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Friday, June 10, 2011

Twelve Amazing '70s Cakes, Including This Clown Made of Sugar, Flour, and Hell Itself

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 7:30 AM

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Each Friday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State basements, thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.

A binder of old Mail Box News magazines

Date: 1974

Publisher: Maid of Scandinavia, Co.

Your fifth birthday should be a happy time, but there bobs the clown, a mad-eyed buoy of frosting and wickedness whipped up by a relative and fouling up your party like half-cooked chicken fouls a tummy. Such is the dark side of back-in-the-day.

Whenever you yearn for that purer time when Americans scared their own desserts up from scratch rather than settling for whatever Dora the Explorer sheetcakes they find mouldering in the Safeway bakery department, just remember: Sometimes the homemade and handcrafted turns out monstrous.

For 55 years now, Mailbox News has celebrated the cake-decorating achievements of its subscribers -- and like an uncommonly kind version of one of those FAILblogs based on reader submissions -- likewise applauded scarifying horrors.

So today, we're looking at eleven more (give or take) of the proto-Cake Wrecks of 1974. Start the music, because we're cakewalking into the past!

2. In the '70s, anything could be a cake, including grandma's bloomers.

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My favorite part is the note: "If lost, return to grandma." We used to pin one just like it on grandpa!

3. Nobody had invented identity theft 37 years ago, so it made perfect sense to set down in frosting your Social Security number and then send it to national magazines.

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4. Here's something you don't see on desserts much these days: a celebration of domestic violence.

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5. Another rare subject for cake artists: what happens when drain hair gets out of control.

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6. The 1970s were so DIY that nobody had ever thought of marketing "DIY" yet. As we had greater leisure time, and perhaps a greater appreciation for craft, Americans simply made things themselves. Even when it came to licensed characters, cakemakers did without preshaped pans or mass-produced templates:

click to enlarge studies_in_crap_cakes_ernie_ronald168.jpg

But when does DIY baking become outsider art like Straitjacket Ernie and Eraserhead Ronald?

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Alan Scherstuhl


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