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Dusting Off: When a Woman Jumps Out of a Cake

Paz de la Huerta

As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, habits and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the magical moment when a woman jumps out of a cake.

We’re men of simple tastes.

And yet, we can’t suppress a slight melancholy whenever we see a roughly human-sized cake, only to realize that there is not a scantily clad woman waiting to burst from beneath its surface.

It’s gotten so rare that you’ve probably only seen it happen in movies, but if you’ve ever been lucky enough to be present for said moment of cake-bursting—whether at a bachelor party, a birthday or a going-away bash—we’d bet it was the highlight of your evening, if not the whole month. It’s such a reliably fantastic happening that we’re not sure why it died off, other than post-modern prudery and a newfound reverence for cake. If anything, that should give would-be cake-bursters a greater element of surprise.

The good news is, there seem to be some glimmers of a revival on the horizon—most notably, Paz de la Huerta’s stunning entrance in Boardwalk Empire—but until this makes its way back into the hearts, dreams and champagne rooms of America, we’ll feel like something’s been lost.