Core Incident by Sydney Salter

In high school I worked very briefly as a delivery driver for the Cake & Flower Shoppe in Reno, Nevada. In the morning I delivered pies to casino cafes. In the afternoon I backed the van into a thick metal post, rendering the sliding door useless only minutes before a wedding delivery.

We packed all the flowers and the large tiered cake into the van through the front doors and drove to the outdoor wedding venue. I felt terrible about denting the van door, and wanted to be helpful, so I finished setting up the cake by myself, placing the layers onto the plastic columns. I ran off to help carry flowers.

We returned to find the cake on the ground: balls of frosting and grass. 

I was immediately fired. 

All these years later, I still feel terrible about ruining that wedding cake. The scene showed up in My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters, and I wrecked another wedding cake in Not A Doctor Logan's Divorce Book. I visited my old boss after My Big Nose came out. We were both a little surprised about how young we'd been back then--she'd been in her early 20s and maybe that's why she hired a 17-year-old delivery driver. She sure remembered me though, even though I had only been employed for a few hours! 

Writing helps us work through various traumas, right? 


  1. !! I love that you keep coming back to this scene. Kind of reminds me of the Christmas Story leg lamp. I think it showed up in more than one of the Jean Shepherd flicks. (Was also in the Great American Fourth of July?)

  2. Well, the lemon tree does bear fruit more than once. Thanks for sharing. What about a protagonist meeting an attractive auto body repair person after promising to pay for fixing the damage?

  3. Oh dear! What a story! Now, I'm going to wonder about every disaster in every novel I read... ;-) I'm sorry that happened to you, but it does make for a delightful scenario. And yes, writing does help us work through trauma for sure! Thanks for sharing.


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