Bequeathing the last Twinkie on Earth

Dearest family,

If you are shocked at the estate I have bequeathed to you, take consolation in knowing I am, too. I am sorry that my business ventures have not proven as profitable as I desired. Evidently I was not the visionary my father hoped I would be. I dabbled in the unfamiliar when I should have stuck with markets that were consistent and bankable. I do not know what I was thinking when I chose to invest in Betamax and LaserDisc technologies. I do not know why I believed my financial advisor when she told me that there was money to be made in such World Wide Web projects as Napster. I do know that these decisions were poor.

I do not have as much to pass on to you as I had hoped. I have neither riches nor obscure heirlooms to leave behind. (I sold Great Uncle Jeremy VII’s ivory dentures so that you may have the necessary funds to entomb me in a coffin of respectable quality.) I do not pass on to you money to invest in your children’s educations. I do not even leave a fund with which you may travel to the tropics, and for that I am sorry. I leave you no riches at all, in fact — not a single dollar. But to you, my dearest heirs, I give this, a token by which to remember me, a tribute to my memory, a golden treasure I have preserved for you to savour: the last Twinkie on Earth.

I, too, was shocked to hear of Twinkies’ near-extinction in the year 2012. And so I bought the last pack from my local supermarket as soon as I could. Upon the dissolution of Hostess, the company that manufactures Twinkies, I understood one thing clearly: this golden pastry — this puffy, delectable thing with a white, cool and gooey core — would outlast me. The Twinkie the executor of my will now holds is my sole legacy.

I imagine that, like the book full of baseball cards my grandfather left me before his heart attack upon seeing the telecasting of the Berlin Wall falling in 1989, the last Twinkie on Earth is of incomprehensible value. (In truth, I do not know how much my grandfather’s collection of baseball cards is valued at. One owner of a pawnshop told me I could exchange it for a George Foreman grill.) And like my grandfather’s gift, the Twinkie is an artifact of simpler times. The Twinkie is a relic of days when North Americans were not plagued by paranoia of arterial clogging, obesity and brittle joints, of load-bearing patellae and malnourished muscle. I have heard these called the golden days; how appropriate that they are embodied in this golden dessert.

Please do not squabble. I understand you are enraptured by the contents of my will, but be civil. This Twinkie has survived decades — perhaps even half a century by the time you read this. Its shelf life is indefinite. It will likely outlast the cellophane in which it is wrapped. You need not put it to use at once. Though there is but one Twinkie and many of you, I advise you take your time in devising what to do with the embalmed pastry. To be democratic, you may want to cut it in pieces, like a bit of cheese or pâté to be spread over a cracker. (I am so sorry I did not leave you an estate with which to buy pâté!)

I would recommend you sell it to a collector of antiques and such fine things. Who knows how much it will be worth. When I bought the last Twinkie on Earth, it was a buy-and-hold. If you find yourselves unable to preserve it for the generations that will succeed you, if you choose to eat it, I recommend you do so in seclusion. I recommend you relish the pastry as it dissolves in your mouth, for it shall never happen again.

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