Ode on a Ding Dong (a fat sonnet)

O.k. so sure there’s the fine grit of baby aspirin
Or something like it now in Oreos and Pop Tarts
And Coke has, instead of sugar, Satan’s urine,
The whole country is obese and I’m too fat,
I get that, but Jesus, let me have one day of mourning
On hearing Hostess is going out of business.
The fact they’re anti-worker makes it worse–
I can’t even make a run on Ding Dongs
Without feeling I’ve betrayed Wisconsin’s spring
Of protesting, so I ate my last one without knowing
It would be the last time I would bite
Into a chocolate layer that resisted just
A tiny bit before giving way to cake,
And then…that creamy middle. I won’t say
I’m sorry for loving Ding Dongs. I am sad.
I’m not ashamed to love something so very bad.


It has made me furrow my brow, people saying things like “you know they’re bad for you” or actually listing the ingredients, in response to someone mourning the loss of Twinkies (which I personally won’t miss) or Ding Dongs (which I really will miss).

As if there’s someone out there who loved Hostess because they were under the impression that display at the end of the aisle was full of healthy treats.

One of the many, many things I loved about Kyra Sedgwick’s Brenda Leigh on The Closer was her addiction, and the way James Duff made obvious that she had unbridled love for things that were bad for her. I mean, gracious! Her going away present from her guys was a new black bag full of Ding Dongs! Or something like them, since I personally haven’t been able to find them wrapped in foil for a long time–perhaps there is a product I will come to love as much as Ding Dongs, but I suspect they were purchased and wrapped in foil by props people so that Brenda Leigh could unwrap them sensually. Foil can be sensual (at least in Sedgwick’s hands). Plastic wrap not so much.

So yes, Ding Dongs never were good for me. But I loved them and I will miss them, and you know what? You can criticize their badness all you want, but it isn’t as if now that they’re gone, the whole country will certainly get healthier.

That we’re all stress-eating, self-medicating with fat and sugar, that the country may well set off some new sort of plate tectonics by just weighing too damn much?

Don’t blame Ding Dongs.

4 responses to “Ode on a Ding Dong (a fat sonnet)

  1. (Martha Beck calls high fructose corn syrup the “sweat of Satan” in her wonderful book The Four Day Win, a book which actually seems relevant here, because I suspect at least some of the people who are spending time now reminding others that Hostess didn’t make healthy treats are the same people who say things like “all you really need to do to lose weight is get some self-control.”)

  2. I think Michael Pollan would agree with you, if it makes you any less cranky. We are genetically programmed to crave salt, sugar, and fat. Especially when we are stressed.

    I fondly remember Twinkies in my lunch box. But Ho-Hos were my favorite.

    And I think “Satan’s urine” is probably more accurate. The guys who made the documentary King Corn tried to make it in their kitchen, and the results were…edifying.

    Great post!

  3. I never really cared for Twinkies or Ding Dongs. My downfall has always been those chocolate cupcakes with the white creamy filling and the white icing swirls on top. Those things are like Lay’s Potato Chips to me…I can never stop at just one…

  4. Pingback: Car Sonnets, Bloems, and Pogs | marniere

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