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Twinkie Defense
The manufacturer of Twinkies is filing for bankruptcy, and Michael Collins declares a national emergency.

By Michael Collins

They must be kidding. It's one thing for American Airlines to be going out of business -- I never flew them much anyway. But the company that makes Twinkies? No! Say it ain't so.

Just as I owe Cliff Notes a debt for getting me through high school, and Vienna Sausage for college, surely that "little sponge of golden goodness" is responsible for my PhD.

2:30 p.m. each day of graduate school found me on study break heading to the vending machines in the basement of my dorm. If they were devoid of cake, I went across the street to the convenience store for my reward. The first time both were out, I was devastated. The understanding clerk at 7/11 suggested I try Ding Dongs. Suspicious, but hungry, I did. And within moments the sugar rush made me happy again. Another time he tried to push HoHos, but even in my delirious, weakened state, I couldn't get past the name.

At some point I graduated to those little fruit pies that Hostess makes which, truth be told, were more flavored filling than fruit, I think, but one never forgets their first love. Certainly I never did. Even when I flirted with Sara Lee. Even when age and good sense screamed for a better diet. Even when Dan White used Twinkies as an excuse for his murderous San Francisco rampage. Love denied or lied about still lasts forever. Ask the retired science teacher in Maine who has kept one for 40 years. Or, better yet, ask President Bill Clinton. He's the one who put a Twinkie in the millennium time capsule, you know.

Aren't there current students, graduate and otherwise, to take up my slack? Or who are looking for a cause to champion? Can't the company be put on the Endangered Species List, given leftover TARP funds, or declared a National Treasure and protected by our government? This is a tragedy.

Forget Occupy Wall Street. Save the Twinkie!

With a Perspective, I'm Michael Collins.

Michael Collins heads a senior executive consulting practice, and writes from his Russian Hill home in San Francisco.

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