So you see, my disdain for the Twinkie doesn't stem from a self-righteous loathing of all things processed. At least, it didn't start out that way. I simply didn't like them. Even to my fat coated taste buds, Twinkies tasted fake and sweet, while also stale and altogether disappointing.
My opinion only went downhill when I hit my obsessive I Hate Fat And Sugar stage at the age of fourteen. I was a calorie warrior. I lived to defeat them, and would never be undone by anything less worthy than a big warm slice of cheesy, gooey, garlicky pizza straight from the oven of a big fat Italian Nona in the heart of Naples. What I knew to be true in this oh-so-very defining chapter of my life is that TWINKIES WERE EEEEVIL. Swirly little cupcakes were damned as well. There would be no more attempts by my tongue to untwirl the fake icing loopy loops.
My sister and I used to fly back and forth between Phoenix and Nashville. One year we were on the way back to the Valley Of The Insufferable Sun when we pulled out our brown paper lunch sacks. (This was back before people thought about shoe bombs and such, and you were allowed to meet your family at the gate or bring a cup of coffee on board.)
Aunt Lisa had supplied our knapsacks with a sandwich, an apple, a bag of Doritos, and a Twinkie.
Despite my lifetime ban on eating the golden sponge of sweetened leftover dried mayonnaise (or whatever they put in those things to make them so awful) I eyed the Twinkie. It looked back at me, its old wise eyes knowing that I was beginning to covet its stale exterior.
What is it about plane flights? You aren't really hungry, but all of a sudden you are so bored you would maim the child sitting next to you just to steal their pack of pretzels.
Well, the plane flight voodoo worked its magic and I reached for the Twinkie, trying to forget how it would make me instantly fatter and unable to fit through the airplane aisle upon arrival.
Sensing that sugary food was near, my sister's nostrils flared. Talitha is friend to all foods sweet and decadent. She has preferences of course, but doesn't disdain a particular item due to its ability to live through nuclear blasts and seventeen years on the dollar store shelf. No, she is a true dessert lover.
Not to be left out, she also reached for her Twinkie. And gasped. And pointed, and urged me to dig out my camera.
The man sitting between us looked more than annoyed, as he had already lived through my accosting her Kermit the Frog stuffed....frog and making it perform Broadway tunes during takeoff.
I was happy to comply with her earnest pleas for picture taking, as the Twinkie was FLOATING.
Suspended perfectly between its plastic see-through bubble, the Twinkie touched nothing.
It simply was.
Behold, the valiant Twinkie.
Feeling slightly disconcerted that a snack cake could perform acrobatic feats, I put my Twinkie in the trashcan with my pretzel wrapper.
Talitha popped the bubble and promptly devoured her astronaut cake.
And thus ends my thoughts on Twinkies. I cannot say why I wrote on Twinkies, other than today is the day of its creation and I felt the need to honor it, despite its inability to give me anything other than a look of disgust.
But April 6 is the day of the Twinkie. It is indefinitely more interesting that my recollection of trying to install an infant car seat while sobbing and swearing and eating a chocolate bar.
And until the writings of T.Q. Cagle make it somewhere big and famous, I'll have to live off of others' Today In Histories.
Happy Birthday, Twinkie. You have filled our lives with preservatives and urban legends.
Long live your preservative laden, cream filled center.