|A 10-pack of Twinkies. Get 'em before they're gone.|
Since I hail from fairly humble beginnings a Hostess cream-filled Twinkie was a rare treat, but as a small child I sure loved them. I know there are folks who grew up with their own regional junk foods, but Twinkies - and a few other Hostess baked goods - have stayed high on my list of Worst Guilty Pleasures to Consume. Dolly Madison cakes? Little Debbie cupcakes? Feh. Pale substitutes, at best. Hostess Cupcakes, Hostess Snoballs, HoHos and Ding-Dongs... now those were superb junk foods.
News today that the Continental Baking Company was rather abruptly throwing in the towel after 87 years has started a somewhat frenzied run on their more popular products as people learned that CBC's 33 factories across the USA are ceasing production immediately. Labor disputes are being blamed for the decision, but it's a shame that something couldn't have been worked out. The company had filed for bankruptcy protection in January.
When I read the news this morning I stopped and emailed the article to my friend in Thailand, and that, my friends, is my segue to the story of him and these soon to be gone forever treats. For privacy's sake I'll call him Top today.
Five years ago we were chatting online about some remodeling he was planning for his home. It was late in the evening there, and Top was in his office, so he was able to chat via a camera he had at his desk.
All of a sudden he stopped, looked directly into the camera and got that "I'm serious about this" look on his face; a look I rarely see, so I waited to see what was coming. I suppose it more was more where it was coming from, and not what it was that surprised me - because it came from far left field, as we in the U.S. would say about the unexpected. I was expecting to be asked for a loan for the remodel (he's borrowed money a couple of times and always repaid it per our agreement), but that wasn't it at all.
"What are these Twinkies?" he asked, emphasizing the name.
It's probably just as well I didn't have a camera, because he was using the look that said he wouldn't have appreciated my initial surprise that gave way almost immediately to a laugh I could just barely hide. "What?" I asked.
No change of expression. "I would like to try these Twinkies."
I was somewhat at a loss. I did my best to give him a thumbnail description of the cakes without editorializing too much, and he seemed to get that they were tasty if you liked that sort of thing, but that they were, without a doubt, in the same category as donuts, McDonald's burgers and other artery clogging items.
|Although the originals had a|
banana flavored filling, flavored varieties
never did much for me.
The day after I landed and we'd had our usual Arrival Day dinner he took the box into work with him. When I talked to him at lunchtime I asked if he'd shared them with his co-workers. He said that evidently his co-workers were a little more "worldly" than he, because he'd left the box on his desk when he'd gone to the lavatory, shortly after arriving, and returned to see the box open and empty. "All," he said, sounding surprised "they eat all." This time we both laughed, and I told him they probably did him a favor by eating them for him.
I've taken him a couple of boxes each trip since. One he opens, taking several out for himself - he does like them, but isn't much for sweets - and the others he takes to share with his friends and co-workers. Today I sent him the unhappy news that the supply was rapidly drying up.
This afternoon I boxed up what you see in today's pictures, walked them up to the post office and airmailed them to my friend. I sure wish I was flying them there myself, but I'm guessing that he'll come up with some other off the wall item I can take when I go next Spring.