Let Them Eat
by Mad Dog
are these vaguely cake-like things which I can’t past my teeth, no
matter whether I try them straight, fried, or as the company’s web
site suggests, as Twinkie Sushi, Twinkie Tacos, or Twinkie-misu?
||As of this moment, there
are exactly 60 days, seven hours, 32 minutes, and six seconds until
Twinkies are 75 years old. Hopefully
not the ones sitting on the shelf at your favorite neighborhood
convenience store, though that does bring up the possibility that the
squishy little snack cakes you're salivating over right now may be a
genuine antique since the urban legend is they have a shelf life of 100
years. Of course this comes from the same batch of urban legends that
claims there are alligators living in the New York City sewer system,
oil companies leave money laying around in Nigerian bank accounts like
you leave pennies on the floor, and O.J. is innocent.
That Twinkies are actually considered to be food is another well-known
urban legend. They are, after all, made from 27 different ingredients
not counting unnamed flavors (artificial and natural), five possible
hydrogenated vegetable and/or animal shortenings (axle grease luckily
being a mineral shortening), and a secret combination of three
leavenings. With no dairy to be found. This is not to say Twinkies don't
help build strong bodies at least one way — in width. To give them
credit, they do contain five vitamins and minerals embedded in the
enriched flour, not to mention lactylate, sodium stearoyl, and other
ingredients found in better chemistry sets everywhere. If 60 Minutes
did an expose on this they'd call it spiking. If Court TV did a
story on it they'd call it shocking. If Anna Nicole Smith looked into it
she'd call it hors d’oeurves. Perspective is a wonderful thing.
But what are these vaguely cake-like things which I can’t get past my
teeth, no matter whether I try them straight, fried, or as the
company’s web site suggests, as Twinkie Sushi, Twinkie Tacos, or
Twinkie-misu? Leave it to a
couple of college students to answer this question. After all, what else
is there to do while wasting big piles of your parents' hard earned
bucks other than investigate the complexities of Twinkies? And don’t
give me any of that “study” stuff, either.
The first revelation the Rice students uncovered was that
Twinkies won't burn unless doused with alcohol. This will stop, once and
for all, those nasty stories about spontaneous Twinkie combustion.
for us, since if you’re like me you’re more lazy than curious, ten
years ago a group of students at Rice University (motto: "It's a
change from potatoes.") took time out from their busy schedule of
watching Beavis and Butt-head, putting boxer shorts on their heads when
posing for their class photograph, and pretending Jerry Garcia hadn't
died, to conduct some scientific tests on Twinkies. They subjected these
self-proclaimed "Golden Sponge Cakes with Creamy Filling" to
carefully conducted experiments, testing rapid oxidation, solubility,
maximum density, resistivity, gravitational response, radiation, and
turing. In other words they set them on fire, soaked them in water,
threw them in a blender, plugged them in a wall socket, dropped them out
a sixth floor window, put them in a microwave oven, and quizzed them.
Who says college students have no ambition?
Actually these students were putting their spare time to better use than
Kenneth Dent, who while attending Bessemer State Technical College in
Bessemer, AL, allegedly used the skills he learned — not to mention
the school’s printing press — to turn out $82,000 in counterfeit
bills. The main difference between his science project and the one from
the Rice University students is that the Secret Service isn't too
concerned about the results of some Twinkie tests. On the other hand,
you'd be hard pressed to fool your waitress at the Waffle House by
paying her in Twinkies. Okay, maybe the Waffle House is a bad example.
The first revelation the Rice students uncovered was that Twinkies won't
burn unless doused with alcohol. This will stop, once and for all, those
nasty stories about spontaneous Twinkie combustion. The budding young
Mr. Wizards then discovered that Twinkies swell to twice their size when
immersed in water (hence the "sponge" in Golden Sponge Cakes
with Creamy Filling), that they contain 68% air and 32% stuff like mono
and diglycerides, and that they're so soft and puffy they can be dropped
from a 6th floor window with virtually no damage, much like Kirstie
how do we explain these varying results? Gordon claims the "creamy
filling" is different. Different than what he doesn't say.
the most interesting, and controversial, results came from putting a
Twinkie in a microwave oven. To their delight the Twinkie collapsed,
turned brown, and gave off noxious fumes they compared to smoke bombs,
sarin gas, and Elizabeth Taylor's latest fragrance. This experiment
elicited a response from one Gordon Meltzer who swears on a box of
Ho-Hos that in 1985 he placed a Twinkie inside a microwave oven and it
exploded in 45 seconds.
So how do we explain these varying results? Gordon claims the
"creamy filling" is different. Different than what he doesn't
say. Others might wonder whether advances in microwave oven technology
could be the culprit. Either way there's one thing that hasn't changed
— college students still have way too much time on their hands. And
considering that surveys continue to show that 80% of young adults can't
figure out a bus schedule, compute the change they should receive from a
purchase, or understand a newspaper article, it's a safe bet I could say
anything I want about their lame asses and only 2 in 10 will know I'm
giving them a hard time.
So the next time you're about to wrap your mouth around a Twinkie brand
"Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling" remember two things.
First, it's very important to get a college education if you want to
succeed in life. And second, alligators don't really live in the New
York City sewer system. They've all moved to the upper West Side.
If you want to check out the complete original findings of these Rice
University masters of modern science, head to: www.twinkiesproject.com
©2005 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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