Long before there was Spongbob Squarepants, there was Spongecake Cream Members. But 1/10/2012 marked the beginning of the end. No, it isn’t cataclysmic storms, or giant grasshoppers like that similarly named Peter Graves’ movie. It’s not tsunamis or earthquakes or Mayan Gods either. It’s not even Ahmanutjob flexing his nuclear muscle, nor is it Kim Jong Jr. testing his authoritah. I’m afraid, it’s much, much worse.
I cannot get much more depressed and still function. Today, sniff-sniff, Hostess Bakery filed chapter 11 bankruptcy. Yes, I know, I know...how will we ever function without the Sacred Twinkie? I don’t know...but somehow we must soldier on. If not for us, for the sake of the children. Yes, for the children. But how can a child grow into a fully functional adult without first knowing of the magic ‘T’? It’s like a rite of passage. The mighty sponge member, Exglucosebur, passed down from father to son, from mother to daughter, for countless generations. The Once and Future Ring Ding.
When one reaches a certain age, the parent sits you down and hands you your first one. You are told just how to slowly and methodically open the package without damaging them. You are then told to take a bite, albeit a small one. We never know just how the little ones will react to the flood of flavor, the tsunami of sugar, the cacophony of cake, the symphony of spongy goodness.
Oh, I still remember my first time: I was behind the candy rack in my parent’s deli, hiding, ashamed, yet curiously attracted to them. Mom said they weren’t good for me, especially seeing as how I was already adept at finding the right end of the fork, so to speak. Yes, ahead of my age was I—a fact directly related to having access to free food 24-7. I took one bite and it was the first time I heard the music. The first time I saw the light. After I engulfed the little yellow wonders, almost swallowing them whole, I felt a sudden flood of warmth, a kind of epiphany—an epiphany only superseded by my first encounter with Coca-Cola. I grew up fast in those years, always managing to keep my little diabetic dalliances a secret from the parents.
I was finally caught on day, the plastic wrap and the little cardboard in my shirt pocket, face full of yellow cake, and the telltale spent white filling still in my hand. I was humiliated, eyes downcast, waiting for my father to fulfill his fatherly duties and wup my ass. What happened that day surprised me... one day you realize, the dad you had was not the dad you thought you knew.
No, that one warm June day in my seventh year, he sat me down and opened up another pack. He then went to the dairy case and grabbed a can of ReddiWhip. As he was telling me to keep my mouth shut about this, he covered each of the Twinkies with a delicate ribbon of whipped cream and handed me one. He then reached into the soda case and grabbed two Cokes—you know, the little 6 oz ones from years past. As he handed me the Coke, he had this little crooked smile. "Now this is our little secret, OK?"
I know why he had to keep it a secret. He, like me, had learned all too well the wonders of food. But unlike, yours truly, he was unable to remain just a ‘social eater’. He was a habitual user, Dad was. Hard stuff, too. One time, right after returning from WWII, he downed 13 bowls of Minestrone soup. He survived the war but had to have his stomach pumped that night. Eventually such indulgences came back to bite him in the ass.
Mom didn’t understand; she wasn’t like ‘us.’ She had never seen the light, nor heard the siren’s song—at least not until the day Dad took her to see Englebert Humperdink. She sure saw something that day. Came home all wobbly and glassy-eyed with the same crooked little smile... I never understood her addiction.
But will the little ones even remember the Twinkie? What great poems or sonnets will be written about the Ring Dings? the Choc-o-diles? the Devil Dogs? Oh, the humanity of it all. We need to act and act now. I say we do a fundraising telethon thing. Instead of ‘Jerry’s Kids,’ we can get a bunch of fat kids crying and staring into their empty Twinkie boxes.
"Why, mommy. Why?!"
That should do the trick. Think of it, Twinkies are the go-to for all occasions. Just lost your girlfriend? Get over that pair with another golden pair. Won the lottery? Twinkies. Hormones going wild? Twinkies. Pregnant? Twinkies. Postpartum? Prepartum? Post-prepartum? You always had a friend in Twinkies. For some of us, sadly, they were our only true friend.
We also need to think about the coming achococlypse. If we are to survive the coming onslaught of Global Problem Du Jour: pollution, radiation, droughts, liberals and famines, we will need the chemical properties of our favorite little ‘Soylent Yellow’ to help us endure and persevere. After all, they may just keep us alive. Twinkies are forever, too. Have you ever seen one go bad? Think of it. Well-armed Mad Max type vehicles will scour the countryside in search of them. Future history buffs will no doubt read of the Great Twinkie Wars.
"The Shroud of the Ring Ding has fallen. Begun the Twinkie War has!"
They have a half-life of about 400 years and are on the periodic table of the elements too, right next to uranium under Ts. And didn’t we find yellow cake in Iraq? Iran is trying to enrich Twinkies, but we can’t let them succeed!
I will now go to my local convenience store and start a memorial outside, complete with little crosses made of Twinkies, flowers, notes, the whole thing. I have even started knitting a patchwork quilt. Their stories must be told! It just seems wrong, so so wrong...