MISFIT DOC: How Fluid Dynamics Can Help You Navigate Cakes

Sometimes you find yourself in a teasing mass of cakes—whether it’s at a bakery or a school fundraising event. Researchers have discovered that cakes tend to be self-organizing. Cakes naturally form rows, rather like people. Though, there are some notable differences between cakes and people. Cakes don’t have intention. Remember that. Cakes do not have intention. The intention is all yours. For each cake, there are two main forces at work. First is the driving force that propels each cake onto your attention and into your mouth. The second is the social forces that keep you from stuffing cakes whole into your mouth. It is the tension between these two forces that makes cake-eating contests so compelling. Since the nature of cakes is so unpredictable, you will need coffee. Or tea. Whether you choose single-origin or supermarket brand will depend on the fanciness of the cake. This simple question can help you determine if your cake is fancy or not: does your cake have a fancy foreign name like Dobos or Sachertorte? If yes, then the cake is probably fancy. And, finally, remember that the further you look into your future, the more you will be able to navigate your needs. Keep your head up and above the cakes so you can anticipate and plan for better purchasing. Bonne chance!


A recipient of a Glass Woman Prize, J.A. Pak’s writing has been published in a variety of publications, including b(OINK), 7x7, Joyland, Queen Mob’s Tearoom, Luna Luna, Unbroken Journal, and Art/Life. Come visit her at Triple Eight Palace of Dreams & Happiness.

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