But there's hope. Last week, Hostess identified two lead bidders for its iconic convenience-store pastry (a transaction expected to be valued at an eye-popping $400-some million). And now, Fat City brings you tidings of a four-wheeled Twinkie evangelist named Michael Bradbury.
"I've got a few mortgage payments wrapped up in Twinkies," says Bradbury, the owner and operator of the Funnel Cake Truck.
Bradbury, who has what he conservatively estimates are 500 boxes of Twinkies (at 10 per box, that's 5,000 Twinkies), got a tip from a Facebook fan late last year that what looked like the last shipment of golden submarines had launched for the Kansas City area. So he wheeled on over to a Hostess shop and filled the back of the Funnel Cake Truck with milk crates full of Twinkies.
"I debated whether I wanted to spend all that money on Twinkies," Bradbury says. "They could come back in a week or may never come back into circulation. In the end, I just had to do it."
His goal wasn't snack-cake profiteering. Bradbury is still charging fair-market value for the product. A plastic-wrapped Twinkie goes for $1, and a deep-fried version (frozen, dipped in his grandmother's secret fritter batter and then fried) runs $3.
"I'm keeping it reasonable so that everybody enjoys them while I have them," Bradbury says. "I'm trying to keep them alive as long as I can."
This winter, Bradbury and the truck (the business marks its third anniversary on St. Patrick's Day) are making the rounds at corporate events and local schools. But in the spring, he'll be back downtown to unlock the magic.