Wednesday, July 3, 2013
I don't like my heartstrings pulled unnecessarily, especially as part of some well-crafted marketing ploy. It makes me feel like Pavlov's dog.
When Hostess pulled its line of snack cakes off the shelves, including Ho-Ho's and the ever-loving Twinkie, marketing gurus predicted the heart swell of American gluttons such as myself would rise up in a tsunami of maudlin melancholy for yet another favorite childhood memory forever lost and revive the snack-cake giant.
We performed exactly as they predicted. Dr. Pavlov would have been proud.
So, it wasn't by random chance six months ago that I found a stray box of Twinkies by accident, protruding from the bottom shelf midway down the snack cake and cookies aisle at Walmart. It wasn't my investigative nose for news – which I long doubt I ever had – that put me on my belly, in Walmart, at 2 a.m., to reach way back into the dark and forgotten recesses of the bottom shelf, where I imagined I was Indiana Jones on a quest for the Lost Ark of snack cakes.
This was planned. Contrived, even.
And my actions became a common statistic.
I remember feeling like I'd come into possession of something I was not supposed to have.
A mistake, feeling like I'd stolen something, feeling like Woody Harrelson in Zombieland, when he laments over the course of a two-hour movie about missing Twinkies in his post-apocalyptic zombie world.
I wondered how far we were as a society, from having flesh-eating zombies roaming the streets. How far were we from Zombieland?
Hey, there were no more Twinkies so we can't be that far. Hurtling on a collision with Armageddon, I am certain.
I remember hiding the Twinkies away, a 12-pack, a veritable treasure chest of corn-syrupy goodness that is horrible for my health. I remember grinning like the Joker and giggling, “To heck with my doctors. What do they know anyway?” as I snarfed back Twinkie after Twinkie – 11 of them two bites at a time.
I remember when I was down to the last Twinkie – the last known Twinkie in the whole wide world – and I hid it away, amongst my treasures, on display for my eyes only, this treasure of confectionary wonder: My Precious.
I remember scoffing at friends when I let slip I was indeed in possession of the world's last Twinkie.
Someone even said, “Hey, you're not supposed to have those,” and I giggled like Renfield. “I know, I know, but I do and you can't have any,” I said.
I remember my despair when I could no longer resist the preservative choked temptation, spurred by the fear this Twinkie would outlive me and become someone else's treat, someone else's treasure . . . No, someone else's PRECIOUS.
I succumbed to gluttony, pride, greed and envy, and I'm sure a couple of other deadly sins, and I ate it so another couldn't.
Above all else, I felt shame.
I am a weak man. And food shall be thy demise, I heard the Sunday preacher inside my head decry as he waggled an accusatory finger my way.
I ate the last Twinkie.
Now, they tell me it was all for naught. My efforts were in vain. My feelings were expected, counted on even, as that was all part of their grand plan.
I should feel used but I don't. The Twinkie is coming back. July 15. Awesome.