Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Twinkie Americana

The other morning I was listening to NPR and noticed they devoted about three minutes of airtime to the passing of the Twinkie; an American icon. The news item was on the front page of the Wall Street Journal business section, in the Chicago Tribune and reported by every major news station.

Honestly, I'm meh on Twinkies.

They were verboten in childhood. I spent tens of years as a Twinkie virgin and when I finally had one it was an underwhelming experience, much less satisfying then learning how to roller skate backwards or the proper application of blue eyeshadow.

But there I was, stuck in traffic, thinking about my lack of Twinkie love when it hit me. I'm part of the problem. Not that I'm solely responsible for closing the Twinkie doors, but the blame rests with people like me who have, by design or lack of desire, boycotted these golden cream-filled cakes of chemical purity.

If Twinkies are American then I might just be what's wrong with America.

I like apple pie, but find it impossible to pay attention to baseball games, even when I know one of the players (especially when I know one of the players). The last time I ate at McDonald's was, well, I don't remember.

There is good news, however. Diet Coke and Starbucks are my close friends. And because I live in Portland I recycle. I'd do that anyway, but maybe with not as much compost, glass, clean cardboard vigilance.

I don't own a cowboy hat, but maybe that's only necessary if you live in Texas. I do make Sunday night dinners, which seems sort of June Cleaverish, but serving a side of kale chips probably wouldn't pass muster with the rest of the Cleavers, whose names I don't know because I've *gasp* never actually watched an episode of Leave It To Beaver.

Of course, this is all silly. There is no definitive list of characteristics about what makes the perfect American, but still, on the eve of our lovely national tradition of giving thanks, I'm wondering about the rest of you. Are you old school, Twinkies, baseball games and cowboy hats or is the apple in your Americana an icon on a computer?

Whichever end of the spectrum you fall....Happy Thanksgiving and see you on Monday.

15 comments:

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I don't think I've ever actually eaten a Twinkie. I don't really like stuff that has filling in it, except Oreos. But I think one reason everyone's going wild about Twinkies now is because they won't be able to buy them anymore; people often want what they can't have.
I don't really like baseball either. I don't even know what a shortstop is. I do love Starbucks, though. I'm in one right now. :)

Beylit said...

I had twinkies available to me growing up and I loved them. I don't think I had eaten one in probably a decade. A friend brought some to our weekly game night about a year ago and well, it wasn't all the amazing sweet creamy goodness I recalled. Now if Little Debbie went under I think I would cry. Oatmeal cream pies and Zebra cakes are a must have in my world.

Also you are more likely to see cowboy hats in Montana than in Texas. I mean we have a lot of cowboy hats, especially in the outlying areas, but in the metropolitan areas, not as common really.

I find baseball boring, but have twin cousins who are collegiate softball players so I try and fain interest there. I am not a huge apple pie fan and will turn it down normally if it is store bought.

I don't recycle, but that is because my city is pretty dodgy on their recycling diligence. After my bin was not picked up for 6 weeks straight I gave up.

I don't know if there is anything that defines people as American anymore. Things have changed so much since June Cleavers days that I think that Kale Chips, Starbucks, and American Idol might be more American than baseball and apple pie.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I'm not big on Twinkies, but I will miss their cupcakes. (Although I think they'll be picked up by another company.)
I don't like baseball, but my husband does enough for both of us! And I do own a cowboy hat, somewhere, from back when I showed western. (I show Arabian horses, but not Western so much anymore.)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I was never big on Twinkies either. And in the last twenty years, I haven't supported many junk foods or fast food restaurants. I couldn't tell you the last time I ate at McDonald's either.
I will keep the makers of Hot Tamales and guitars in business though.

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey,

As a naturalized American, I have *never* eaten a Twinkie, but I remember reading about them it seemed like in every Stephen King book when I was a teenager and - true story - when I came over in '96, one of the first things I bought was a Twinkie... and with tears in my eyes, I held that thing in my hand, turning it over and over and couldn't believe I was HERE.

Thanks for the memory...I haven't thought about that Twinkie in years (and I didn't eat it because I'm not a "sweets" person.

One liners: I have a Stetson (bought in Colorado :)

I love baseball - especially T-ball (Son #1 has just started:)

Apple pie rocks - but only at the holidays

And America is still the land of the free, the home of the brave... and the place where dreams can come true :)

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Joanne Noragon said...

I won't hold your responsible, so don't be fussed about Twinkies. They were not part of my childhood, and I didn't meet them until the vending machine in the dorm. It was a one pack meeting for me. Hostess cupcakes, however...yum. I folded over that chocolate in half and half and savored it in my mouth until it melted! The cake was OK, but the top. Well, I already told you. Happy Thanksgiving.

Johanna Garth said...

LOL, Neurotic re SB, me too!

Beylit, good to know I'm still on track for Americana ;)

Rachel, how cool that you show horses. I grew up riding.

Alex, I feel like hot tamales and guitar collections would make a great blog post! hing hint

Joanne, now I really want to try Hostess cupcakes. Sounds like the perfect 3:00 sugar fix!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm Canadian (well, British Canadian actually), but I don't celebrate our icons either. I don't have a pet beaver (but then neither does anyone else). I don't say eh. And . . . well I'm not sure what else is Canadian, other than apologizing all the time. I do do that. :)

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Yes, we were on the same page this morn. We also have similar preferences. Starbucks and Diet Coke work for me. Twinkies and baseball, not so much.

Happy Thanksgiving, Johanna.
xoRobyn

naida said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Johanna!
I don't like Twinkies either :P I think they are gross.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I've had Twinkies just have never liked them. I have other *chemical* goodies I prefer. Not that I can eat many of them anymore--too many allergies to the chems.

We recycle, mostly, out here in the middle of nowhere. I won't share what we do, that's prolly not good for the environment, with paper trash. Magazines, catalogs, newspapers, cans, and bottles, hubs takes to the recycle center on the military post where he works.

Tamara said...

I love apple pie but I must admit that I was never overly impressed with Twinkies. I can kinda see why they went out of business.

And baseball bores the crap out of me. I do, however, enjoy Starbucks. :)And the occasional McDonalds french fry.

Diana Wilder said...

Ony kids appreciate twinkies. Once they grow up, they're too sweet. Rather like the bowl of Cap'n Crunch I tried a few years back, remembering how I loved it in 7th grade. Ick! Butterscotch crimpets now, are a different matter. I tried them as an adult. (No, Hostess doesn't make them...)

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