The Pie-Eyed Piper

Work anyplace long enough and odds are you’ll end up trying your hand everybody else’s job. Your coworkers come in late, get sick, hurt themselves, take a long break — whatever — but the work still needs to get done and somebody’s got to do it. I’ve done a lot of weird things out of necessity over the course of my varied career. I’ve driven a semi trailer without a license, served subpoenas, dressed up as the Keebler Elf, focused a movie camera on a motion picture shoot, run a Heidelberg printing press, given a sky tour at an observatory and administered a breathalyzer test while pretending to be a policeman. (Long stories, all of them).

Once, while working the day shift at a bakery, a customer came in asking for the birthday cake he’d ordered for his son. I went to retrieve it from the walk-in and saw there was no writing on it. The cake decorator was absent for reasons I can’t remember. The ticket read: “Happy Birthday Brody.” Given there was nobody else around, I picked up a pastry bag full of red icing and wrote the birthday wish on the cake, then took it around to the front counter. The fellow took one look at it, stared up at me and said: “It looks like whoever did this was drunk.” I smiled, brought the cake back to the kitchen and had the dishwasher redo it.

I mention all this to emphasize to you once again how bad my piping skills are. You’ll see them on display in the next couple of tutorials. Try not to be appalled.

2 thoughts on “The Pie-Eyed Piper”

  1. What a great bunch of experiences. I’d love to hear/read some of those long stories some time. In the meantime I love how you wrote on the cake and then the customer’s response…and in turn your next response: smile. Smile and have the dishwasher redo it.

    This will help me when I attempt a Buche de Noel. That and spreading the tasks out – GREAT suggestion.

    1. Thanks, Dianne! Have a great time making it, that’s the main thing. As I’ve written many times before, even a modest success in the world of amateur pastry is a big deal. Not everybody is brave enough to attempt these sorts of things. We’re an elite corps. Send pictures!

      – Joe

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