Requiem for the Twinkie

By now, unless you’ve been living in a cave or are a member of Congress, you are aware that our all-American Twinkie has gone the way of the dinosaur, with the extinction of both the result of giant asteroids crashing into the Gulf of Mexico. Twinkies had been getting a lot of bad press in later years, so I think it’s about time someone took a stand on the Twinkie. I’ve tried before but the cream always squished out all over my feet and I didn’t like hearing their screams.

You may not realize that Twinkies were actually discovered in Egypt in the tomb of King Thutmosis III. When his mummy was unwrapped in 1881, a Twinkie was discovered lodged in his throat, leading some archaeologists to conclude that he may have been murdered, a Twinkie being the weapon used to asphyxiate him. They performed additional tests, which indicated the Twinkie was not a weapon at all but a food item with a half-life approximating that of uranium-235 (703.8 million years). With that discovery, the archaeologists concluded the King’s death was probably accidental.

Just about every member of the scientific and archaeological community wrote off that conclusion as drivel, which it was. The test results, the Twinkie’s chemical composition, and other related scientific data were ignored until, by chance in 1930, the data was reexamined by a Hostess baker in Schiller Park, Illinois, near O’Hare Field, while he was attempting to develop a more volatile airplane fuel. Because he had only attended barber college and was recently diagnosed with advanced myopia, he made a minor misinterpretation of the scientific notes and created a Twinkie in his lab that, besides being a highly unstable explosive when exposed to air, was quite tasty—except for the skunk cabbage cream filling, also the result of misreading on his part. He modified the composition slightly to ditch the skunk cabbage and stabilize the cream filling so that a Twinkie would only explode when dropped from a height greater than 3 ft.

This proved to be his eureka moment. With its good taste and retention of the U235-like shelf life, why waste any more time on aviation fuel? The Twinkie could be marketed as a non-biodegradable snack food. He never realized that he had misread the scientists’ notes (he never realized, either, that barber college would do him no good stuffing Ho-Hos at Hostess). He just figured King Thutmosis III was probably trying to launch the Twinkie like a giant spitball to blow up a camel, but inadvertently inhaled and got it stuck in his throat.

As we all know, the Twinkie became a staple in the lunch boxes of children throughout the country. I’m sure there are many patriotic Americans who would once again like to see Twinkies stapled in lunch boxes. Twinkies have also been credited with Allied victories during World War II. In combat, when ammunition for the M114 155mm howitzer was gone, K-rations were ripped open and Twinkies were used as replacement shells. It’s a matter of record that many enemy troops threw down their weapons and surrendered at the mere sight of the deadly sponge cake flying through the air.

I hope these words have been enlightening and somehow those in authority will get funding to bring back Twinkies. They need to be made available in every supermarket, convenience store and muffler repair shop in America. You can help by contacting members of Congress and first, letting them know that dinosaurs and Twinkies are both extinct and second, telling them the Twinkie is vital to maintaining America’s superiority in snack foods and weapons of mass destruction.

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