I’m not particularly tall – only about 5′ 4″, but I have some long legs and not very high ceilings attached to ceiling fans. Cartwheels aren’t a safe possibility inside my apartment. Outside there are very high ceilings without fans and lots of open space. My only outdoor space is also public space. Despite my appearance I am older than a spontaneous cartwheeler should be.
Which is probably why I did not stop a family friend’s 8 year old daughter from cartwheeling down a path at the Austin Nature and Science Center. I was jealous. She’d grow up soon enough and her uninhibited freedom would stop her hands from reaching out and down to the ground, would stop her body from swinging sideways and her legs from throwing themselves skywards. Or, maybe she’d just outgrow cartwheels. That would be a tragedy. So she cartwheeled ahead while I and her teenage sister walked behind.
Being a cartwheel-deprived adult I have to find other releases for childish energy. Cupcakes I can make in the privacy of my own apartment. I can crash, sing, eat the entire batch and no one ever has to see. As an adult I developed such effective mental blinders that I couldn’t ever find the display of Hostess Ding Dongs* in the store. Brenda Leigh Johnson and Nancy Botwin would unwrap the silver foil from their cream-filled chocolate cake while solving crimes or doing crimes, respectively, and I’d drool with jealousy.
Finding the end of the aisle display I’d been walking past weekly for the past 20-odd years didn’t solve the problem. I’d feel guilt over enjoying such foods. Worse, I’d feel dismay that the foil-wrapped variety is not available in Texas. I didn’t want to watch someone enjoy the heels over head flying sensation of a cartwheel I wanted to be that person. I set about to recreate the cartwheel.
Do you recognize these? If you don’t one of two things has happened. One: They do not at all adequately represent what they are supposed to. Two: You have been deprived of preservative sugar filled deliciousness. These are the cartwheels of junk food.
Based on the reviews I suspect most everyone who ate a cupcake was tempted to cartwheel. While making them, I was not. Things went wrong. My filling technique needs practice and so the picture above is a cheat. The bad experience didn’t set me against the little cakes. My earliest attempts at cartwheels often ended in lying in the grass waiting for my breathe to come back. It didn’t stop me. No matter how many times my back hit the ground I kept striving after the thrill of the cartwheel. I’ll keep striving after these cream-filled cupcakes too. Just not any time soon.
*While writing this post I learned that the Ding Dong did not have the squiggle line on top. This particular decoration belongs to the Little Debbie Cupcake. Oops, but also “hooray” because my choice in marshmallowy cream was influenced by needing to pipe the same filling as icing. Dusting off my hands and heading back to the grassy field.
My final post to the script: though Hostess and all its foods including the Ding Dong has been well-covered in recent news, this post was first drafted on October 7, 2011. The cupcakes weren’t made until last week.