Have you tried cakes and pies…?
[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.
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.”
“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.
“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.]