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Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2001 12:19:14 -0400 (EDT)
From: Little Star
Subject: BLAGUES-L: Twinkies

Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 14:27:31 -0500
From: Karen Stanley

In an effort to clarify questions about the purported durability
and unusual physical characteristics of Twinkies, we subjected the
Hostess snack to the following experiments:


 A Twinkie was left on a window ledge for four days, during which time
 an inch and a half of rain fell.  Many flies were observed crawling
 across the Twinkie's surface, but contrary to hypothesis, birds-
 even pigeons-avoided this potential source of sustenance.  Despite
 the rain and prolonged exposure to the sun, the Twinkie retained its
 original color and form.  When removed, the Twinkie was found to be
 substantially dehydrated.  Cracked open, it was observed to have taken
 on the consistency of industrial foam insulation; the filling,
 however, retained its advertised "creaminess."


 A Twinkie was placed in a conventional microwave oven, which was
 set  for precisely 4 minutes-the approximate cooking time of bacon.
 After 20 seconds, the oven began to emit the Twinkie's rich,
 characteristic aroma of artificial butter.  After 1 minute, this aroma
 began to resemble the acrid smell of burning rubber.  The experiment
 was aborted after 2 minutes, 10 seconds, when thick, foul smoke began
 billowing from the top of the oven.  A second Twinkie was subjected
 to  the same experiment.  This Twinkie leaked molten white filling.
 When  cooled, this now epoxylike filling bonded the Twinkie to its plate,
 defying gravity; it was removed only upon application of a butter


 A Twinkie was dropped from a ninth-floor window, a fall of
 approximately 120 feet.  It landed right side up, then bounced onto
 its back.  The expected "splatter" effect was not observed. Indeed,
 the only discernible damage to the Twinkie was a narrow fissure on
 its underside.  Otherwise, the Twinkie remained structurally intact.


 A Twinkie was placed in a conventional freezer for 24 hours.  Upon
 removal, the Twinkie was not found to be frozen solid, but its
 physical properties had noticeably "slowed": the filling was found
 to  be the approximate consistency of acrylic paint, while exhibiting
 the mercurylike property of not adhering to practically any surface.
 It was noticed that the Twinkie had generously absorbed freezer odors.


 A Twinkie was exposed to a gas flame for 2 minutes.  While the
 Twinkie smoked and blackened and the filling in one of its "cream holes"
 boiled, the Twinkie did not catch fire.  It did, however, produce the
 same "burning rubber" aroma noticed during the irradiation experiment.


 A Twinkie was dropped into a large beaker filled with tap water. The
 Twinkie floated momentarily, began to list and sink, and viscous
 yellow tendrils ran off its lower half, possibly consisting of a
 water-soluble artificial coloring.  After 2 hours, the Twinkie had
 bloated substantially.  Its coloring was now a very pale tan-in
 contrast to the yellow, urine-like water that surrounded it.  The
 Twinkie bobbed when touched, and had a gelatinous texture.  After 72
 hours, the Twinkie was found to have bloated to roughly 200 percent
 of its original size, the water had turned opaque, and a small,
 fan-shaped spray of filling had leaked from one of the "cream holes."
 Unfortunately, efforts to remove the Twinkie for further analysis were
 abandoned when, under light pressure, the Twinkie disintegrated into
 an amorphous cloud of debris.  A distinctly sour odor was noted.


 The Twinkie's survival of a 120-foot drop, along with some of the
 unusual phenomena associated with the "creamy filling" and
 artificial coloring, should give pause to those observers who would
 unequivocally categorize the Twinkie as "food."  Further clinical inquiry
 is required before any definite conclusions can be drawn.

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