Advertising Icon “Little Debbie” Held In Trafficking Charges

Have you tried cakes and pies…?

~~Little Debbie

[Little Debbie’s Original Head Shot Found in an Attic in Tulsa. Source: Google Search. Image copyrighted by McKee Foods, Inc]

I was sitting in the Operation Room Lounge of the Holiday Inn on Main Street when I first got the text message on my iPhone. It was Huntsville, Alabama and it was hotter than a stolen tamale. The barkeeper poured me my third draft of Pabst Blue Ribbon. The only chilly location in the room was the bar stool next to me. Her name was Sheila. Her hair was the color of polished copper. I kept wanting to call her Ginger. I was hoping she would agree to come back to my place, order in a Papa John’s Everything Pizza and stream something up lifting. I had Bergman’s The Seventh Seal in mind. My friend Sheila wrote a Miss Lonely Hearts column for the only other rag in town, The Huntsville Trumpet. I, on the other hand, had a corner office in the Huntsville Reporter. I’d like to say that I covered the waterfront, but it wouldn’t be true. I wrote obits. After taking an extra deep gulp of PBR, my iPhone broke into Dancing Queen by Abba. I nearly knocked Shiela’s Pink Lady over as I reached for the singing phone. I put my left forefinger in my ear and turned away from my colleague with a quick “scuse me”. I grabbed by notebook.

“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. What? Yeah. Who? Yeah. Okay.” I muted my phone and turned to Miss S.

“Girl, do I have a scoop on a big one.”

“I bet you say that to all the girls.”

“Do you like tasty snacks?” I asked.

“Excuse me?”

I cringed. I did it again. Now she’ll take me down with a MeToo and a #.

“No really. Remember that girl who’s face is all over the snack packages? Well, she really did it this time.”

“You mean…”

“Debbie. Little Debbie,” I said after looking over my notes.

“Sure, I remember her. She still alive after the Opioid thing?”

“You bet she is and she’s up to no good…as we speak.”

Sheila pulled an obscenely long cigarette out of a box that was buried deep in her macrame handbag. “I gotta have a smoke. Come on join me.”

“Outside?” I asked. “But it’s hotter than Dutch love.”

“Stop whining and start talking.” She headed for the door.

“She’s in big trouble now. The Feds are holding her in a Police Station in West Palm Beach. Seems there is a ton of evidence that she is the CEO of a massive eight continent human trafficking operation based in Hong Kong.”

“I loved the original better than the remake,” said Sheila. “Big lovable ape loves beautiful girl…I could cry…”

“Please don’t. And that was King Kong, don’t you remember?”

“Guess I was looking at you too much and not the screen. All those people sitting in front of me. It was really not a very nice evening,” she said.

“It was a Drive-In, sweetheart,” I said.

“Details.”

“Anyway, the old girl, this Debbie person is about sixty now. She was quite a big deal once upon a time. Her brand of snacks were sold in every gas station in the free world. There was even a Little Debbie song. You can Google it. Kind of catchy.”

Sheila crushed the butt of the spent Virginia Slims cig and turned to me. “There was always something a little odd about her.” We settled back onto our bar stools.

“I totally understand,” I said. “Want to hear something strange about her? I had her image on my iPhone. She was wearing a hat with a chin string. I pinched the photo and made the tiny clasp as large as a Susan B. Anthony dollar. Know what? Hidden in that image was a symbol that has been linked to Satanic Cults throughout Meso-America and the Pacific Rim. She was up to more than we can imagine. And none of it was good…or legal.

Sheila looked at me. “Can we talk about this later? I’m famished.”

On our way to Papa John’s Pizza Emporium, we stopped at a well-stocked 7-11 store. I bought a six-pack of Moosehead Ale and a quart of Maker’s Mark. Sheila pulled down a bottle of medium priced Tequila. I reached for a few snack cakes that would be our dessert. I nearly picked up a Little Debbie Raspberry Apple Plum Cake. I stopped. I looked down at the package. I would bet my uncle’s Studebaker on the fact that the image on the package on the shelf…Little Debbie eyes seemed to be following me. They were a dull shade of red. Was that a curl in her short cute hair? Or a horn?

I grabbed a Tasty Cake instead. Cherry flavored. Just like the eyes of Satan.

[Shot from the hip. The package at the 7-11. Yet another mystery. Where is the hat string? My photo.]

Passports 10: A Letter to My Son Regarding Advertising

gas nozzle

From: Moorcote House, Moretonhampstead, Devon, England

To: Brian, Astoria, Queens, New York

My Dear Boy,

I hope this post finds you well and in good stead.  Has your golf game improved somewhat?  I do hope so, because remember the reward I promised last Christmas?  In case you have forgotten: if your game improves to within ten strokes of my own modest handicap, then I shall allow you to caddy for me at the next tourney.  Is everything else just chipper with you? I hope the package I put in the post ten days ago will reach you in time for the Big Party you often spoke about.  I chose the knickers myself.  I know how you admired the plaid ones that I sport.  And, I think the orange socks will compliment them to a tee.  I bought the box at the Post Office and found it was too large for the knickers and socks, so I included a few bags of Hedgehog flavored chips.  Reminds me of the joke: What can’t the hedgehogs share?  Good one, that.  I must ask after that darling lady friend of yours.  She’s such a dear.  Has she had any success getting the purple/orange dye out of her hair?  And, tell her that a Mohawk ‘do’ will, in time, grow out.  Between you and me, I hope she ditched the dog collar.  Also, she had asked our opinion about her recent purchase of stocks.  We thought about it and have come around to seeing her point.  We also feel that double-bonding silicon caulk is, indeed, a sound investment.  Personally, I think it was a much better choice than variable speed drills and double-basin stainless steel sinks.

Our rent car is a Fiat.  It’s smaller than most American cars…in fact, it is smaller than most cars in general.  Even with the back seat folded down, we could barely fit our two trunks and still have room for the laptop and Irish tweed cap that I so proudly wear when the evening gets a bit nippy.  Actually, it’s a good thing that the car is so small because the roads here in the West Country of England are so narrow, one can barely fit past another car.  When I’m pressed against the hedgerow on the passenger side and a lorry is approaching from the opposite direction, Mariam tightens and cringes.  I, on the other hand, am very relaxed.  I simply close my eyes as the lorry passes and wait for the sound of a side view mirror getting smashed off or the paint on my side of the car getting scraped clean.  Metal against metal has a pleasing sound, once you get used to it.  So, to the point of this letter, my boy.  I know you live in Astoria, Queens and have a nice job in advertising in Manhattan.  Your life sounds like something out of a Doris Day & Rock Hudson movie.  Yes, you went to a chi-chi New York City Business College but I feel, as a father, that I should give you some man-to-man advice on your career path.  You keep insisting that there is money in those massive billboards in and around Times Square that are placed by your company.  Hey, neon has it’s place, but the world doesn’t revolve around mid-town Manhattan (actually, on second thought, it does).  But, because you’re my son, I feel compelled to let you in on a little secret that I have picked up while touring England. I stopped on the M5 Motorway just this afternoon to fill the tank with what these Brits call ‘Petrol’, you know, gas.  Something caught my eye whilst I was pumping and I am now passing it on to you, my boy. On the top part of the pump was a sticker.  It read:

Not only has fuel nozzle advertising brought in new customers, but local awareness has gone through the roof. 

Now, I know a good bit of advice when I see it.  So, for what it’s worth, I’m passing this onto you, my boy.  You can step up to the plate, put the ball on the tee and take the ball and run with it or you can can take the bull by the horns and get caught in mid-stream without a Pope. Write soon and call your mother, Love, Dad