Wal-Mart is selling — or will begin to sell — deep-fried Twinkies. And I am not shopping for them — or looking for them. No, I am hunting for them, albeit not like one would hunt a deer in the woods. It is hunting a monster, a beast. And perhaps at the end you find the monster is yourself.
At least, that’s how I felt trying to discreetly peruse the frozen aisle at Wal-Mart last night. I became wildly paranoid that everyone else was also discreetly looking for them, and that we might spot them at the same time and pounce on them awkwardly. Or maybe fight to the death for them. If not that, then I worried they quietly judged me, knowing that I was there for the same shameful reason. Or maybe they were just looking for the family pack size of El Monterey Burritos, and I was only one there on a diet-suicide mission.
Just the words Twinkie will stir up every response from revulsion to chastising to nostalgia and novelty. The Twinkie itself, with its golden sun-kissed tan and synthetic cream filling is the original poster-child for Franken-foods. When brilliant scientists (I assume) began deep-frying them at state fairs, it only became more symbolic of America’s deep-rooted… longing. (I thought about the right word to place there for several minutes — and the only word that felt right is longing.)
We long for something. Meaning. Love. God. Purpose. And then we don’t find it and shove deep fried sponge cakes down our throats. Hell yeah.
To introduce the Deep Fried Twinkie into the freezer section where we can finally hoard and nest and binge-eat them in the privacy of our homes brings it all full circle. The Twinkie’s evolution is complete.
The official street date for this new drug is tomorrow, Tuesday, August 16, aka the day we move five minutes closer to Midnight. Word is a few stores were selling them early, which is how I ended up in a Hunter S. Thompson-esque indulgence bender last night at Wal-Mart. I came home with a box of Root Beer-flavored Pop-Tarts, Crystal Pepsi, and Ecto-Cooler.
Root Beer Pop Tarts: Weird, like eating the Root Beer Dum Dum pop in pastry form, even weirder when heated in toaster, which is like guzzling hot root beer in gel form. It’s not good, not bad, and not right.
Crystal Pepsi: Flat, sugary, clear, cola-like substance. Also not good, not bad, and not right.
Ecto-Cooler: My son and I drank it. My first in 27 years, his first ever. Pretty awesome. Also pretty sure he invented some new words about an hour after drinking it while jumping on his bed and doing backflips. That stuff lit his brain up like a pinball machine.
Ecto Cooler. Not even once.
But no Deep Fried Twinkies. I will resume my hunt tomorrow night and report back.