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Man asks for ‘Thirty’ iced on wife’s birthday cake, goes viral for head-scratching result

“I honestly buffered for a while,” says Chanda Ellis. “I was like, ‘What does that say?’”
Tart of blue birthday
Luis Diaz Devesa / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

A couple in New England was left in stitches from a hilarious mistake made by their local bakery.

On April 14, Reddit user John Ellis (u/Soggy_Reindeer3635) shared a post to the subreddit r/mildlyinfuriating that quickly went viral with over 70,000 upvotes. In the post, the Massachusetts-area man shared the laughable result of errors that befell his wife Chanda Ellis’ custom birthday cake.

The infamous "Hinty" cake.
The infamous "Hinty" cake.Courtesy John Ellis

“My Wife’s Thirtieth Birthday Cake Confusion,” wrote Ellis, who also shared two images that paint a vivid and comical story.

In the first photo, Ellis shares the beautifully decorated cake: pastel-colored buttercream flowers encircle a vanilla base with expertly-piped wording to complete the dessert.

How the cake reads, however, is a curiosity: “Hinty.”

If you’re wondering what “Hinty” means, Ellis provides context by sharing the request form, which shows where things went a little wrong. Along with “spring flowers,” “glitter” and “mint green” is the word “thirty,” but it’s written in slightly illegible cursive.

The decorator read the form in such a way that the cursive T and H were mistaken for an upper-case H, and a cursive R was mistaken for a lower-case N.

The resulting “Hinty” may not be in the pages of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, but it has found its way into the hearts of thousands of the post’s commenters.

“Cursive strikes again,” wrote one user on Reddit.

“This joke can go on for 9 years. Next year get her one that says ‘Hinty-One,’” suggested another Redditor, to which another replied: “9 years? This is a life-long gag! Horty, Hifty, Hinety!”

Plenty of folks chimed in to share their own cake fail experiences, some with photographic proof.

“My nephew’s,” wrote another Reddit user sharing their own image of a cake where the decorator took instructions too literally. “They asked for a ‘big 5 somewhere’ on the cake 😂.”

“My aunt ordered a cake (over the phone) for my cousin’s bridal shower... The cake read ‘Congratulations Old Guy!’” wrote another commenter. “My cousin’s name is Olga, everyone was crying they were laughing so hard.”

“One year when I was like 10 they wrote zachairy or something like instead of Zachary so every birthday 15+ years later everyone says happy birthday Zach air ey instead making fun of the mistake,” wrote another commenter.

As for how this all happened, the Ellises tell that it came down to an innocent mixup at the bakery.

The completed form for the cake.
The completed form for the cake.Courtesy John Ellis

“The party was at two (o’clock) and right as people were showing up my wife was like, ‘Did you remember picking up the cake?’ and I had to run out the door real quick, grab it and rush out with it, so I didn’t check it in the store,” John says.

The couple say they prefer to keep the bakery anonymous, but they bought it from a local shop in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, where they live. Someone at the bakery listened to John’s verbal instructions and wrote them down on the order form. Then, he says, a different person must have done the actual decorating.

“Late to the party, I just ripped the form off and left it in the car, bringing everything in,” John says.

No one looked at the cake until the birthday girl herself opened up the box in front of guests at her “Sopranos”-themed party amongst the deli platters, Italian flags and guests dressed up in the mob wife aesthetic.

“I wish we had a point of view for me opening the box. I was like, ‘Guys, I got this from the bakery down the street, gather round, it’s so beautiful.’” Chanda says of the moments before she read the cake. Then, she says, when she finally took a look, “I honestly buffered for a while. I was like, ‘What does that say? Someone named Hinty must have a cake that says Thirty on it.’”

After everyone at the party laughed heartily at the mishap, John realized what had happened. “It clicked, so I ran out and grabbed the form, and that’s when we put it together,” he says.

Chanda and John, who own gluten-free calzone company Can Be, say they plan on turning this innocent mistake into a yearly and purposeful tradition. The pair of high school sweethearts are tickled by the viral fame.

“We’re happy to have a funny story about it,” John says. “Any sort of discount or anything we would have gotten? We don’t mind. The cake was delicious. It looks beautiful.”

“My friends have already put me in their phones as Hinty,” Chanda says with a laugh.