So it should come as no surprise that I’m an avid reader of the blog Cake Wrecks, which is dedicated to showcasing professional cake-making disasters. This morning’s post combined two of my great loves (sports and the aforementioned sweets) for an homage to poorly executed sports-themed cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Imagine my delight at finding an inconspicuously hockey themed one as I was doing my daily skimming. Take a look at this little beauty:

It’s labeled “competitive sweeping.” If not for that handy handy title, I would have had no idea that it was supposed to be a broom. At first I was trying to figure out what it had to do with sports (curling?), but upon closer inspection I noticed the “Go Pen’s!” written on the cake board. (Although, for the record, I read “Pen’s” as something else. Beware the dangers of improperly placed apostrophes…) We’ll let that slide though, because I think the real genius is the list of player numbers written on what appears to be the broom handle. Now, non-hockey fans who saw the grid-like list were probably calling in Robert Langdon to break the code or running out to play a Pick-6 Lotto number, but I recognized it for what it was: a really lame attempt at a hockey cake.

Based on the sweep talk, I'm assuming that it's circa the Conference Finals this season, but it could date back to last season. Meanwhile, Wings bakers were turning out gems like these:


I know which cake I'd like to snack on. I'm just saying, we do things a little better here in Hockeytown.


  1. Okay could be a little fairer in your choice of Penguins-themed cakes. How about a little due dilligence prior to passing judgement??

    Granted, the 'broom' cake is pretty lame and I understand how busy you are, but a quick search uncovered some pretty tasty looking specimens.

    As far as what you hold up as the 'ideal', the Wings cake has a sort of plastic, assembly-line vibe to it and I'm pretty sure the Octo-cake is actually made of Play-Doh. I contend that even though lame, the broom cake is more inviting because it was made by a 12-year-old (or a drunk 38-year-old in a Gonchar jersey) practicing for her Cup Final cake.

    Just as an aside, the apostrophe is actually not misplaced...apostrophes are used where ever letters are missing in a contraction, in this case replacing the letters 'guin'. I'm jus' sayin'.

    P.S. Those Star Wars Stormtrooper cookies you made for Halloween came out great! I bet they tasted as good as they look.

  2. Pen's is not a contraction, it's an abbreviated form of a word. The apostrophe can be used to show missing letters (i.e., "goin' home" in wirtten quotations), but the cake is not written as a quotation. The s in Pens is a plural - Crosby is a Pen and his teammates are also Pens. Therefore, the apostrophe in Pen's is not correct. It should be Pens, as in more than one Pen.

  3. All I know is what Li'l Abner tol' me.

  4. Apostrophes are used for contractions or to denote possessives - never for plurals.

    "Pen's" is inappropriate unless there is a reference to something that belongs to a single Pen. Pens is an abbreviation of Penguins, not a contraction such as "can not" being converted to "can't." NO APOSTROPHE AND EVERYONE WHO SCREWS UP SUCH AN ELEMENTARY GRAMMAR RULE SHOULD BE BEATEN TO DEATH WITH POOL NOODLES.

    And that is a lame, lame cake indeed. :)

  5. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong and I'll certainly admit it if you guys are absolutely sure about this. But, is it incorrect to assume that the number of contractions out there is not a complete set?

    C'mon over to my place at 11 o'clock and we'll discuss it over some Dunkin' Donuts coffee and s'mores. 'Kay?

  6. Ahhhh, there's nothing like a good grammar debate on a Saturday morning.

  7. C'mon = come on (contraction)
    s'mores = some mores (contraction; also plural)
    o'clock = of the clock (contraction)

    'Kay = slang (Generally accepted grammatical rules don't apply, unfortunately, when slang is concerned.)

    Dunkin' = brand name (The apostrophe in Lands' End is incorrect, as well, which the company readily admits.)


  8. So, the crux of the biscuit is the to speak.

    I appreciate your argument and I trust your sources. I personally would never use the apostrophe in that manner. I do admit to the overuse of commas, but I'm careful of plurals, possessives, and contractions.

    But, having said that, why is the usage "o'clock"...a contraction for "of the clock" any different than "Pen's" used for Penguins"? If you tell me that all the grammatically correct contractions have been used and "Pen's" isn't one of them then I addmit I was incorrect.

    What's the chance that the "apostrophe" on the cake is actually a dead fly. If you look close you can sort of see the wings.

  9. Penguin is never abbreviated as Pen'. So Penguins shouldn't be abbreviated as Pen's.

    And if it's a fly then DEFINITELY no one should be eating the cake. Dipterans carry all kinds of diseases.

  10. I cry uncle!

    NO WAY can I compete with a linguistic entomologist...I'm jus' a po' ol' Jagov.

  11. P.S. Pen's Cup is still correct, right??