THE BLOG
07/09/2013 12:00 pm ET | Updated Sep 08, 2013

What the Twinkie Really Says About America

That was pretty scary. We almost lost him. One day he was riding along just as happy as a Ho Ho, and the next the cruel forces of capitalism almost strangled the legendary confection of sponge cake with cream filling, known as the Twinkie, with its own lasso. The world of finance is ruthless, but it's even more ruthless when you are a soft gooey sponge cake.

But like everything in America, for every demon there is an angel, for every cloud there is a silver lining, and for every Hostess there is a consortium of private equity firms willing to bail out its ass despite its earlier mismanagement and cluelessness. As a result, our favorite cowboy will be hitting the supermarket trails once again and reminding us all of a dreamy, creamy childhood filled with laughter, games, preservative-laced food, and high fructose corn syrup highs.

What would we ever do without the immortal Twinkie? As for the immortal part, I mean that literally. Contrary to claims by its maker and so-called scientists who are no doubt on the Hostess payroll and who people take seriously just because they wear white coats, the damn thing never really dies, even in your stomach. That's American engineering for you, folks; and I guarantee that the Twinkie would never have been so indestructible had it been outsourced to India or China. Good to see that Made in the USA still means something.

Not that it didn't almost end in disaster, for Hostess came very close to being swallowed whole by a Mexican Bimbo (no, I'm not being sexist; one of the buyers for Hostess' bread brands was a Mexican company called Grupo Bimbo -- you can't make this stuff up). That would have been a staggering blow to our national pride and all-American cholesterol, now wouldn't it? I suspect even Ted Nugent would have abandoned the Twinkie after that.

Now, I want to be careful here. I don't want you getting the idea that Americans are xenophobic or that the Twinkie is the Wonder Bread of desserts either. America is more diverse today than it has ever been and by being golden on the outside and white on the inside, the Twinkie captures our complex multi-cultural society better than any other food except perhaps the Ding Dong. Relax, I'm just talking about food dye here! If your mind went somewhere else, then it is you who has a problem. Besides, if you can't even laugh at a Twinkie joke then I predict you will have a very long life, and not in a good way.

Of course, with a calorie count of 150 calories per Twinkie (which would require you to walk 42 minutes to burn off), you may not live very long anyway if you consume enough of these wonderful golden cakes.

Anyway, I digress.

The main thing is that the Twinkie has shown remarkable resilience in the face of diabolical market forces and risen like a spongy phoenix from the doughy ashes of bankruptcy to return to its rightful place in our American lives. And this time around it will also be available in frozen form, by popular demand -- something that has never happened before and which will no doubt elevate the pastry even above its earlier glory. Choice, after all, is the essence of our consumer culture, and the Twinkie, after all, is the essence of our modern existence: instantly gratifying, pleasantly shallow, and conveniently meaningless.

So that leaves only one question. What are all those geniuses who bought up boxes and boxes of stale Twinkies on eBay for hundreds of dollars going to do with all that inventory now?

Here's an idea: they should throw a Twinkie party for their friends. Hash Twinkies, anyone?

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