I can remember when Reeces Peanut Butter Cups came out. For years after, we had a commercial (more than one) where two people bump into each other and one says, "You got your chocolate into my peanut butter!" and the other says the opposite.
We had M&Ms -- plain and peanut, but only those flavors. I remember Dawn dolls, that's how old I am. Dawn was like Barbie but while Barbie's about 11 inches, Dawn was 6 inches. I was too old but I got Dawn and Gloria anyway and pretended it was as a goof but I really wanted those little dolls -- all of them -- and their fashions.
Anyway. So we had junk food. Don't let anyone make you believe that our grocer shelves back then were stocked with nothing but carrots. We had sugary cereals that would rot your teeth out.
And most of that sugary stuff was crap and cheap because it really wasn't name brand.
But in junior high (we called it that back then), I remember being so jealous of Stacey ____ because she got the cutest boy to carry her books and she would come to lunch, sit down at the table (we sat at the same table) and announce she was on a diet. Every day. And she'd open up her lunch box and take out her thermos that her mother filled with Dr. Pepper (we didn't have coke machines in my junior high so this was a big deal) and this hockey puck-like thing wrapped in foil.
It was like she was an astronaut or something with her factory wrapped foil food.
She'd unwrap the foil and inside was a chocolate cake with a white cream center and it had been dipped in chocolate.
It was from Hostess and called a "Ding Dong." (Yes, even back then we felt the Twinkie would have been better named "Ding Dong." Yes, we knew about the human body and sex even back then.)
And when she was done, she would wad up the foil and toss it away. My mother had to save every scrap at the house. But there was Stacey tossing it away. She seemed so free and liberated.
And Ding Dongs were not cheap. I'd see the box of them that she had to buy each week to have one every day, I'd see them in the store and wish we could afford them.
We never could growing up. But on my second or third pregnancy -- it must have been my third, I was ticked off about something (probably something my husband said -- he's a very nice man but I was very sensitive my first three pregnancies and my feelings could get hurt at the way I thought you said "hello"). So I went to the grocery store -- a big to do effort since I had two small children -- one in a stroller, one semi-able to walk on his own -- and a belly that stuck out a mile (or felt like it).
So we're going through the store and I see the box of Ding Dongs. And I'm pissed and I buy it for myself.
I ate the whole thing myself. In one sitting. I had both of the kids down for napping. I wobbled over to the couch, laid down on it -- a big deal, it meant I would have to slowly roll off it when I got off -- and opened that box and ate Ding Dong after Ding Dong (there were eight back then, I think -- now it's six) while watching Search for Tomorrow (an old soap opera that came on right after the noon time news -- if I'm remembering correctly).
And then I got sick to my stomach and puked.
But for just a moment there, I got to be Stacey. I'd even wadded up the aluminum foil as I ate each one -- wadded it up intending to throw it away.
I could never be Stacey and I could never picture her without a belly sticking out for miles, bent over and trying to clean up her own puke. I'm sure she had someone who came in and cleaned.
But I thought about that long, long story because I still like Hostess. Or did before I read Shannon Jones (WSWS) report:
Hostess Brands said it was permanently closing three bakeries as a series of strikes continue by members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM). The facilities located in Seattle, St Louis and Cincinnati produce bread and snack foods and employ 627 workers.
The strikes, which began November 9, have impacted Hostess operations from coast to coast, reportedly affecting 23 of the company’s 36 plants. The walkouts follow the imposition by a bankruptcy court of draconian concessions. These included an immediate 8 percent wage cut, with total cuts to wage and benefits in the range of 27 to 32 percent.
The company stopped making payments to the workers pension fund last year and in September bakery workers voted by a 92 percent margin to reject concessions that were later imposed by the bankruptcy judge. The BCTGM, with a membership of 5,680 at Hostess, covers about 30 percent of the company’s total workforce.
I don't think I'll be buying Hostess products ever again. Not for me and not for my family. I had been buying Twinkees for my granddaughter's lunch. She's not big on chocolate (that's common with females in my family and it changes the minute we start getting our periods -- the minute we get our first period, we become choc-aholics). So I get her the Twinkees because I want her to be a Stacey with other little girls thinking, "Oh, look how cool she is."
But I'll find another treat for her lunch. And I'll explain if she asks that Hostess doesn't care about their workers so we need to use our money to support another company.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday: