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Marijuana or Moana? Woman says she was fired for viral cake mix-up

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A cake mix-up that went viral is drawing national attention, but the whole scenario is a nightmare for one Georgia woman who lost her Dairy Queen job.

The incident started gaining attention on July 2, when Kensli Taylor Davis shared a Facebook post with a picture of her 25th birthday cake purchased from Dairy Queen. The cake shows a marijuana leaf and what appears to be a high “My Little Pony” smoking with bloodshot eyes. 

Davis said her mother asked for a “Moana”-themed cake from a Milledgeville, Georgia, Dairy Queen. Instead, she got a marijuana-themed cake. The post has garnered more than 12,000 reactions and has been shared more than 13,000 times, mostly by people laughing at the mix-up. 

“I think they thought that she said ‘marijuana’ because we are from south Georgia and kind of have an accent. So, ‘Moana,’ marijuana?” Davis told WMAZ-TV in Georgia.

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Cassandra Walker, the Georgia mother of two who made the cake, isn’t laughing. She told USA TODAY she made the cake after her manager, who she says misheard Davis’ mother, told her it was OK.

Walker said Dairy Queen fired her for the mistake on Monday, which was her birthday. 

Warning: The embedded Facebook post below uses adult language

“It’s not funny to me,” Walker said in a phone interview with USA TODAY. “This is back-to-school time. I have two little girls here. I have a car that needs fixing. It’s not funny to me.” 

Walker, who had worked at the Dairy Queen for roughly a year, said the process of making the now-viral cake was overseen by the manager who misheard the order.

“The manager stood behind me while I pulled the images off the internet,” Walker said. “She walked by as I decorated the cake. As I boxed the cake up, she was the one who walked it up to the front.”

She said she was told by Al Autry, who is one of the Dairy Queen’s owners, that she couldn’t be employed anymore.

“This was a simple misunderstanding from the beginning,” Autry said in a statement to USA TODAY. 

“Our cake decorator designed a cake based on what she thought she heard the customer order. When the customer picked it up and said it was not what she ordered, we immediately apologized for the error and offered to redesign it the way she originally intended. The customer said it was fine, paid for the cake and left.”

The statement did not address Walker’s claim that she was fired. 

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Walker said she spoke with both Davis and Davis’ mother regarding the cake. She said both appear to be concerned with their “15 minutes of fame.”

“I’m the one sitting here with two babies who need to be taken care of,” Walker said. “It’s upsetting.” 

Walker added that by Thursday afternoon, a Dairy Queen manager — a different person from the one who approved the cake — had called and offered her her job back. 

“Look at everything that it took,” Walker said when asked why she declined the offer. 

“Just send me on leave, write me up, any of those things, I would have been OK with those things.” 

Davis did not respond to a Facebook message from USA TODAY seeking comment. 

Walker said since Georgia is an “employment-at-will” state, she doesn’t have many options other than to move on. At this point, she just wants to be able to take care of her daughters, ages 9 and 14. 

“It was a mistake,” she said. “It could been considered a learning experience. I would have accepted that. I would have accepted being written up. But to be at this job for almost a year and not have a write-up, not be in trouble, and to just be let go because of mistake, it’s not funny to me.” 

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