Monday, November 19, 2012

Twinkies With Grandpa

Allow me to wax nostalgic about Twinkies.

When I was a kid, my sister and I would spend some weekends and a few weeks of our summer vacations every year staying with my grandparents.  As a creature of habit, my grandfather would usually wrap up the day (before going to bed at 9:00, even though he was retired) with a special treat: a Twinkie and a glass of warm Red, White and Blue Beer (I'll explain the warm beer some other time).  That meant that we kids got to have a Twinkie and cold milk as well.

So everynight--around 8:00 or so we'd go into the kitchen and sit down at the table (because my grandparents NEVER ate in the living room.  You ate at the kitchen table--unless it was a special occasion or a holiday and then you ate at the dining room table--but NEVER in the living room) and share that treat with Grandpa.  It's one of my favorite childhood memories.

And there was a bonus for boys that liked Twinkies and Ho-Ho's, back in the 1970's YOU GOT BASEBALL CARDS WITH THEM TOO!  Three cards were printed on the bottom of every box during baseball season.  Thanks to Grandpa--and our own family's consumption--I had hundreds of those cards.  Some of which even featured Brewers!!  Unfortunately as I would find out years later, the cards were far more valuable if they hadn't been cut out of the box.  Nonetheless, having those was a special treat as well.

And now, Twinkies are gone.  I joked about leaving work early Friday morning in order to stockpile as many Ho-Ho's (the real Breakfast of Champions) as I could before supplies ran out--but I didn't actually do that.  (Judging by the cleaned out shelves this weekend, some people actually did.)  I'm fairly confident that all of the Hostess Brand snacks will be back--and in relatively short order.

Another joke making the rounds Friday was that the Federal Government should step in with a "Twinkie Bailout"--but we all know that isn't going to happen.  First off, the Bakers Union (nice job voting yourself out of a job, folks) doesn't have huge pension funds that need to be protected--and they don't have large concentrations of potential voters in battleground states.  Secondly, Twinkies don't exactly fit into First Lady Michelle Obama's platform of "everybody should eat healthy like us (when we aren't running out for burgers or BBQ in Washington DC)".

While government action won't bring back Twinkies, the free market certainly will.  The product still sold--it was poor corporate management, rising expenses and labor trouble that brought down Hostess--not falling consumer demand--and other companies will notice that and pay for the product rights.  Over the weekend, a Mexican billionaire announced an interest in buying out Hostess and resuming production.  (Imagine, Twinkies and Ho-Ho's could be considered Mexican food.)

So don't fret, Americans, Twinkies will be back--and hopefully with them the good memories my family shares.  We just don't need to bring back Red, White and Blue Beer, thank you.

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