Twinkie, Noooooooo!

As a result of a labor dispute, Hostess — the makers of the Twinkie, that joyous, anti-nutritious concoction that has long been a favorite of hefty American children, myself included — is going out of business.

Nooooooo!  It’s bad enough that thousands of workers will lose their jobs, but can it really be that the Twinkie will go the way of the Dodo?  How can a cruel world deprive youngsters of the finger-licking pleasures of cream-filled, yellow sponge-caked goodness, dipped in milk?

I therefore republish the Webner House Ode to a Twinkie, not in celebration, but in sorrow:

O Twinkie!  My Twinkie!

O Twinkie!  My Twinkie!  The noon hour now draws nigh

My morning classes will be done, to you my thoughts do fly

The bell will ring, the rush will start, and we will race to lunch

The crinkled paper bag will ope, on PBJ I’ll munch

But O!  Dessert!  Dessert!

My hungry heart doth beat

For in my sack I soon shall find

A cream-filled sponge cake treat.

O Twinkie!  My Twinkie!  Your sponge cake damp and gold

And filled with tasty frosting, sweet and white and bold

The wrapper tears, my eyes grow wide, the sticky mass I grasp

And clutch to waiting bosom like Cleo and the asp

And so to eat!  To eat!  To eat!

With glass of milk, ice cold

Then lick till clean the bottom square

Of its crumbs, wet and gold.

O Twinkie!  My Twinkie!  My lustrous sack lunch friend

The sight of you gives rise to thoughts of lunch’s happy end

Your taste I crave, and I desire to see you on my plate

I do not mind if you are made of calcium sulfate

Fear not, my friend!  Fear not!  Fear not!

We’ll eat you still with pride

Come Polysorbate 60, hell,

or grim diglyceride!

Robin Hood Cream Ale And Other Cheap Beers Of the ’70s

My post on summer cider, and particularly the picture of Errol Flynn in iconic Robin Hood garb, inevitably reminded me of Robin Hood Cream Ale.

The corner grocery store about a block and a half from my college apartment at 101 West 8th Avenue in Columbus specialized in cheap beer.  How surprising in a campus community!  On any given Friday afternoon, a stroll down to the store would find a frenzied press of students of The Ohio State University rushing to buy as much beer — that is, as much dirt-cheap beer — as the wallet could bear.  The store’s stock of foodstuffs consisted of three categories — (1) various forms of beef jerky, (2) Hostess Bakery products like Twinkies, Ho Hos and cupcakes, and (3) beer.  Approximately 99.7 percent of the store’s available footage was devoted to beer.

The ’70s really was the golden hour for cheap beer.  A visit to the corner grocery might find several cases of warm Billy Beer laid in, or Burger Beer, or Blatz, or even a totally generic brew in a white can with the black-stenciled label “BEER.”  Of the various choices, however, the preferred selection was Robin Hood Cream Ale.  A six-pack of 16-ounce cans cost $1.19, which meant that you could properly greet the coming weekend in style for an amount that usually could be cobbled together by carefully checking the sofa cushions.  Unlike, say, Billy Beer, which really was undrinkable except in extremis, Robin Hood had a decent taste.  It also featured a guy who looked like Woodrow the Woodsman lifting a flagon of frothy brew, and a slogan that had “Ye” in it.  What could be classier?

It went down easy on a Friday afternoon as you watched a Star Trek rerun and waited for the Friday night party to begin.