The recent strike that has sent Hostess Brands out of business has thousands of people upset. Not only the more than 15,000 people who are now out of work, but also the tens of thousands or more people who loved Twinkies and Ho Hos.
More than six weeks ago, I saw a poll online about which was preferable, the Ho Ho or the Swiss Miss Roll, and the Ho Ho was winning by a lot. I guess the Swiss Miss gets the last laugh, though.
I have definitely eaten some of both of those, and truthfully, had no preference. But, then again, I also wasn’t a fan of the Twinkie. In fact, I think I only ever had one Twinkie in my life. I’m not very apt to eat something that is said to be able to survive a nuclear holocaust. The same thing is commonly said about cockroaches, and you won’t see me eating one of those either!
My Twinkie experience happened just this year. My youngest sister and I had occasion to go to dinner together last spring, and we picked our favorite Chinese restaurant. Afterward, we were sitting in her car, enjoying the sounds of spring and our conversation. Not being particularly fond of the dessert menu at said restaurant, my sister offered me a Twinkie.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a Twinkie,” I said to her.
“Really, Laura? That is practically un-American,” she replied.
Succumbing to the peer pressure, I warily took a bite. Its sponginess surprised me, but I was otherwise unimpressed. It seemed very bland.
After a second bite, I confessed that I didn’t think I could finish eating it. “It is kinda gross,” I said, mouth still full.
“I’ll toss it out for the birds to eat, then,” she laughed.
She tossed it, but it took a big bounce – a sign that it shouldn’t be for human consumption – and landed smack in the middle of the parking lot.
I was planning to get out and pick it up, just as soon as I finished laughing at my sister’s aim. But about that time, an SUV came barreling through the lot and clipped the edge of the Twinkie. The thing squitted out from under the big tire like wet soap and went bouncing away. It was unscathed!
I knew then that the cake could indeed survive, if not a nuclear attack, at least a meteor or some other type of cataclysmic event. I wonder, though, if something big crashed into the Earth, would all of the remaining Twinkies bounce into space? And does the end of the Twinkie lend any credibility to the Mayan suggestion that the world will end next month? I sincerely doubt it, but it is food for thought.
And food for thought is where I will keep the Twinkie. When I want food for my belly, I’ll stick to apple pie.
Because, after all, apple pie tastes great, it couldn’t survive an SUV attack, and it is about as American as, well, apple pie.
Laura Zoeller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.