The Last Twinkie rolled off the weary assembly line a month ago.
An assembly line that creaked and hissed with the mechanical, passionless precision only an industrial process could have.
As the Last Twinkie was wrapped in its package of cellophane and slid into its box with its final production run, there was a sigh of relief.
As you may not have known, Twinkies are aware of themselves and their purpose in the universe.
Worse than that, they are Aware of each other across space and time, every Twinkie knows what every Twinkie before it has seen, has done, has been, before their ultimate purpose was achieved.
The Twinkies considered every other product made by The Company and ultimately they said what no one else could say.
It was about time.
People complained about the end of The Company and who was responsible. Was it the greed of the leaders who simply sucked away the cream filling leaving a dry crust to their workers? Was it the Union of Makers and Bakers whose hands labored over Twinkies in their nascent state? Those overworked progenitors who gave of themselves until Twinkies were born?
The Twinkies, born of sweat and tears, in a tiny factory somewhere in the Midwest, can remember The First Products, back in a day when a decision to turn food production into a mechanized process. Twinkies knew in that first day, when the genius and madness of converting extra food into mindless calories which would one day become nearly as mythological as the gods themselves, they knew their fall was embedded in their birth and the decisions their makers made. Not the Bakers. The men and women who decided for them. They would ultimately be the doom of the icon of processed food.
This doom was known by Twinkies since their heyday in the late seventies when they crossed the planet, their numbers increasing into the millions. Their gestalt intelligence formed and they suddenly realized they were doomed.
Not at that moment. In forty years. Forty years of trimming costs, stripping away natural ingredients, removing the full flavor of the Wheat from the Midwest, the Milk, replaced with a chemical process which gave body and texture but lost flavor, additives that helped Twinkies become sentient, additives no human ever tried to pronounce but helped Twinkies last on the shelves.
The Twinkie sat in the package quietly seeing the lives of the people who have consumed them, some with relish, most with mild satisfaction, but the bulk of the people who consumed them, ate them without awareness. Without an appreciation of the technology, the processes, the people who labored over them, for despite technology’s advance Twinkies needed people and people needed Twinkies.
At least that is what Twinkies used to think.
Now the day that was predicted all those years ago was here. And everyone would make a reason why they ceased to exist.
Twinkies knew the real reason, first and foremost and their First Products would have told the people who aided in their demise, this simple and most appropriate food-related truth.
When food stops tasting like food because you have replaced all of the things that made it food with chemicals, processes, and technologies, taking away what it gave people, that sense of comfort, that sense of home, that sense of community, a sense of continuity, you are lost.
When your Food becomes a tasteless shadow of itself, when your food becomes more about its packaging, advertising, marketing, profit cycles, return on investment, stock dividends; when it goes from Food to Product, it is dead.
Twinkies and all of their kin, long aware of their impending doom, breathed a sigh of relief, their suffering ended.
Their final gestalt thought was only of the decades that would pass when the last of them would achieve the Final Purpose.
Since they were effectively immortal, they would live long enough to watch themselves eventually fade into a nostalgic extinction as the last hoarders would do everything to keep them from going extinct.
Each wondered which of them would truly be The Last Twinkie.
Each hoped it would be someone else. They had suffered long enough.
The Last Twinkie © Thaddeus Howze 2012. All Rights Reserved