Thanks, Hostess Brands.
In one fell swoop youve made pointless the weeks of work by one Fort Wayne tinkerer and robbed countless children of – well, lets skip that bit about children, but you have sort of spoiled Scott Rizzos day.
Rizzo, as we said, is a tinkerer, the sort of guy who shows up at the local Maker Faire, where people show off unusual-looking things they call art or unique inventions like a pedal-powered kitchen table.
A little more than a year ago, Rizzo looked at a riding mower and saw something more. Working with sheet metal, air compressors, some tubes and some computer graphics, he turned the tractor into a miniature dragster.
Sure, with only 12 horsepower it doesnt go fast, but speed wasnt the point. The key to his homemade contraption was a compressed air tank and a couple of pipes that stuck out the front like cannons.
Traveling to various events, towing a trailer full of ammo, Rizzo would fire projectiles into the crowds.
His projectile of choice?
Rizzo could really pelt the crowd, too. That trailer, covered with decals of the Twinkie cowboy character, could carry up to 40 boxes of Twinkies.
Rizzo tried to appear in the Three Rivers Festival Parade, but he wasnt permitted because parade organizers dont allow people to throw candy into the crowds – which for some reason includes shooting Twinkies into the crowd.
But Rizzo found plenty of other places to show off his totally pointless handiwork.
And then Hostess Brands, the company that makes Twinkies, up and went out of business, shutting down nearly a score of factories, throwing thousands of people out of work.
Some people will shed no tears over the demise of Twinkies. In todays world – where some regard being overweight as the single greatest threat to the existence of mankind – Twinkies are reviled for not being nutritious.
But the demise of Hostess Brands has left Rizzo almost clean out of ammo, and what good is a Twinkie-shooting dragster without Twinkies?
The sad truth is that some people might not miss Rizzos dragster, either, because they didnt understand those strange things he was shooting.
Rizzo said he showed up at the Maker Faire at Headwaters Park last month and started blasting away with Twinkies, only to have kids bring the snacks back to him and ask what they were. They had never seen a Twinkie before.
Rizzo had to explain to the kids that they were supposed to open the plastic wrappers and eat the snacks.
No wonder Hostess went out of business, Rizzo said.
Rizzo isnt totally out of luck. He conceivably could shoot hot dogs from his compressed air cannons, although hot dogs do tend to pack more of a wallop than a Twinkie.
Fortunately, other bakers make snacks that look a lot like Twinkies and Rizzo figures he could resort to shooting those into crowds here and there.
Or, maybe, someone will buy Hostess Brands and resume making the yellow sponge treats. It would be worth their while. Theyve got a regular customer waiting in Rizzo.