Taken from this page at Snopes.com
1. For my 40th birthday, my husband decided to surprise me with a birthday cake from our local bakery. “In the middle please print ‘Happy Birthday Nita,'” he instructed them over the phone. “Then, ‘you’re not getting older’ at the top and ‘you’re getting better’ at the bottom.” When he went to pick it up, he discovered that they had decorated the cake with the words exactly as he had said them. “Happy Birthday Nita, you’re not getting older at the top, you’re getting better at the bottom.” [www.readersdigest.ca, 1997]
2. When my mother-in-law ordered a cake for my wedding anniversary, she made a point of instructing the bakery, “That’s Thompson with a ‘p’.” Later when she went to pick her order up, she noticed that on the box they had written “Mrs. Phompson.”
3. We had a “going away” party yesterday for a lady at our Little Rock claim office. One of the supervisors called a Wal-Mart and ordered the cake. He told them to write: “Best Wishes Suzanne” and underneath that write “We will miss you.”
As the picture shows, it didn’t quite turn out right. It was too funny not to keep it.
4. There’s a married couple whose birthdays fall on the same date, which they naturally celebrate pretty lavishly. Just before their last birthday, the lady stopped in at her neighborhood bakeshop and ordered a cake with “Happy Birthdays” on it. “You see, two of us are having a birthday,” she explained to the clerk. “So I want it to say ‘Happy Birthdays’ â€” plural.”
The clerk wrote the instructions down carefully, and sure enough, when the cake was delivered, it had “Happy Birthdays Plural” on it. [Sydney Morning Herald, 2003]
5. When Marlyn Wade ordered a birthday cake for her husband in a tres chic French patisserie in Murwillumbah, the assistant (with a delightful French accent) asked if it was for “a guy or a girl”. “A guy,” Marlyn assured him. “But,” says June Howard, Marlyn’s mother, “on picking it up later, she read on the work of art in blue icing – Happy birthday Guy. Her husband’s name is Peter. Delicious cake, though!” [Sydney Morning Herald, 2003]
6. It’s always risky ordering cakes to be iced. Liz Ralston, of Frenchs Forest, who belongs to Inner Wheel, a worldwide organisation of partners of Rotarians, phoned a patisserie and ordered a special cake for the Ryde Inner Wheel Club. The cake came, inscribed: Ride in a Wheel.
7. One interesting cake mis-decoration tale has the error occurring not in the message, but in the icing. Our mountaintop communications site in Taiwan in the 1970s decided to have an anniversary party. The Chinese cooks baked a beautiful birthday cake as instructed by the mess hall sergeant.
Everything was perfect except for one thing. Since they did not know what frosting was, they substituted lard. (ed: EWWW!)
Numerous visitors to this site have thought to tell us about their encounters with misinscribed cakes:
8. I was in your misprinted cake section and I have a true story for you. A friend of mine had to get a cake at the last minute. She went to Price Club and filled out the form for a cake. In the inscription box she wrote: Happy Birthday (if time allows add red flowers). The person writing the inscription must not have understood because we got the cake back and it said:
“Happy Birthday if time allows”
9. I just read “Cake Talk” and it reminded me of a transcription problem I once had. I had ordered an ice cream cake and wanted the phrase “You’re old, Bruce!” on it. I didn’t open the cake when I picked it up because I was afraid of messing it up, and brought it to the restaurant and had them bring it out almost immediately, since it was ice cream. The inscription had the common homonym replacement, giving “your old Bruce.” From that day forward, we would often refer to him as “our old Bruce.”
10. Speaking of misinscribed cakes: I work in a grocery store bakery. I took an order for a cake where the man said “It’s for a man, you pick the decoration.” So I wrote on the cake form, “Your pick for a male.” The hispanic decorator took me literally. SHE WROTE THAT ON THE CAKE. Needless to say, the guy was NOT happy when he picked it up. But, the decorator was able to fix it.
Even floral tributes are not safe:
11. My husband is a mortician. He found an odd card on some flowers that were sent in honor of the deceased. The story was great-apparently when the sender of the flowers called to place her order, the florist asked what she wanted written on the card. So she said, “Write ‘Rest in peace’ on both sides. And, if you can fit it in, ‘We’ll see you in eternity’.” So my husband found it just like that: “Rest in Peace on both sides. And if you can fit it in, we’ll see you in eternity.”
and a fun one just to complete the list:
Claim: Captioning glitch on national TV news program transforms an “enlarged prostate” into something considerably more exciting.
We initially refused to believe an alert ABC News fan who told us that the closed captions for the 6:30 p.m. Tuesday feed of Peter Jennings’s “World News Tonight” informed viewers that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was “in the hospital for an enlarged prostitute.”
But yesterday a network spokeswoman confirmed the wording â€” provided by ABC’s Pennsylvania-based closed-captioning contractor. Apparently the typist hit the wrong key, or keys. The glitch was fixed for the 7 p.m. feed.
“We strive for perfection,” ABC’s Cathie Levine told us, “but when you’re typing that fast, there are occasional mistakes. We regret the error.”
Greenspan was home recovering yesterday from prostate surgery, said his wife, NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell. As for that “enlarged prostitute,” Mitchell told us: “He should be so lucky.”
(OOPS, I am still one short – you guys post your funniest one so I can put it up here!)
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