November 06, 2007

The Mystery of the Face on the Cake

I'd like to share an image with you that has become an important icon in my life. It's shrouded in mystery, but I hope to unravel some of its secrets soon.

To really get to the heart of this, I think we need to start with the cakes.

I have come to treasure the birthday cakes my family has made for me over the years. Can they be a little crudely decorated? Absolutely. And that is exactly what makes them so unbelievably great.

Looking at this photo , you might be thinking to yourself. "Aww, that's sweet. His kids decorated a cake." You'd be half right. It's sweet, but it was decorated by my FATHER.

The awesome beauty of cakes decorated by my dad is that they inevitably contain drawings that are either incomprehensible or have NOTHING to do with my life. He's adorable. They're like random, edible cave paintings.

Let's review the imagery on CAKE 1.

A: Not sure. My guess is a musical note, but I honestly can't rule out a turnip or a bear tooth complete with root.

B: A cherry... a pumpkin... a chubby sperm... who knows?

C: I'm going to go with either a boat or a submarine with periscope up.

D: Definitely a house. I do own a house -- it's nice to see one on a cake.

E: This brings us to "The Face". And it's the real reason why we're here. The Face has been making appearances on my birthday cakes and cards for as long as I can remember and it always looks like this.

Before we delve further into The Face, let's quickly review CAKE 2. (Despite it reading "Happy Birth Day Dad," I swear to you this is the handiwork of my father, not my kids. I also swear it's a face.)

A: Boat. Never owned a boat. Don't like the beach. So, a nautical theme does make sense. Over the years there have also been several cats. Again, never owned a cat. Don't like cats. But cats on my cake. CLASSIC.

B: Definitely an anchor.

C: Hmm. A bowling ball? A ghost? I don't have a clue.

D & E: A rare double-shot of THE FACE.

Here's another look at it:

In his defense, this is not the clearest version of it that I've seen, but give him a break. He's drawing with a crappy tube of icing.

I've tried to get to the bottom of this face in the past, but for some reason I've never really gotten the complete story. I know he's been drawing it since he was a kid and it was something he found in a book or a magazine that supposedly said this was "HOW TO DRAW A FACE."

I'm also not sure what that is shooting out of The Face, but I think it might be whistling. (Or sneezing, as Craig points out.)

I had a birthday recently and unfortunately my dad and I could not be together for it. He asked me what I wanted as a gift and I told him all I wanted was a step-by-step drawing of The Face and a detailed explanation of the story behind it.

He wasn't thrilled when I told him I wanted to put it on the site, but he eventually gave in. He says it's in the mail. When I get it, I'll post it. Then we all may finally learn HOW TO DRAW A FACE.

(Part 2 of this story can be found here.)

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Posted by Steven | Archive
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