Alas, poor Twinkie …

… I knew you well.

And while I’m at it, I knew you Hostess Wonder Bread, and Cupcakes, and Ho Hos, and Sno Balls, and Fruit Pies, and Devil Dogs and Funny Bones pretty well too.

The world may never be the same. That is, if the death knell sounded by Hostess Brands’ decision to go out of business once its remaining inventories of snacks are sold, really comes true. Yes, so sad. Well, not really. I mean, please. We’re talking about bread and cupcakes and cream filling-stuffed cake logs … hmmm. Let me rephrase that. We’re talking about processed-bleached white flour bread and calorie-laden cupcakes and cream-esque filling-stuffed cake logs here.

But real or not, nutritional or not – now that their end is nigh, what are many of us doing about it? Going crazy. Buying up every single Hostess whatever they can find. As if having a few more of them was going to stop the inevitable.

Or – get this – like having a few boxes might actually make you rich. Ha. That’s a good one. Downright hilarious anyone actually would think that.

Ok, maybe not so funny. Doesn’t ebay have a maximum pricing level? Sheesh.

But to be honest – we should be ashamed of ourselves on this. Frankly, we should have known this day was coming. Again, to mangle and misquote Billy Shakespeare:

“I come to bury Twinkies, not to praise them. The evil that consumers do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their Funny Bones.”

Yes, I said consumers. That’s you. That’s me. That’s why Hostess soon will become a Ghostess. Not extinct because big, bad greedy company executives tried to make their unions swallow cuts to wages and benefits. And you can’t put the blame on the striking workers who refused to eat the reduced contract terms.

That’s not why the company doesn’t have any profits and now more than 18,000 workers don’t have jobs. We only have ourselves to blame for that, as well as the deaths of Twinkie the Kid, Captain Cupcake, Chauncey, and Fruit Pie the Magician.

The blood of these fine, standing-up edible snack characters is on our hands.

We killed them. We stopped buying them as much as we used to, way back when. You could say they’re dying of neglect. Yes, our neglect.

Because we decided to eat more healthy. Thought it better that we now eat less sugar. So we made up our minds to eat fewer snacks – especially the ones that, chemically speaking, have a longer shelf life than nuclear waste has half-lives.

Answer me this: Can you bake a cake you can leave sitting on a table for six months, come back and find it exactly as it was on the day you took it out of the oven? Cake, schmake. If I sit at a table for six minutes I begin to show signs of decay.

Glo Balls will glow longer than uranium or plutonium. Way longer. And you can’t eat them either.

So, consider this: I have a package of Sno Balls in my file cabinet I’ve kept there for more than two years and it still feels as spongy-fresh as it was on the day I bought it. I’m not making this up. It’s not moldy or rotten or rock-hard or whatever you’d think would happen to a Sno Ball when it gets that old.

Why, that’s not only remarkable, it’s … it’s damn near frightening. So much I haven’t thrown it away. I couldn’t. No way – I was afraid it’d get mad and come back for me.

But now, I’m not going to trash it. Ever. To me it has become more than a mere Sno Ball. I’m keeping it to serve as a constant reminder of one of my failings in life. And to atone for that and to honor, in some way, the late Twinkie and his friends.

Like an eternal flame. Yeah, that’s it – an eternal snack.

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