The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Kelly Kazek

January 22, 2012

Twinkies need government bailout

Oh-em-gee, y’all.

I have just heard the most distressing news: Twinkies are endangered.

I know, right? A world without Twinkies would be like a world without, well, Twinkies.

Once I got up from the floor — where, by the way, I found some Twinkies crumbs circa 1994 — I realized this was no time to rest. We need to take action, right after I wipe this cream filling off my finger.

Maybe we could start a petition or something. It’s an election year, after all, and we have the power.

Don’t think Congress is powerless when it comes to rescuing America’s favorite snack cakes. After all, lawmakers did recently declare pizza a vegetable (yes, I know moms have known it for years. At our house, Bagel Bites fulfill a full day’s nutritional requirements: bread, dairy, meat, veggies.)

Forget banks and carmakers. We need to bail out Hostess.

Now that the company has filed for bankruptcy a second time, it looks as if all those scrumptious little snack cakes are doomed.

Some experts have surmised that a health-conscious nation has sworn off processed snacks with cream fillings that have been dyed an array of colors.

I, for one, have always admired the marketing geniuses at Hostess who could give items names such as HoHos and Ding Dongs without making them sound dirty.

For many years, people thought Twinkies were the perfect food because, according to rumor, the lovable snack cakes had enough preservatives in them, including an embalming-type fluid, to withstand nuclear war and/or a century in a landfill and remain edible.

While I have never tested this hypothesis — mainly because snack foods at my house stay around roughly as long as it takes to unwrap and eat them — a myth-busting website says it’s just not true. In fact, Twinkies have fewer preservatives than many other foods, according to snopes.com.

Sadly for those of you who eat in moderation — or as I like to call you, Sickos — Twinkies have a shelf life of only 25 days.

It recently came to light that a schoolteacher in Mankato, Minn., decided to test the Twinkies myth after a science fair in 1991. He left a Twinkie on a paper plate and let it enjoy the open air, according to the Mankato Free Press. Twenty years later, the treat referred to as the “Dead Sea Roll,” has outlasted the teacher, who finally retired.

The decades-old Twinkie appears to be chocolate, and therein lies the problem since it began life as a bright yellow vanilla treat. It seems age, dust bunnies from the teacher’s lounge, and pungent fumes from boys’ gym socks have conspired to make the snack a little, well, black.

Still, it would do in an emergency, such as forgetting to pack HoHos in your lunch box.

Even if they don’t last forever, Twinkies have an important role in society. Besides being a favorite in vending machines nationwide, Twinkies have allegedly been used as a defense in a murder trial (notice how I used the word “allegedly,” sort of like a lawyer might?) Of course, in the trial in which Dan White was accused of shooting to death a San Francisco mayor and councilman in 1978, his defense was that he had diminished capacity from depression and “evidence” (see how I did it again) of that depression could be found in Dan’s penchant for eating sugar-laden foods such as Twinkies.

Of course, it’s all — here comes another one — “hearsay.” Twinkies do not generally cause people to kill, unless there is only one pack left in the vending machine on Friday, the day the women in the office have declared a “no diet zone” following a week of eating nothing buy organic seaweed rice cakes.

I am starting a petition to have Congress bail out Hostess and save us from all this distress. First our jobs, then our homes, then cars and now our snack cakes.

We can live without houses or jobs, but Twinkies?!

No way. We need to get our priorities straight in this country.

Send a message to Congress.

Save the Ding Dongs!

Adopt a Ho Ho!

Wait a minute. That didn’t sound right. Although come to think of it, quite a few congressmen are Ding Dongs who have adopted Ho Hos.

I’m feeling better about this bailout already.

To sign the petition, write to Kelly Kazek at kelly@athensnews-courier.com.

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