Monday, November 19, 2012


Twinkies: A Brief Encounter

Previously: The Billionaire.

Carolita Johnson's cartoons appear in The New Yorker and at Oscarinaland.

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i too prefer pickles to twinkies.

fondue with cheddar

@wearitcounts Me too, and I don't even like pickles.

Reginal T. Squirge

This is so good! Your longer stories are great but more comics!


@Reginal T. Squirge TK!! Thanks! :)


Superior to both twinkies and garlic pickles is the Big Momma Hot Sausage, whose existence I only became aware of when one of my tutoring kids asked for one when I told her I was allowed to bring in candy if she did well. My world has never been the same.




You've articulated the weird not-real-ness of Hostess snacks so well that it makes me a little dizzy.


@frigwiggin Me, I like Swiss Cake Rolls, but I would always buy Ho Ho's, because it was my hippie-upbringing rebellion, and Swiss Cake Rolls sounded wayyy too grown-up and responsible.


That the slug "Tube Shaped Foods" comes directly before cross-post about the History of Gerbiling disturbs me.


@aeroaeroaero That description of Gerbiling is something can't unsee now!

Reginal T. Squirge

Also, Young Carolita looks suspiciously like Demetri Martin.

The Lady of Shalott

What other tube-shaped foods can we be looking forward to? Sausages of every description? Slim Jims? Those weird caramel rope candies with white cream in the middle?

Reginal T. Squirge

"You know how many foods are shaped like dicks?"

"The best kinds..."


@The Lady of Shalott

hollowed-out carrots


@The Lady of Shalott It has been ointed out in another venue that a Twinkie resembles nothing more than a large bacterium.

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@The Lady of Shalott
Cow Tales


Just yesterday I realized that I had a full jar of super fresh crunchy garlic pickles from my local picklemonger, and I ate them and they were so perfect.


@insouciantlover picklemonger! what a delectable word.


Sno-Balls were always my go-to road trip food.


I was always more of a Little Debbie kid, so when I was young I ate zebra cakes. They are small hexagonal cakes with a cream center covered in white icing with black stripes (hence the name). I loved these things as a kid, and I even had a special ritual of how I would eat them. At some point, probably when I stopped packing a lunch, I stopped eating them. Many years later in college, I was in the grocery store and saw that you could buy a single zebra cake. In a fit of nostalgia, I did, and I began my little ritual of eating the cake.

It was completely disgusting.

I have not eaten a snackcake since.

Also, now I need to try garlic pickles.


@mlle.gateau Me too. I tried to empathize with the people mourning their Twinkies and Ding-Dongs, but in reality I was just relieved that my Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls and Oatmeal Cream Pies would live to fight another day.


@mlle.gateau Oh, I forgot to add that I totally had a Ritual for the Swiss Cake rolls too. It was also disgusting in retrospect.


@mlle.gateau get them fresh from the deli, not from a jar. At least, in my experience, they're better from the deli. Like from Ben's. Yummmm. Also, at Ben's they put a bowl of pickles on the table for you, garlic and dill.


@mlle.gateau I had a similar experience with a Devil Dog. Tasted like cardboard. I think it was that job at the Belgian truffle shop that ended all my interest in low grade chocolate products. Probably kept me thin, too. Nothing was ever good enough again! And, I was outpriced!


@carolita I'm pretty sure that it was the reality of having eaten actual good pastries that killed the snackcake market for me.

Also, I am now on a mission to find a deli. This Ben's place sounds magnificent.


@SuperGogo I would eat the chocolate from the outside of the Swiss Cake Roll, and then unroll the cake portion and eat that. Every day in middle school for lunch. (This, naturally, was after eating my nutritious bag of funyuns and drinking my full-calorie Dr. Pepper. That's a whole other story of grossness.)

Also, I still eat kit kats in layers.


@carolita Wait--garlic AND dill? I always just make garlic dill! That's a thing, right? I thought it was a thing when I made them, and they were delicious. Am I not doing it right?!

Also, for pickles: Zingerman's, in Ann Arbor. Holy hell.

fondue with cheddar

@catsuperhero I have a ritual for everything I eat. My favorite part of Swiss Cake Rolls (which I ate at lunch every day in high school) was not even the taste, but the feel of the smooth, ripply, chocolate-coated end on my tongue as I took the first bite. And I would eat the last bite backwards so I could experience it a second time.

My favorite non-Tastykake (because they're in a class of their own) snacks were always Funny Bones and Star Crunch. Nothing Hostess.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Orifices?? Noooooo please, nooooo. I'm having enough problems with all of the dried lotus seed pods decorating every autumn bouquet, and now I have to worry about food orifices.

(This was great. Also, I enjoyed your younger self's haircut.)


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Haha, my BF was all weirded out by the "orifices," too. You're not alone. I'm not telling him, though.
That haircut was the Dorothy Hamill. (http://figureskating.about.com/od/famousfemaleiceskater1/ig/Dorothy-Hamill-Photo-Gallery/Dorothy-Hamill-s-Wedge-Cut.htm) It grew into a modified Farah Fawcett and then finally into something more reasonable.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Oh god those seedpods are HORRIFYING, don't remind me.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@carolita Modified Farah Fawcett is likely to be my next band name, thanks.

@royaljunk I know, I'm sorry, but I was recently surprised by one in a home decor shop and wanted to vom, and now need to talk about it because I've been scarred.


@royaljunk yeah, they mystify me, why anyone would want them in their house? I stare at them, too. But I haven't been tempted to buy.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Right, it's not like they're even very attractive?? Ugh just thinking about them (or anything similar) makes my skin crawl.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose
My friend is also grossed out by the lotus seed pods and similar things and she looked it up and it's called trypophobia, a fear of organic clustered holes. You are not alone! (Just don't take an online quiz that shows you pictures like she did unless you want to feel very disturbed.)

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@yourpretendfriend Oh, I've seen it. THE HORRORS I'VE SEEN...


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I am always glad to know more of us trypophobes exist...for so long I thought I was totally bizarre, especially when I explained it to people. Ughhhh lotus seed pods nooooo!

Angry Panda

@yourpretendfriend Reading that description makes my skin crawl. Also the day I found out there was a word to describe my fear, I was so happy I was't alone, and googled it. Big mistake.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Ok everyone, genuinely curious as to what's so creepy about the seed pods? Please explain!


@KatieBarTheDoor I can't explain. Something about organic holes being next to each other just gives me the wiggins and makes me wanna vom. Why does anyone have weird fears or phobias?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@KatieBarTheDoor I've been trying to explain it to people, and the only thing I can come up with is that the seed pods remind me of when a person gets a really deep cut and the skin buds anew with a similar pattern, like little clusters of seed-skin and then it grows out. Which, you know, is awesome that we can do that, but the seed pods remind me of injury and disease.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Ah, I can see how that would be a creepy visual! Thanks for elaborating. And of course I have my own things I'm creeped out by/afraid of (like balloons), so.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@KatieBarTheDoor I avoid balloons, also. For me, it's the anticipation that they might pop. (Anxiety is awesome.)

Faintly Macabre


fondue with cheddar

@Faintly Macabre AND EVER, AMEN


"They looked like toys, more like ideas than food." This is exactly how I feel about airplane food.

Also, I mourned Hostess long ago when they stopped wrapping Ding Dongs in the thinnest aluminum foil, making them look like sleek little space-age hockey pucks.


@laurel That foil was amazing, wasn't it?


@carolita Like the skin of a lunar landing module!


Never had a twinkie as I'm not American, but I remember them fondly from the Inca Mummy Girl Buffy episode.


@elsbels Oooh, that sounds intriguing!


@elsbels All my exposure to American snack food comes from Gilmore Girls. The day I tasted Pop Tarts for the first time will haunt me forever.

fondue with cheddar

@SlightlyOverboard UGH Pop Tarts are the worst. I never particularly liked them, but I like them less since my parents started bringing them when we went on long car trips. We would eat them for breakfast, uncooked. Now the smell of Pop Tarts makes me nauseous because I associate them with motion sickness.


I also had a Little Store! Until I was literally 20 I thought that's what it was called, despite obvious signage.


@Nutellaface I pass that store on the LIRR sometimes (it's right by the train station), and am still surprised it doesn't say "The Little Store" on its sign.


@Nutellaface Me too! Mine was across the street from my grandma's house and it was really a 7-11 but I also thought FOREVER that it was simply "the little store". I was actually shocked when I saw a 7-11 somewhere else.

Genghis Khat

@Nutellaface We used to go to a diner that had a mannequin thing of a fat man enjoying some food on top of it. In my family we always called it "Man-On-Top" like, "Do you just want to go to Man on Top for dinner?" I'm sure it had another name. No idea what it was.

Man on top remains my preference in all areas of my life though.


@Genghis Khat Man on top is big favorite of mine, too. I've got enough to do around here. Yes, I'm a lazy lover.


Twinkies were totally banned from my house. When I finally had the freedom/allowance to buy one I opted to get it from the slighly-closer-but-super-dingy corner store rather than the slightly-farther-away 711 and it was moldy. MOLDY. Imagine the age of that Twinkie.


We didn't really do hostess cakes when I was a kid, we were more of a Jos. Louis house. Oh, and Passion Flakies. I dunno if this is a Canadian thing or not?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Megano! I nearly screamed with delight when I saw the Jos. Louis box at my local grocery store. Finally, America gets the Louis!


@Megano! And Ah! Caramel! They're all made by Vachon, which I'm assuming is based in Quebec? It's hard/impossible to find them in BC (along with milk in bags).


The only time I ate a twinky was because my father made me. He was determined that I should not leave childhood without that pivotal experience. I hated it, and at the time, I hated him. Ah the joys of childhood.


Me too! Mine was across the street from my grandma's house and it was really a 7-11 but I also thought FOREVER that it was simply "the little store".viagra


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