Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Watervliet Wonder Bakery Thriftshop. Wonderous Breaderous.
I love this picture. The Wonder brand sign against the backdrop of a cemetery, it is somehow fitting. As if the sign is lording over its victims. Multitudes of people, arteries clogged with Twinkie filling, are shaking their bony fists from their graves at the sign's primary colored cheeriness. I can hear their ghostly muttering.
This particular Watervliet Wonder Bakery Thriftshop is located on the Troy Schenectady Road. Me and the wife were tooling around when we passed the establishment and we had to make a stop and sightsee.
I spied Captain Cupcake and Twinkie the Kid through the plate glass.
The store is frankly, surreal.
It is colors, oh so many colors. I can taste them.
In Soviet Watervliet, Wonder Bread eats you! I don't really know what to say about this place. Me and the wife and child wandered around this wonderland of artificial flavors, corn syrup, and processed wheat with bemused horror. I almost felt the need to pick up me wee 'un and hold her close. I have spoken about my survivalist tendencies before, but for some reason, that tickle at the base of my spine which urges me to grab the guns, ammunition, and knowledge of old timey methods of food preservation and head for the hills kicked in in this place. The wrongness of what we have done to ourselves by industrializing food production made the blood throb in my temples. Images of wavering fields of genetically modified corn and wheat under clear blue skies shot through my head. Miserable herds of zombie cows in Texas danced across my brain.
I don't often wax political or waste much effort on food activism, but one thing kept occurring to me. The stuff peddled at this location is seriously, shockingly cheap. If my nose was against the grindstone and I had hungry children to feed, would I be able to resist shopping here? If I was not brought up in a pseudo-foody household with hundreds of cookbooks would I even have the knowledge or inclination not to accept Wonder/Hostess products as normal? Fresh meat and produce is expensive, and preparation is time consuming and requires knowledge and equipment. I am not bringing up any new concepts here, but it is not often that the high fallutin' food philosophy that my economic status allows me to maintain is shaken to its core. So much for a nice Sunday drive through the river towns, I was left thoroughly depressed after leaving this joint.