Opinion > Star Staff
So Long Ding Dongs and all that's good for you
By Ken Byler, Up the Creek
There's bad news, folks. Twinkies, a tasty treat invented in the 1930s, is bankrupt. The price folks are willing to pay for spongecake and mystery crème isn't enough to cover ingredients, wages, and employee health and retirement benefits.
Snack food gourmands are outraged. They'd like to know where the Prez stands on this one? He saved General Motors. He bailed out Wall Street. What about Twinkies? What about Ho Ho's and Ding Dongs? Where's the Twinkie bailout?
But then there's the other side. There's nanny-state foodies who believe Twinkies is finally gonna get the comeuppance their folks have had coming for some time. Some believe Twinkies were responsible for the death of the first openly gay politician. It's been said Twinkie binge-eating caused the diminished mental capacity of Dan White, the guy who shot San Francisco Councilman Harvey Milk. According to his lawyer, White was high on Twinkie mystery crème when he shot Milk.
Economist Ludwig von Mises once posed the question, "If the principal is admitted that it's the duty of government to protect the individual citizen against his own foolishness, why not prevent him from reading bad books or seeing bad plays?" It's only my opinion, but I believe that's where the country's headed. In the meantime some government officials are making it their business to protect citizens from the foolishness of caffeine, corn syrup, smoke, sodium, red meat and flammable underwear.
There's no doubt that well-balanced meals are a good idea. But is it the business of government to determine what's good for folks to eat anymore than what's good for folks to read or hear? A billion dollars was just spent trying to unseat the prez and protect the freedom from higher taxes for rich folks. But not a dime's been spent to protect folks' freedom to choose the size of soda pops in New York City or unseat the mayor who believes it's his business to determine the amount of something people drink.
A smoke screen's been laid down by officious folks faking concern over the citizenry's food and drink intake. There are agents out there trolling for hazards. If it's somebody's job to warn the populace about health hazards, you can bet health hazards will be found everywhere.
Health hazards have been found with names like Whoppers, Nachos Grande, Big Macs and Super-sized Fries. Taking a cue from folks in the alcohol industry, there may soon be warnings in McDonald's and Taco Bell ads to "Eat Responsibly."
In order for the First Lady to have something to do - other than take vacations - she's been designated leader in a fearful fat fight named the War on Obesity. Now most folks realize there's a direct relationship between too many chicken fried steaks smothered in gravy and the width of hind ends. But a lot of folks believe that (as long as it wasn't stolen), what folks eat, drink and smoke is nobody's business but theirs.
There are studies that claim 20 percent of the population is obese and 20 percent are going hungry. Here in Texas, where wedding vows sometimes include the promise "as long as I got a biscuit you'll get half" and babies are spoon-fed Wolf Brand chili straight from the can, the solution to both problems appears to be simple. Go get most of the stuff in the pantries of the overly fat folks and give it to the ones going hungry.
It would be hard to outlaw hazardous food in nacho libre Texas, where the favorite snack food has enough salt in it to preserve Oliver Loving's body long enough to get it from New Mexico to Weatherford for reburial. They're named Fritos and sometimes, with Wolf Brand chili and Velveeta added, they show up on the dinner table as Frito Pie.
Again, it's only my opinion, but I believe now's the time to get rid of the ding dongs. I'm not talking about the Hostess kind, but the ones who want to outlaw a person's choice in what they send down their own digestive tracts. I won't miss the ding dongs who want to penalize the sale and consumption of politically incorrect food.
But I will miss them Hostess Ding Dongs.
Ken Byler is a Star Newspapers columnist, author and artist. Email him at email@example.com.
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