In a "shared little-known facts about herself" interview, which revealed that along with sleeping with her dog when the president is out of town, the first lady admitted she partakes of the foods she forbids her husband to eat. Michelle told US magazine that while out campaigning she's tried" [e]verything from local farmers' market produce in North Carolina to fried Twinkies in Iowa."
Yet, prior to Barack Obama setting out on his summer Midwest bus tour, Michelle forbade him to indulge in fried Twinkies at state fairs. Now, Hostess, the makers of Ding-Dongs, politically incorrect Ho-Hos, Wonder Bread, and friable Twinkies, is officially out of business. Therefore, thanks to Mrs. Obama's dietary restriction, the President of the United States may never be able to enjoy a battered, deep fried specialty on a stick.
Although the iconic snack cake manufacturer had "already reached a contract agreement with its largest union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters," it was too late. According to Hostess CEO Gregory F. Rayburn "thousands of members in [its] second-biggest union went on strike late last week after rejecting in September a contract offer that cut wages and benefits."
Rayburn apologized to dedicated Sno Ball fans, saying, "We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike. Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders."
Hopefully the Hostess buyout doesn't end up going to another Chinese bidder because somehow Rinkies and Fing Fongs just don't sound as appetizing as Twinkies and Ding Dongs.
As for the 18,000+ ex-Hostess personnel, "Most employees who lose their jobs should be eligible for government-provided unemployment benefits." Laid-off snack cake workers can now line up behind the thousands of other Americans who overwhelmingly decided to continue moving forward on the unemployment line for four more years.
Hostess said its "wind down would mean the closure of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes and 570 bakery outlet stores in the United States." Besides leaving flour, sugar, and unused hairnets behind, the demise of Hostess will also mean that state fairs will no longer get mass deliveries of Twinkies to fill those deep fryers.
As luck would have it, state fair concession stand owners still have time to hoard Twinkies because distribution centers "will remain open for several days to sell already-baked products."Stale Twinkies are not a problem because, urban legend or not, the spongy cakes do have a reputation for extended shelf life. Just ask Roger Bennatti, a Science Teacher at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Maine. Roger "wanted to find out just how long a Twinkie could survive, so he left one sitting on his blackboard for three decades."
Unlike this past year, when Barack's state fair tasting tour was limited by Michelle to the "chocolate moose 'butter cow' statue," if a few Twinkies are secured for posterity there's a glimmer of hope that Obama may be allowed to indulge, just one last time, in what's now a historic delicacy.
Either way, thankfully, "Twinkies were included in the U.S. Millennium Time Capsule representing an object of enduring American symbolism." Good thing, because in the words of the George Rayburn, thanks to Hostess's second-biggest union, "It's over. This is it." Sadly, the same can be said of Barack Obama's America.
So the next time a time capsule is loaded up with iconic American symbols, it might be appropriate to bury a fried Twinkie alongside the no-longer-indestructible American flag and a copy of the recently outmoded U.S. Constitution.