Last Call: Why I’ll never eat a Twinkie again

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Why I’ll never eat a Twinkie again
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Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

It was the dawn of the 21st century and I was starring in a community theater production of Over The Tavern, a Catholic family comedy/drama written by Tom Dudzick set in 1950s Buffalo. It’s a family dysfunction tale, any community theater’s bread and butter: two sparring parents and four children, each with their own travails. I had the role of Annie, a teenage girl balancing the many demands of teenage girlhood, including budding hormones and a warped body image. I loved Annie and sympathized with her biggest secret: she’s been running up her family’s grocery tab buying Twinkies and eating them alone in her room, a snack she doesn’t have to share with anyone, and one that makes her feel less like her family is struggling financially.

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In a scene that always brought the house down, Annie sits on her bed, unwrapping a new pack of Twinkies like a treasure. She takes her first bite and savors it—just before her mother enters the room unexpectedly to pick up dirty laundry. Annie stuffs the entire Twinkie two-pack into her mouth and looks up with innocent eyes and chipmunk cheeks at a thoroughly unconvinced Mrs. Pazinski, who finds the Twinkie wrapper under Annie’s pillow and whisks it out of the room without a word.

Unfortunately, Annie stays onstage for the entire next scene, meaning that, ahem, discarding the half-chewed Twinkies into the trash was not a possibility for her portrayer. Every night and twice on Saturdays, I stayed in character, sadly chewing and swallowing the gluey mass of too-sweet snack cake in its entirety, awaiting the moment I could down a glass of questionable prop water in the family dinner scene.

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You can imagine how Twinkies would lose their appeal after that. The next time I took so much as a bite was last autumn’s taste test of the new seasonal flavors, and at least those were different enough from the classic product that a few bites could be tolerated before the wave of sensory memories returned. But it might be another decade or so until it’s worth testing those waters again. And at least I have a good story to tell, because the reasons we don’t eat certain foods are almost always more interesting than the reasons we do.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

goddessoftransitoryrisesagain
goddessoftransitoryrisesagain

I had to pack my own lunch back in high school every day for a month due to appearing in a summer musical, and it was tuna fish.

I still can’t go near the stuff. I get hives thinking about it.