Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Twinkies, Okay . . . but, Wonder Bread?

There has been a lot of uproar lately about the potential demise and death of the Hostess Twinkie . . . not to mention all of the Hostess Company’s other culinary delights: Ho Hos, CupCakes, fruit pies, Ding Dongs, donettes, and who knows what else they have created that can be stuffed with processed sugar and cream.  Hostess’s whole line of a sugar junkie’s is on the brink of riding off into the sunset if the company, its lenders, and employees can’t come to some sort of a compromise to save the company.  The nation is sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to learn the final decision . . .

. . . and, to think, I almost missed it all.  I am not a great big fan of the Hostess line of junk food.  I have never been a big fan of most of the junk food that Hostess put out . . . except after those long nights in college when I had been out partying, was low on money, and there was nothing else left to eat.  It seems that there was always a Twinkie in the house that had been hiding for months—if not years—waiting to be consumed.  I don’t think I have ever eaten a fresh Twinkie . . . most of those I consumed in my college years were often well beyond their expiration dates . . . by not months, but years.  Twinkies were more fun to step on than to eat.  If you step on a Twinkie just right the cream would shoot out several feet.  You have never lived until you have had a Twinkie stomping contest with a bunch of friends after a night on the town . . . our record was about six feet. 

Not being a fan of the Hostess junk food line it did not bother me too much to learn that it was on its death bed.  In all honesty I had no childhood connection to Twinkies, Ho Hos, or any of the sugar-laden concoctions . . . no fond memories (except for the Twinkie stomping) . . . they were all mere blips on the screen of my life.  True, an American icon is falling from our psyche, but it is not the end of the world . . . it is not like taking away all the microbrews in Montana.  I bid adieu to the Hostess sugar line . . . it was nice knowing . . . no skin off my nose . . . and, my waistline rejoices.

But, that was yesterday.  Yesterday I did not know that the Hostess Company was also makers of that fine baked delight known as Wonder Bread.  That got my attention.  I grew up on Wonder Bread.  I love Wonder Bread.  Wonder Bread was a staple of my diet for decades until the wife declared it unfit to be consumed . . . that it wasn’t “real” bread . . . and, that it was not “good” for your health . . . it was a part of some evil plot to kill all Americans through the hardening of the arteries.  

The wife made some good points.  This so-called bread wasn’t called “Wonder Bread” for nothing . . . you have to wonder about a bread that could be placed at the bottom of a grocery bag, have a water melon placed on top of it—crushing it, and bounce back to its original shape within an hour after being removed from the grocery bag.  This bread could self-inflate no matter what crushed it . . . it was the Wolverine of breads!  But, when you think about it . . . is it bread?

Also, making you wonder whether it was bread or something else was its pliable nature that allowed one to roll it into perfect little balls that you swallow, shoot at your siblings, or stick up your nose to irritate your mother.  Balls weren’t the only shape one could mold with this clay-like substance . . . I made square blocks, pyramids, snakes, and other things that always resulted with my mother telling me to quit playing with my food.  Oh yeah!  You could also smash the bread to be a thin as you wanted it to be . . . paper thin.  It was great . . . but was it bread or Play Doh?  Makes one wonder doesn’t it?  Try doing that with a loaf of hundred percent whole wheat bread that is like a brick . . . it can’t be bread . . . at least that is what the wife told me.

Yet, at the same time, it made great sandwiches . . . banana sandwiches with Miracle Whip . . . peanut butter sandwiches . . . grill cheese sandwiches . . .fried bologna sandwiches . . . ham sandwiches . . . and the bread would always stick to the roof of your mouth.  Another thing that the wife told me bread should not do.

Wonder Bread was a big part of my life, and for nostalgia’s sake, every-so-often I sneak a loaf home.  The arteries and heart moan, but relish the clog.  The tummy rejoices.  And, while no one is watching . . . I still make shapes with the bread.  I think that it is good to touch one’s roots once in a while . . . to enjoy the past . . . and, to contemplate what could have been.  Though Wonder Bread hasn’t been a big part of my life for quite a while now, it still stung to learn that it too could disappear the way of the Twinkie.

Outside of losing Wonder Bread . . . name one product that the Hostess Company made that was good for any human’s health . . . physically, that is.  Mentally and spiritually, Hostess probably hit the jackpot.  Seems to me that everything that Hostess made was more of a comfort food than anything else . . . they made us feel good (unless we took the gluttonous route and ate the whole box—then we were in a sugar induced coma).  I hope that Hostess works out its problems and continues to make at least the Wonder Bread.  Every child should have the privilege and right to have food that is fun to play with . . . a loaf of Wonder Bread is cheaper than a set of Legos.

I guess the saving grace is that Hostess products have a life-span of decades . . . only Spam outlives a Hostess product.  Hostess products live forever and if they were to stop making them completely, there would still be some hidden out there.  Hidden in places that can only be discovered after a night of heavy drinking.  Even after a decade, I bet you could stomp on a Twinkie and squirt the creamy filling out . . . maybe not six feet, but at least a foot.  You have got to hand it to Hostess, their food product may not have been the healthiest, but they sure were fun to play with.  With sadness in my heart . . . I wait . . . and, I wonder . . . bread?

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