Ding Dong, The Twinkie’s Dead

Twinkie The Kid gets it through the heart.

The food industry was shocked last week when giant Hostess Brands Inc. announced they were declaring bankruptcy.

The baker, best known for such snacks as the iconic Twinkie, seeks reorganization under Chapter 11 as it struggles to come up with enough bread to meet union obligations and service its mountain of debt, estimated at $860 million. 

Hostess had previously declared bankruptcy in 2004, and just emerged from that reorganization in 2009.  At that time, industry analysts had said it was dollars to Donettes that the reorganization would have any lasting effect without deep cuts in expenses, primarily crippling labor costs, which are filling the balance sheet with more red than a jelly donut.  Analysts say their prior bankruptcy has led to an increased cost of borrowing, leading to more debt and creating a Sno Ball effect on company finances.

President Stan Leaven had this to say: “Our inability to raise the dough needed to service our debt forced us to take this step.  The biggest problem is dealing with 12 labor unions’ constant demands for an ever-increasing piece of the pie.  Trying to reason with them is as useless as Dunkin Stix in a bucket of water to start a fire.  We sweetened the deal on our counter offer to their unreasonable demands, and what was their response? Ho Ho.”

That got a rise out of the head of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), Fred Crisco, who replied, “Instead of blaming everything on labor, President Leaven should be buttering us up.  Leaven has some crust asking our members to contribute toward their own health insurance.  Our salaries (excluding benefits and lifetime pension and health insurance for anyone who has ever worked here) are a modest fraction of total expenses.  That’s just icing on the cake compared to management’s lavish salaries.  And the 4% cost of living increase they proposed is nothing but crumbs from management’s table.”

 “Trading Zingers won’t get us out of this mess.” Leaven said ryely,  “It’s time for labor and management to work together or soon we’ll be out of the pan and into the fire.”

One reporter asked the union head, “Wouldn’t it be better to make modest concessions, rather than lose all these jobs when yet another American manufacturer is forced to close up shop and move overseas to stay competitive?”

Crisco replied, “Labor is what makes this company great.  Instead of blaming everything on us, Leaven should work to eliminate the triple layers of management who just sponge off the company.  If I brought a raw deal like what they propose to my members, it would fall flat as a pancake.”

At a follow-up question by the same reporter asking what the heck tobacco was doing in with the food industries in the BCTGM, Union boss Crisco said, “Mind your own Ps and Suzy Qs.”

Pundits agree; no matter how you slice it, with two bankruptcies in 10 years, if Hostess survives this it will be a Wonder.

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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83 Responses to Ding Dong, The Twinkie’s Dead

  1. I LOVE that you wrote about this! Hilarious! “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” on NPR said, “It’s a sad day when a company that makes food products that make you fat can’t survive right here in this country.” Or something like that.

    Like

  2. Now I want a twinkie.

    Like

  3. bigsheepcommunications says:

    A puntastic summary of the on-going twinkie debacle.

    Like

  4. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I better learn how to make Hostess SnoBalls pretty quickly. I’m devastated.

    Hilarious fun, peg! Well done.

    Like

  5. Janu says:

    You are very punny!

    Like

  6. Wazeau says:

    Love it! Very well done.

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  7. Hilarious, Peg. I especially enjoyed the Twinkie illustration. I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time. My husband is a Twinkie fan and I think they taste terrible. But Suzy-Qs? Delish!

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  8. k8edid says:

    You are my hero. I love this post. We used to have a Hostess Outlet near our home with a Twinkie The Kid and another cartoon character painted on the side of the building. You would not believe how crazy people were (the outlet has long since closed) for crappy confections past their expiration dates composed of unpronounce-able chemicals.

    Like

  9. Oh no…this is bad news. “If they can’t make here, they can’t make it anywhere”♪ What a swan song!

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  10. What a puntastic blog!! That brain of yours is amazing…

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  11. Very clever! Well done!

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  12. Off the Wall says:

    My sister and I were raised on Susy Q’s! I LOVE this post, you are quite the humorist! reminds me how much I miss Irma Bombeck!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Well, don’t you know the way to a blogger’s heart! I once did a post about being the secret love-child of Erma and Dave Barry, my 2 faves. I sent a link to Dave and he actually took the time to send me a reply.

      I think I’ll trot that post out again since not many ever read it – thanks.

      Like

  13. This would be hilarious if I wasn’t so broken up about the whole thing…
    *a tear of frosting slowly rolls down my cheek*
    🙂

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    • pegoleg says:

      If it’s buttercream frosting, it’s rolling REALLY slow. That whipped stuff that passes for frosting at most grocery store bakeries? Should zip right on down the cheek.

      Like

  14. Renee Mason says:

    I was twinkling with joy as I soaked up your crumbs of fun. You are a cream-filled ball of silliness!

    Like

  15. Is this really so bad? Think of all of the treadmills that will be freed up! Now I’m off to see the wizards at Weight Watchers.

    Like

  16. Margie says:

    I particularly like the part about the Union! I hear Fred Crisco is a lard butt.

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  17. Laura says:

    I’m glad to see that even in the face of such trauma, your sense of humor has been well-preserved.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      As well preserved as a Twinkie. They say when Man has been obliterated in some sort of holocaust, all that will be left on the planet is cockroaches and Twinkies. Kind of a symbiotic thing.

      Like

  18. Mary Kay says:

    Great fun reading this. You are a master of the puns. MKC

    Like

  19. Big Al says:

    Of all the half-baked blogs this one takes the cake.

    Like

  20. Selena says:

    This is the reason I subscribed to your blog! ♫I learn something hilarious every time!!!!

    Like

  21. The puns were flying in this one! Love it. I’m sure the Hostess Company will be preserved, just like its products for time immemorial.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Seriously, that’s what I don’t understand about bankruptcy. It seems everybody just goes merrily on their way with no repercussions, either for personal or business. You just waive a magic, judicial wand, say “I don’t owe you this money any more” three times, turn in a circle and, presto chango, no more debt!

      Like

  22. Tar-Buns says:

    I guess your topic is too delicate to be ‘freshly pressed’ 🙂 All that creamy goodness inside (and I’m not a big fan) would goosh all over the place! Egads!
    Couldn’t resist.
    Love your wordplay! Smiles…….

    Like

  23. Sandy Sue says:

    Har Har! Hostess just didn’t see the whole wheat/lo-fat writing on the wall.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Yeah, they should toss some of that in the Twinkies just so they could splash it across their packaging. We’re fatter than ever as a nation, but we like to LOOK like we’re doing something about that.

      Like

  24. pattisj says:

    This column was a Zinger! I learned there are people who deep fry their Twinkies, wondering if this would be considered suicide by snack cake? Good job on the illustration.

    Like

  25. No more chocolate cupcakes? No more fruit pies? No more Snoballs? No more Twinkies? Future generations will be so confused when watching Zombieland.

    Like

  26. Tori Nelson says:

    You amaze me. First you sweep the hair pun and now? Now, you are a champion with baked good puns, too. There HAS to be an award out there just waiting for your punny ha-ha’s!

    Like

  27. gojulesgo says:

    Ho ho indeed! I love puns, so I think this post was totally SWEET!

    Like

  28. Lenore Diane says:

    Oh my stars, Peg – you are a freakin’ hoot n’ a half! That’s like – 5 Ho Hos put together.
    This was hilarious!

    Like

  29. Angie Z. says:

    Very clever as always, Peg. I love Twinkie the Kid being impaled by his own poor sales. By the way, I am still laughing about the skier on your site stat graph. I told my husband about it yesterday and he busted a rib or two.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      You just wait, missy-miss. You and the hubster won’t be laughing when you’ve got Franz Klammer schussing down the steep slope of YOUR stats when they come off their Freshly Pressed high in a couple of days.

      Like

      • Angie Z. says:

        Well, in fact, that’s exactly why the topic of that picture came up. I told my husband I was going to ask Peg to put a cute little Franz Klammer on my site stats so I wouldn’t feel so bad next week 🙂

        Like

        • pegoleg says:

          It’s like Laura’s comment on my post with the skiier stats. After FP, you KNOW you come off like an ungrateful ingrate (double negative) that you feel depressed that it doesn’t happen again right away. But you do. It’s like a heroin high that you’re always chasing.

          I was reading your funny comments about “where’s the key chain or coffee mug?”, and it reminded me of an old Saturday Night Live sketch where somebody was hosting for the fifth time. They led him backstage to a little room where Steve Martin, Paul Simon, BUck Henry and I’m not sure who-all admitted him to the “5+ Hosting Club” and gave him his own smoking jacket, etc. I think there’s a place like that in WordPress headquarters…somewhere over the rainbow.

          Like

      • Angie Z. says:

        Peg, I absolutely love that SNL skit you’re talking about. Let’s see, I think they ended then with Martin Short taking their drink orders? (I love Martin Short.)

        And then there was a great follow-up one with Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin fighting over who had done the most hosting…and then while Alec was on stage doing his monologue, I think someone rolled Steve Martin out onto the stage on a TV so he could claim another “host”.

        What were we talking about again? SNL? Oh, chasing the dragon…yes, I’ll be chasing it with you now 😉

        Like

  30. lexiemom says:

    I’m just wondering how long it took you to come up with that many puns…

    Like

  31. Libby says:

    Fresh pressed-worthy, for sure!!! One of your best, Peg. Now if you’ll excuse me, I ‘ve gotta go snatch up as many of those orange cupcakes and Twinkies as I can get my chubby little hands on!!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      It’s the orange cupcakes that do me in. I can’t always find them, so when I do, I stock up. I mean when I DID – DID find them. In the bad, old, pre-diet days. Now I’m a model of healthy eating. Except…

      I know I can tell you this, Lib, in confidence. My worst diet meltdown is at the homeless shelter. I know. Sounds weird. All sorts of generous people drop off cookies, cakes, donuts, all the time. Starbucks donates their day-old stuff. So whenever I’m there, I’m confronted with a mountain of sweets, all stored in the kitchen where I’m working. Volunteers are allowed, nay, encouraged to take the stuff home because they get so much it goes stale. I must have eaten 8 little, iced Starbucks scones the other night. I thought I was going to cap off the evening of helping others by barfing all over them, then slipping into a sugar coma. (interesting side note; one of the guests is diabetic and he DID have a seizure and had to go to the hospital the other night).

      I’m just glad there isn’t a Panera Bread in town, because if I had to resist their orange iced scones, my favorite food in the world, I’d be in big trouble.

      Like

  32. notquiteold says:

    Can you believe it? We covered the same topic the same week! Of course, Hostess is NEWS… and we are both diligent serious reporters!

    Like

  33. Pingback: True Confessions | Peg-o-Leg's Ramblings

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