williamallenpepper

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TWINKIE’S TWINKLE SNUFFED

Invoking the nuclear option, Hostess has announced it will shut its doors rather than continue negotiations with employees. As devastating as this is for employees, its a pop culture blow to the expanding waistlines of the world as well.

Now that Hostess has taken its sugary ball of dough and gone home to the demonic, diabetic hell that spawned Twinkie the Kid, what are we to do? How will we get our Snowball fix? Can you really call a life fulfilled without Ho-Hos? And who doesn’t enjoy a good ho now and then? Amirite? *Ahem*

Anyway, this is a crisis of epic proportions. Hostess is a venerated institution. True, in recent years the leader of the junk food industry has been pummelled under the weight of epidemic diabetes and obesity. But by this point in its long history, the name “Twinkie” has built a place in popular culture far more solid than its creamy center. Twinkies remind us of an earlier, innocent time in our nation’s history like “Leave it to Beaver” and Republicans.  The loss of Twinkie the Kid, that admiral dude from the Ding-Dong box and, uh, Helen the Ho-Ho (or whatever) will be felt even in the corners of society that had purged the high fat foods from their diets.

Like most other kids of the early seventies, my diet was constructed for me without much concern about whether I would get fat. (We could get into a whole thing about how that was because kids back in my day ran around more rather than staring at TV and computer screens, but that’s not nearly as much fun as talking about Ho-Hos.) A typical summertime lunch at home consisted of: a cheddar cheese sandwich on Wonderbread (just cheese, nothing else; usually a flat, round disc that came from a small, barrel-shaped brand our family simply referred to as “Daddy’s cheese”.), Cheetos, whatever flavor Kool-Aid packet Mom chose to mix from the rainbow of colors in the cabinet. For dessert, naturally, a Twinkie, Ho Ho or Ding Dong. (I liked cupcakes, Snowballs, fruit pies, but not as much as the Big Three.) Thanks, Mom, for making me the champion of quality eating I am today!

I don’t really remember the Hostess commercials from TV, but I liked seeing the images of Twinkie the Kid and other characters in the stores. Hostess seemed like it would be a fixture in grocery stores forever for my kids and their kids to enjoy – like Heinz Ketchup, Vlasic pickles, and Marlboro Lights.

Once Hostess liquidates, I know another company might buy up the “Twinkie” and “Ho Ho” names, maybe even the recipes, but it won’t be the same.  “Bewitched” wasn’t the same without the original Darren. “M*A*S*H” wasn’t the same without Colonel Blake. Some things can’t be replaced. The era of Hostess goodness is all over now. Now I’ll have to find something else to get my kids addicted to.

*Sigh* It’s tough being a parent.

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