Forget clicking links to websites that promise to teach you how to make money without working simply by purchasing their motivational booklet for $10 (now that’s genius right there, I bet the booklet has printed on each page, “See what I did there, see what just happened, you just paid my pool cleaners wage, learn from this.”), buy yourself some Twinkies.

For those whose only experience with Twinkies comes from their reference in epic film Zombieland – in which one of our intrepid heroes is on a search to find any remaining Twinkie in order to remember simpler, happier times -they are simply a small finger-sized sponge cake filled with an undeniably chemical-tasting synthetic cream filling.

Steve Ettlinger, author of the book ‘Twinkie, Deconstructed’ did months of research and discovered that although Twinkies contain common ingredients like eggs, water, flour and sugar, they also contain Calcium Sulphate, Diglyceride and Polysorbate 60, meaning that some of their ingredients are more closely linked to rocks and petroleum than they are to any of the major food groups.

Regardless of this disturbing bit of info, Hostess are the company currently in charge of the Twinkies, which have themselves have been produced since 1930 and remain a popular processed/junk/comfort food choice for Americans.

Unfortunately, Hostess recently had a spate of problems, beginning in early November with a union ordered strike affecting workers linked to ‘The Baker, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union’, due to issues over executive bonuses, threats to cut workers pay and disputes over a lack of modernisation; this escalated into Hostess closing down 3 of its plant sites due to the strike and countering that it couldn’t afford to maintain a unionized workforce and revealed plans to cut pensions and health benefits.

As negotiations failed to reach a compromise, Hostess announced that it would be unable to make up the financial deficit caused by the strike and would be forced to go into liquidation if enough workers did not return to work.

Hostess has around 18,500 workers at 30 plants throughout America, not to mention people working indirectly for them at bakery outlets and distribution centers across America, so the threat of liquidation resulted in a rush of further negotiations between the Union and Hostess trying to reach an agreement of sorts, however they were unable to come to an agreement and Hostess was forced to announce its closure, handing out 15,000 pink slips the day before Thanksgiving.  The remaining 3,500 workers will remain on to handle distribution of already baked produce, as well as to assist with the closure of the Hostess sites.

There are a number of companies, both American and from overseas, who are circling like vultures, looking to buy the patents and products and pick up production of any one of Hostess’ iconic snack products, however the closure announcement and uncertainty about the company’s future triggered a mass purchase of all Hostess products on shelves.

One eBay member called 2012ht377 has listed 1 box of Hostess Twinkies and 5 individual packs of Twinkies for a starting bid of $21,000,000.00 and the rather odd math of “$50,000,000 for 1 box of Hostess Twinkies and $1,000,000  for each individual package,” while another member called scityusa has listed 1 unopened box of 10 Twinkies for a starting bid of $20,000,000.00, with “Money from Sale will be donated to Non-Profit Charity.”  Prices range from starting bid of $0.99 up to the outrageous figures above.

The reasons for the outrageous bids vary, with some claiming that:

  • The money will go the war veterans
  • It will pay for their children’s Christmas
  • It will pay for operations on various ill family members (all cute, all young, all suffering)
  • It will pay for their children’s college education (a bit more honest, more down-to-earth)
  • It will help a pastor fulfill his dream of opening 200 churches
  • 10% of the sale price will go to the American Red Cross in Greater New York
  • 20% of proceeds to American Cancer Society
  • There appear to be an amazing amount of ‘new charities’ formed that will benefit from the bounty of a $21million purchase of a slightly smooshed pack of Twinkies
  • Various sob stories with differing levels of details about the suffering experienced by mankind and the desire to contribute 0.00000000001% of the proceeds to a deserving cause
  • Claims that “You will Never be able to buy this product in stores again,” despite a huge amount of companies wanting to buy aforementioned product and distribute it in its original packaging to America to cash in on the popularity
  • To buy their family a house
  • A $250k ‘must have’ holiday gift (I suspect my friends would rather have a $199.99 Apple iPhone 5 or $59.99 Call of Duty: Black Ops II game than a $250k pack of squashed Twinkies)

Not one person that I’ve come across has been honest and said, “I’m doing this because 1) I hate working in a dead-end job and coming home when my kids are already in bed or 2) I’m fed up of hearing that another rich person has just spent $10million on art for their cats bedroom or 3) I’ve lived an honest life and not tried to make money from gambling, moonshine, drugs or prostitution and it’s got me nothing more than a beat-up Ford Pinto to drive and a stomach ulcer or 4) all my clothes smell of mould and I eat ramen every day, I want a hand out, I want to make it rich card, I want money.”

So you want a get rich quick card?  Auction ridiculously overpriced, optimistic Twinkie items on eBay and pray you get a nibble before the circling sharks close in and buy the Twinkie brand and recipe and resume production on one of America’s most revolting yet most beloved snacks and your eBay item value takes an inevitable tumble.

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