Monday, October 5, 2009

Twinkies

Laurie and I saw "Zombieland" on Saturday night and, as she says over on her blog, it is no "Shaun of the Dead." Reduced to the basics, it is the standard "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl" plot...with zombies. There is an amusing cameo, which reviewers -- and yours truly -- have been keeping secret, but it's not enough to earn more than a "Rental" on our review scale.

[We watch the coming attractions and rate the forthcoming movies as "See it in the Theater," "Rental," "Get it From the Library," and "No Way." Occasionally, I will add "11:30 on a Saturday Night if Nothing Else is on."
As with "Zombieland," some movies get downgraded after we've seen them.]

One amusing sidelight of the movie, however, was Woody Harrelson's character's obsession with Hostess Twinkies and the fact that they do indeed have a shelf-life.
We found this out during Chuck's years at Princeton because Laurie had gotten him a box to keep in his dorm room. Well, Chuck was not much of a fan of golden sponge cake and creme filling, so the box sat for a long, long time.
Many months after the expiration date on the box, he finally opened it...and discovered that the golden cake was turning green!

==

Back in 1976, DC Comics hosted a convention in New York City to celebrate Superman's birthday. At the time, Hostess was one of the major advertisers in the books, so DC president Sol Harrison asked them if they would provide some of their product as giveaways at the show.

The Hostess folks responded with hundreds of boxes of Twinkies. (Alas, no Cupcakes, Sno-Balls, or Fruit Pies, all of which I prefer to the Twinkies.) Just how many? I have no idea, but the boxes completely filled two 3'x6'x4' bins...and then some.
At the start of the con, we handed out a Twinkie to each person who came in. By the end, we still had a tremendous number left and started handing a box to each departing guest. The comics dealers who had set up tables all left with as many boxes as they could handle.
And there was still a load of them that were taken back to the DC offices, where we had a supply that lasted far longer than anyone's desire to eat any more of them. I can't speak for my fellow staffers, but I don't think I ate another Twinkie for 25 years!

==
The Hostess ads that ran in the DC books were single page comics starring the heroes and their methods of stopping crime and catastrophe by using Twinkies, Fruit Pies and Cupcakes. I wrote a handful of these ads, including ones in which Aquaman stops underwater treasure hunters and Wonder Woman defeats the Robot Master. (http://tomheroes.com/Comic%20Ads/hostess%20ads/wonder_woman_vs_robot%20master.htm and http://tomheroes.com/Comic%20Ads/hostess%20ads/aquaman_pirates_gold.htm)
There were a number of rules we had to follow in scripting these pages, one of which was that the hero, though pitching the "golden sponge cake" and "creme filling" to others, was not allowed to be shown eating the product!
Clearly, the superheroes were supposed to know something the rest of us didn't!

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