Mistake, Chocolate, Whale
The small bell over the front door jingled merrily. People had come and gone all morning, ordering cakes with everything from crowns to whales to Barbie dolls on them.
“Hello, welcome to Baking Babes, how are you today?” The owner, Candy Owens, greeted the newcomers with a smile. Father and daughter, Candy thought. They favored one another.
“We would like to order a cake,” said the gentleman.
“Wonderful,” said Candy, “do you have a design in mind or would you like to do some browsing?” She waved toward the case in front of her, and brought her hand to rest on the binder sitting on the counter. It was full of cake designs and details.
“I‘m not sure where to start,” He replied. “My wife usually does this.”
“How about we discuss some basics and then I’ll draw something up. How soon do you need it?” Candy said.
“A month from now,” he said. “It’s my wife’s birthday.” He added with a tight smile.
“Okay, that gives us something to start with. First of all; what kind of cake does she like? Red Velvet? Um, Carrot Cake is always good, Chocolate Kahlua? We have many more. What about a Yellow Almond cake with a nice raspberry filling?” Candy paused to let them think.
“I know that Mama loves red velvet cake,” the young woman offered helpfully.
“We’ll make it the Yellow Almond,” her father said. The young woman laughed.
“Behave yourself or I’m taking the car keys.” She admonished.
Candy maintained a serious face. Dad was apparently pretty pissed off at Mom. She got a lot of this. Divorce cakes and such were becoming ever more common. She wondered what the fight was about.
“Yellow Almond it is. Did you want the raspberry filling? Here is a list of the fillings I have.” Candy pointed to a list in front of the book.
“No no, the raspberry sounds very nice.” The father said.
Candy nodded. She gave them an order form to fill out; she would need the party name and particulars. While they worked on that she excused herself to answer the telephone.
“Oh hello Mrs. March, how are you?” Candy nodded as the woman on the other end spoke. “A birthday cake, Oh how nice. Your brother is having a birthday. Well what kind of cake can we make for you?” Candy listened and wrote on her order pad, this was obviously a regular customer.
“He’s into civil war reenactments? That’s pretty cool I’ve heard of them. Yea. They dress in period clothing and go out to old battle sites…” Candy trailed off, listening. She stopped writing at one point and put her hand to her forehead, rubbing the wrinkles. “Mrs. March, no. I’m sorry. We can not put a cast iron cannonball on top. It’s too heavy. It’ll fall right through and squash the cake.” She shook her head. “What if I draw a cannon and a stack of cannonballs next to it? No? You want to think about this some more and call me back? That sounds good; I’ll talk to you soon.” Candy hung up the phone and went back to her customers.
“You must get some far out requests,” the young woman said, handing Candy the completed order form. Candy nodded while reading it.
“You have no idea. Well…Mr. McAdams,” she addressed the gentleman. “Have we come to any decisions? Did you see anything you liked?”
“I want a three-layered cake, like this one.” He pointed to a step-pyramid style cake. “I like that one.” He tapped the picture. “And I want you to write on it.”
“I can do that, what do you want it to say?”
“I want it to say, ‘May you live to be 100 and may the last voice you hear be mine.’ That’s by Frank Sinatra you know.” He added.
“Daddy is a big Sinatra fan.” The daughter said, patting his arm.
“How old is your wife going to be?” Candy asked.
“Sixty-two.” Mr. McAdams replied and burst out laughing. Candy had to laugh too. She helped him settle on the last details then took his credit card and rang up the order.
“That is going to be $159.96 with tax and delivery.”
“That’s fine, thank you.”
“Oh no, thank you sir. Let us know if there is anything else we can do!” She added generously as they left the store.
Candy went back to the kitchen to check on another order, the customer was due in about an hour to pick it up. Lisa Cummings was finishing up the flowers on top. Candy took one look at it and knew something was wrong.
“Lisa. Isn’t this for the Carter party?” Candy asked. Lisa nodded. “Well there is a mistake here. Mrs. Carter is turning 50. This cake says ‘Happy Birthday, Turning 10!’ You will have to change that before she gets here.”
“Nope, I know she’s sensitive. I also know she has a sense of humor, so I wrote her age in Celsius.” Lisa said with an earnest smile. Candy burst out laughing for the second time that afternoon.
“It just never gets old around here,” she said. “It just never does.”