WHAT YOU ARE.
   Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, or Food? From SPY magazine, July 1989 
   Author Unknown
   In an effort to clarify questions about the purported durability and 
   unusual physical characteristics of Twinkies, we subjected the Hostess 
   snack logs to the following experiments:
   A Twinkie was left on a window ledge for four days, during which time 
   an inch and a half of rain fell. Many flies were observed crawling 
   across the Twinkie's surface, but contrary to hypothesis, birds--even 
   pigeons--avoided this potential source of sustenance.
   Despite the rain and prolonged exposure to the sun, the Twinkie 
   retained its original color and form. When removed, the Twinkie was 
   found to be substantially dehydrated. Cracked open, it was observed to 
   have taken on the consistency of industrial foam insulation; the 
   filling, however, retained its advertised ``creaminess.''
   A Twinkie was placed in a conventional microwave oven, which was set 
   for precisely 4 minutes--the approximate cooking time of bacon. After 
   20 seconds, the oven began to emit the Twinkie's rich, characteristic 
   aroma of artificial butter. After 1 minute, this aroma began to 
   resemble the acrid smell of burning rubber. The experiment was aborted 
   after 2 minutes, 10 seconds, when thick, foul smoke began billowing 
   from the top of the oven. A second Twinkie was subjected to the same 
   experiment. This Twinkie leaked molten white filling. When cooled, 
   this now epoxylike filling bonded the Twinkie to its plate, defying 
   gravity; it was removed only upon application of a butter knife.
Extreme Force
   A Twinkie was dropped from a ninth-floor window, a fall of 
   approximately 120 feet. It landed right side up, then bounced onto its 
   back. The expected ``splatter'' effect was not observed. Indeed, the 
   only discernible damage to the Twinkie was a narrow fissure on its 
   underside. Otherwise, the Twinkie remained structurally intact.
Extreme Cold
   A Twinkie was placed in a conventional freezer for 24 hours. Upon 
   removal, the Twinkie was not found to be frozen solid, but its 
   physical properties had noticeably ``slowed'': the filling was found 
   to be the approximate consistency of acrylic paint, while exhibiting 
   the mercurylike property of not adhering to practically any surface. 
   It was noticed that the Twinkie had generously absorbed freezer odors.
Extreme Heat
   A Twinkie was exposed to a gas flame for 2 minutes. While the Twinkie 
   smoked and blackened and the filling in one of its ``cream holes'' 
   boiled, the Twinkie did not catch fire. It did, however, produce the 
   same ``burning rubber'' aroma noticed during the irradiation 
   A Twinkie was dropped into a large beaker filled with tap water. The 
   Twinkie floated momentarily, began to list and sink, and viscous 
   yellow tendrils ran off its lower half, possibly consisting of a 
   water-soluble artificial coloring. After 2 hours, the Twinkie had 
   bloated substantially. Its coloring was now a very pale tan--in 
   contrast to the yellow, urine-like water that surrounded it. The 
   Twinkie bobbed when touched, and had a gelatinous texture. After 72 
   hours, the Twinkie was found to have bloated to roughly 200 percent of 
   its original size, the water had turned opaque, and a small, fan- 
   shaped spray of filling had leaked from one of the ``cream holes.''
   Unfortunately, efforts to remove the Twinkie for further analysis were 
   abandoned when, under light pressure, the Twinkie disintegrated into 
   an amorphous cloud of debris. A distinctly sour odor was noted.
Summary Of Results
   The Twinkie's survival of a 120-foot drop, along with some of the 
   unusual phenomena associated with the ``creamy filling'' and 
   artificial coloring, should give pause to those observers who would 
   unequivocally categorize the Twinkie as ``food.'' Further clinical 
   inquiry is required before any definite conclusions can be drawn.
   Converted to HTML by Dan Bornstein,