An Adventure to Find the Last Twinkie

Let me start this off by saying, when we found out Hostess had gone out of business, Jane and I were in the car with my best friend Bethany, and we had just gotten back from a Hitchcock promotional cocktail party and were ready to go home. But when I mentioned that I had never had a Twinkie in my life, it began the mission to get  as many Hostess products possible. We drove to the closest Circle K (right outside my bedroom window), and found no Twinkies. Slowly we made our procession through the streets of our college town of Tempe. As we kept hitting more Circle K’s and convenience stores, all there were left were Zingers and Apple Pies, and occasionally some Donettes. Eventually after 3 or 4 Circle K’s we took a trip to the local Walmart. This ended in tragedy as we watched masses of people walk out with bags of Hostess products.

We continued on in our futile mission; each time we came up blank, we told ourselves “one more place then we go home”. But without any Twinkies, Ho-Ho’s, Ding Dongs, or Snoballs in sight, determination only fed our drive. I sadly posted on Facebook that I would go to my grave having never tasted a Hostess Twinkie. Turning into one of our local Fry’s grocery stores, Jane and I ran in to search for the calorie-heavy delectables, in vain. As we ran out into the parking lot quite disappointed, yelling and complaining, we heard the voices of two other yellers and complainers. Alas, it was Sam! She saw my Facebook post and stopped in her tracks, literally pulling her roommate out to take her to the grocery store. Compounded by the winds of fate, we joined forces in our search. The night continued on, it was an hour into our search and still no sign.

The image of empty hope and ravenous douches.

Despite knowing that Hostess products were sold out at Target, we decided to give it another go. We split up jobs, driving to it and stopping at every gas station along the way, running in, checking, and leaving with a disappointed but determined fire. At this point, two of the four phones were dead and the other two were running on low power, but we powered on. Finally we came up on Target, I dropped off Jane and Sam and as they went jogging into the Target packed with people, I drove to the abandoned gas station in the plaza that Sam suggested, jumped out and went running in. My adrenaline was pumping, I was excited, terrified, ambitious. All of these feelings that felt so foolish two hours later, sitting in my kitchen, wondering why I was so invested in it all. But in that moment, I went leaping into Danny’s Family Market, hope in my eyes. As I scoured the aisles, hope dwindled, but suddenly, adjacent to the “Donutos” on the lower level, there, sandwiched between two Ding Dongs, was the last remaining bag of 2 count Twinkies in Tempe.

It sat there like a shining beacon of hope and heartattacks. Faith was restored.

I snatched it up, at this point ready to burst into tears of joy, and ran to the counter (taking the two Ding Dong packets as well) to pay. The cashier was skeptical and gave me the same pile of pessimism about “the recipe being bought in a couple of days”. But for me, it didn’t matter. I was going to get to eat a Hostess Twinkie. Not any other kind. I wanted that part of my childhood, and at some point after the fourth Circle K and second grocery store, it was no longer merely about buying fatty foods. It was now a mission, an adventure. I skipped out the door waving the golden packet in my hand and squeeling to Bethany in the car (sadly checking Suns vs Lakers scores). After that, it was downhill. We still wanted more Twinkies, but the main quest was completed, we could relax on the side quests. The search for more Hostess products ultimately surmounted in a complete 31 stores visited, which moved over to the next morning/afternoon. We made friends along the way, joined in the epic search for a rapidly disappearing product.

While we scoured streets for a cheap fatty pastry, some took to the web and were willing to pull out the big bucks in order to get mass amounts of their favorite childhood treat. What started out as around $250 for a 10 count box has risen to over $5,000.

Those lunch boxes are pretty cute though.

It seems some are taking the Hostess Apocalypse very seriously. While skeptics and spoil sports say that this isn’t the end, that this is merely a small break before the recipes are picked up by some company, but for those of us who participated in the mania, it’s a story we’ll be able to tell our children, or at the very least I’ll be able to tell my friends over lunch. If you are a lover of Hostess or of Zombieland, enter in our giveaway! We’ll be giving away the treats that we worked so hard to get!

Also there will probably be a reaction video of me eating my first and last Hostess Twinkie. No dirty jokes.

Final Count:

Jane: 2 Ho-Ho’s, 1 Snoball
Sam: 1 (single) Twinkie, 2 Ho-Ho’s, 1 Snoball
Therese: 2 Ho-Ho’s, 2 Ding Dongs, 1 Twinkie pack, also 2 loaves of white Wonderbread
Bethany: Disappointment

Stores Visited:

Fry’s
Target
Danny’s Family Market
CVS Pharmacy
Walgreens
Safeway
Asian Market
Food City
Costco
3 Walmarts
5 Circle K’s (I know they’re mostly gas stations, but we went to so many.)
8 Gas stations
7 Liquor stores