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TWINKIE STRESS TESTS

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.

EXPOSURE: 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."

RADIATION: 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 epoxy like 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 mercury-like 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, 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 experiment.

IMMERSION: 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.

FURTHER TESTING: This was done by one Peter Schierloh and his constituents while Peter was a Junior at Dearborn High School. The process involved placing a Twinkie into a container and then hooking up said container to the applicable vacuum device (he worked in the back room of the physics lab). Once the apparatus was set up, the group proceeded to remove air from the container thus creating a state of decreasing pressure within the apparatus. The result was the expansion of volume of the Twinkie. The relationship between pressure and displacement was found to be one of inverse proportionality. At the pinnacle of the experiment, the Twinkie has obtained a volume of roughly double that of its original state. When the system was returned to a state of equilibrium, it was observed that the Twinkie was returned to its original size, shape and texture. In a continuation of the experiment, it was subjected to a taste analysis by an unsuspecting passer by whom was foolish enough to accept free food from this motley bunch. The observations of this experiment were as such: The Twinkie had obtained a unique flavor such that it caused the person whom ingested the morsel to expel it from their mouth at an unusually high rate of speed and with deadly force. The conclusion of this experiment is that Twinkies are not food. Instead, are a non-toxic foam which have been treated with amines (a group of chemical compounds responsible for artificial flavors and scents such as shoe polish, banana, watermelon, apple, and tutti-frutti) in such a way as to appear to have a desirable flavor. These amines can be removed, however, by the simple process given above. The result is the pure and untainted natural flavor of a Twinkie.

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