Hostess Brands announced today it has filed for bankruptcy protection. The New York Times reports that Hostess's woes are related to "a debt load of about $860 million and soaring expenses tied to its labor force."
The news has raised many questions for me.
1. Will the lawyers representing Hostess in bankruptcy court refer to the case as "the Twinkie defense"?
2. Is Hostess a Southern company? For some reason, I suspected it was. Turns out the company is based in Irving, Texas. ("Is Texas really Southern?" is a larger, more complicated question for another time.)
4. What's really eating the maker of such confections as Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, and Twinkies? Personally, I think the world may be moving on. After all, how do you maintain a sense of dignity when asking a store clerk, "Excuse me, where are the Ding Dongs?"
Also, as tasty as a Hostess cupcake may be, there are far superior products readily available to consumers. In San Francisco, we have cupcuke trucks that tweet their current location. A bakery in my neighborhood, Noe Valley Bakery, makes delicious Hostess-inspired delicacies they call Most-est cupcakes. They even sell them in bite-sized versions. Both are addicting and, dare I say, may be partially to blame for the post-holiday birth of my own twins, which, in the spirit of Dr. Seuss, I have named "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."
5. Don't forget that Hostess also makes Wonder bread. Does anyone eat white bread anymore? (The Wall Street Journal reports that 36 percent of Americans ate white bread in their homes, down from 54 percent in 2000. But seriously, who are these people?)
6. Would you care if there were no longer Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, and Hostess cupcakes in existence? I have many sugar addictions--Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Cheerwine soft drinks, dark chocolate M&Ms, to name but a few. However, Hostess products aren't among my recurring vices and never have been.
7. An even bigger question: Which caloric sweets could you absolutely not live without and why? And if you've, um, acknowledged your own twins, what have you named them?