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OK, so all the reports about Hostess going bankrupt, liquidating and shutting down brands such as Wonder and Twinkies doesn’t have us fooled; we’re sure they’ll pop back up again, owned by some other multi-national mega-corporation. But what if this really is the swan song of Twinkies? 

From a personal standpoint, I really don’t care. I never liked Twinkies all that much, even as a kid. But as a man of letters, I am gravely concerned about the possible loss of one of the great food-related expressions: “It has the shelf life of a Twinkie.”

Hostess executives liked to shoot down the urban legend aspect of a Twinkie supposedly being able to last forever because of all the chemicals in it, but even if the snack cakes’ actual shelf life was only a few weeks, the phrase had a terrific ring to it.

So what do we do if we don’t have Twinkies to kick around anymore? What else has the shelf life of a Twinkie? Well it can’t be Ho Hos or Ding Dongs, other possible casualties of the Hostess liquidation. 

Here are some options, sticking with the idea that they have to represent a food, or at least the chemical representation of a foodstuff. But please, continue this important literary discussion in the comments below.

IT HAS THE SHELF LIFE OF:

  • A Dorito
  • Donkey Sauce
  • Fudgie The Whale
  • Sno Caps
  • A dusty bottle of Smirnoff
  • English muffins
  • Leftover Chinese food
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • A Frappuccino
  • A McRib
  • Mustard
  • Tapioca loaf* 
  • Turtle pie
  • Coors Light

*Tapioca loaf was the only bread-like object on the shelf at any Brooklyn deli, market or bodega during the lead-up and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We have no idea what it is, but we’re investigating.