Sunday, December 23, 2007

My fling with Little Debbie

I have a confession to make. For a month there, I had a mad crush on Little Debbie.

It happened so quickly, I still have a hangover from the sugar buzz.

Over the years, I’d seen Little Debbie hanging around convenience stores. Once I saw her watching me from the snack cake aisle. I never paid her much mind. Sure, she was sweet, and such a tidy little package. But she lacked substance. In a world of complex carbohydrates, she was a simple sugar. And a little fat.

Something changed last month on the Gappity Gap ride. When we rolled into the first control, my low fuel light was on. I needed some calories and fast.

And there she was, that cookie coquette, gussied up in a new get-up. The Little Debbie Double Decker Oatmeal Crème Pie. Two servings of sticky sweet cream filling in a triple bed of oatmeal cookies.

When she wasn’t looking, I checked her out from the back: 470 calories, 1/3 of em fat. Also, about half a shaker of salt.

Mon dieu! This little lady packed a culinary wallop. And all for 50 cents.

And so, my brothers, I gave into sweet temptation. Before the day was done, I would have Little Debbie twice. Each time, she left me light-headed from the sugary rush. Afterwards, I felt slightly queasy. Could this be love? Perhaps, although I couldn’t rule out a peculiar sensitivity to one of her essential ingredients -- annatto extract, a color additive that represented fire, sun and blood in early American Indian civilizations.

Was Little Debbie a Native American? This was a promising development. I had a box of arrowheads, collected during my teenage years in rural Virginia. I couldn’t wait to share them with her.

When I returned home from Gappity Gap, I wrote Little Debbie. I took a risk, laid my feelings out like cards on the table.

I waited in vain for a response. Nothing. Lil Deb had gone cold on me. Maybe it was an age thing? I did what all love-bit pups do these days: I googled her. And I learned an encouraging tidbit: Little Debbie had been around since 1960. Hell, she was my generation: a Baby Boomer, with the emphasis on kaboom.

So what could explain this sudden distance? Was this destined to be a one-ride stand?

Sadly, that was the case. In the last month, I’ve had a chance to cool off and come to my senses. I now see things will never work out between us. She’s the heir to a baking empire. And me? Just another love-struck fool with a sweet tooth and a dollar bill.

These days, anytime I enter a convenience store, I try not to let her catch my eye. True, I broke down on Saturday’s ride and had a single Oatmeal Crème Pie, just for old time’s sake. It left a bittersweet taste in my mouth. When I was done, all I wanted was a toothbrush and moist towelette.

But late at night, when I can’t sleep, I picture her in her Little Debbie outfit, bent over a steaming commercial stove. Her sweet voice cuts through the darkness: “More fat! I need more sugar! Where the hell is the annatto extract?”


Anonymous said...

Yes I can kinda relate. For brevets, at times the 'Lance' brand oatmeal cream snacks hit the spot and work well to add a few calories to the bank allowing a few miles before wanting another one, two, three or more. A riding friend accuses me of riding just so I can splurge on another one.

Anonymous said...

Debbie is definitely the most calories per penny. The "crack cocaine" of snack foods. (Come on and try one. All the cool riders are eating them.) If only Floyd had been using these instead. -Joel