"Twinkies was the best darn-tootin' idea I ever had."
Jimmy Dewar, Twinkie inventor
My family agreed! Twinkies were a little taste of Heaven all wrapped up in cellophane. Once opened, the familiar blue and white box emptied quickly. Mom tried freezing them, thinking that would discourage us from snitching the cream filled treats reserved for sack lunches. That’s how we discovered a Twinkie was the perfect summer indulgence, cool and refreshing. Mom always said the five of us had exceptional “sniffers”, able to uncover the most cleverly hidden goodies.
How many Twinkies can five kids eat? My siblings and I could easily put away two boxes a day. Let’s figure this out. Ten Twinkies to a box, five kids, that makes four Twinkies apiece, each day. Yes, that’s doable! However, Mom brought home one box each week; that meant only two per child, for the whole week! That’s not doable.
I suppose Mom had reached her limit with food bandits one day as she let loose with her loudest voice. Echoing throughout the house came, “Okay, everyone in the living room! Now!” Younger sister, Julie and I were in our bedroom. “Oh, oh, somebody’s going to get it”, she stated with eyes rolling and dread in her voice. We both knew that Mom wouldn’t let this lie, not until whatever irritated her was settled.
Three younger brothers, sister and I straggled into the living room. Plop dropping onto the couches we silently waited for Mom to give her reason for this convocation. Her red face and puckered lips indicated somebody was in serious trouble for something. We didn’t wait long to hear, “who ate some Twinkies?” The room was silent as the five of looked at each other shrugging shoulders, shaking our heads and making expressions that said, “not me!”
“Let me ask again, WHO ATE SOME TWINKIES?” Mom questioned forcefully. This time we spoke. The culprits were, “Not Me!” “I Don’t Know!” and “Maybe, Dad??”
Mom was silent, yet we could tell she was thinking. The three oldest knew what was happening, Mom was planning the second attack. “Okay, let’s ask Dad”, our wise mother replied. Oh, boy, our goose was cooked.
Dad worked a short block away and Mom rarely summoned him home, we all knew how he disliked being interrupted. “Great,” I thought to myself, now we have two angry parents! The five of us sat petrified, knowing we were in deep trouble if somebody didn’t confess soon.
Within minutes we heard the front door open briskly, then Dad’s strong steps coming down the hall. His large frame filled the doorway, as he stood silent, studying each of us separately. Trying to sink into the couch and disappear, his booming voice shook me to the core. Eyeing Mother he bellowed, “Audrey, what’s the problem here!”
Mom promptly reported, “Either ‘Somebody’, ‘I Don’t Know’, or ‘Maybe, Dad’, ate the Twinkies saved for lunches. It wasn’t any of our five children, and they thought it might be you…was it?”
Drawing in a deep breath to hold back his anger, Dad asked, “Donna, did you eat the Twinkies?” “No, Dad”, I replied voice quivering.
“Julie, did you eat the Twinkies?” As tears threatened to spill from her saucer eyes she replied in a soft voice, “No, Dad.”
Three more times this was repeated with John, Jim and Jeff. “No”, “no”, and “no,” were their replies.
“Last chance! I will ask you one…more…time, did any of you eat the Twinkies?” Five “No’s” were given in order of age.
“Okay, line up on the floor, all of you!” Dad roared as he headed for the bedroom.
Through our tears we fearfully and obediently found our place on the floor. We heard the belt drawer open and the rattle of belt buckles. Dad kept his belts in a little drawer, each one coiled up neatly, resembling snakes. Rarely used for punishment, today these snakes were positioned to strike and the bite promised to be fierce.
Within minutes the chastisement was finished, still, no confession. All five took the punishment for the anonymous thief, known only to themselves and God.
Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. Proverbs 20:17 NASB
Twenty years later, when my own children became Twinkie thieves, I finally confessed to my merciful siblings. After twenty years of eating Twinkie gravel, I am free, rejoicing!
Rejoice not in iniquity, but rejoice in the truth. I Corinthians 13:6 NASB
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