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Tuesday, November 20 2012

I have a confession to make. I took Twinkies for granted. I'd see the Hostess boxes in the grocery aisle from time to time and think, "Hmm, I haven't had one in a while. Maybe I should grab a box." Then I'd shake my head, push my cart forward, and tell myself I'd get one on the next trip.


Only now it might be too late. In the span of a few short hours last week, every last Twinkie disappeared off store shelves, along with Ding Dongs, cupcakes, Ho Hos, and Wonder Bread.


When the story first broke that Hostess wanted to liquidate and shut down, I made some passing remark to my husband that I really needed to grab a box before they were gone. Then the idea vanished as I went about my day.


But the thought stuck with my husband, and on his way home that night, he swung by Safeway to see what was left. As it turns out, nothing. The shelves were bare, not a Ding Dong in sight. Only Little Debbie smiled down at him from atop her new throne.


I really had no idea people would make such a run on the remaining supplies. The news showed one woman who had an entire backseat full of boxes for her kids, even though her kids had never tried a Hostess treat in their lives. A newspaper article mentioned that one guy was selling three boxes of Ding Dongs online for three hundred dollars.


There's talk that this might not be the end after all. A judge has ordered Hostess to meet with bakers and lenders before calling it quits. Other companies have expressed interest in the product lines if they become available at a bankruptcy auction. We may not know the fate of those Twinkies for months, but there's one thing I do know. I've never wanted a Ding Dong so much in my life.

Posted by: Staci McLaughlin AT 11:57 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 12 2012
Thank you to all the service members past and present who have sacrificed so much for their country. We are forever in their debt.
Posted by: AT 09:31 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 05 2012

Back when I was a kid (we won't mention how long ago that was), Halloween was a time to don a costume, go door to door, and beg for candy from random strangers. Then we'd take our loot home so Mom could dig through our apples, candy bars, and boxes of raisins for the elusive razor blade always talked about but never found, like the great pumpkin that Linus waits for all night in the pumpkin patch.


While my kids still dress up to wander the neighborhood (well, actually, my youngest wanted nothing to do with his costume, so only the oldest went), Halloween is starting to feel different. Just wander into any Halloween superstore, and you'll find decorations galore, a large adult costume section, and a small selection of costumes for kids. Shouldn't the reverse be true? Shouldn't three-quarters of the store be made up of children's outfits?


And speaking of children, where were they on Halloween night? We managed a mere fifty candy beggars this year. While that's not terribly low, our numbers peaked at 150 a few years ago and have been dropping since. It seems like kids go to church events or school functions or parties, rather than roam the streets and ring doorbells. Which is probably a good idea considering the number of dark houses we encountered when I took my kid out. Maybe people were still celebrating the Giants win in SF that night, maybe they were at those aforementioned parties, but only about one in every three houses had their porch light on. After all the buildup, the holiday itself felt surprisingly quiet.


That's okay. My kid didn't mind. He's always excited whenever he gets to stay out past his bed time. We could have taken him to the dentist and he would have been thrilled. And he still got plenty of candy. It just took a little more legwork. Only last week, I threw out the remainder of last year's Halloween candy, so it's good to replenish the supplies.


Still, I hope this isn't a new trend toward a day when trick-or-treating will merely be a fond memory of the older generation, like Kodak cameras or drive-in theaters. If nothing else, it's a chance to say hi to your neighbors. Even if you have to wear a mask while doing it.

Posted by: Staci McLaughlin AT 09:46 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email