There has been much debate regarding the true expiration date of a Twinkle-ee Cake.

Will the spongy cake and sugary frosting center maintain it’s edible and spongy qualities well beyond the expiration stamped on the cellophane package?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked but, when someone finds out I’m a time traveler, the question of Twinkle-ee Cakes pops up. Why? I have no idea. With all of the questions one could ask a time traveler, why would anyone in their right mind care about Twinkle-ee Cakes?

I rarely socialize, but sometimes I have to in order to keep my brother happy. Inevitably, the topic of my past pops up and then someone will bring up the question and another will jump into the conversation and ramble off a bunch of scientific reasons that supposedly debunks the Twinkle-ee Cake myth.

“I’ve heard that Twinkle-ee Cakes can survive the atom bomb.”

“I heard somewhere that someone found a Twinkle-ee Cake pinned to a blackboard in an abandoned classroom. It was 30 years old, they ate it and it was still good!”

Hog wash. Who would eat a thirty year old sponge cake?

I was bored. Fidgety, actually. The house was empty. I decided that an experiment was required.

The grocery store had one box of Twinkle-ee Cakes left on the shelf. They are still selling like mad. I don’t get it. They are just a sugary mess, if you ask me. Even at it’s freshest it’s probably the most unhealthy food on the planet.

I took the box of cakes through one of the three doors in my lab into the past. Thirty years to be exact. The door appeared in the same wall shimmering and set on hold. I can usually keep it open for about five minutes before I run into problems.

The Brightbuckle home coordinates never change. Programming the time was the only tricky bit. Sometimes the calculations are off and I’m tripping over cave men. Fortunately, the programming was right on target.

The light from the door cast crazy shadows throughout the basement revealing boxes, trunks and a couple of shabby looking bicycles.

I opened the basement window and let some sunshine and oxygen into the room. I don’t know what it is, but the air has a different scent back then. I peered out of the window. The hedges were smaller, the trees were shorter and the house was a different color. Otherwise, it was the same house. It’s been in the family for generations.

I placed one securely wrapped Twinkle-ee Cake in a small sterile metal box and snapped the lid closed.

It would be many years before I would relocate my lab to this house, so none of my equipment was present, but I knew one spot that would remain untouched for thirty years. It was a loose foundation block in the far corner of the dark basement. I wrestled it free from the wall and placed the small metal box with the Twinkle-ee Cake inside. I pushed the hollow block back into place and stretched my aching back.

I still had a few minutes to kill so I walked around the basement looking at the artifacts of my past. My first bike, my first tool box, my scout cap hanging on a hook.

Dad’s old boots. 

I felt a bit emotional. I hate when that happens. I took a deep breath, turned and faced the wall and returned to the present via the door.

My lab was there waiting.

I found the loose foundation block in the far corner. I pulled it free and peered inside. There was no box inside but there was a piece of paper. I picked it up carefully, holding it between my thumb and forefinger. It had a musty smell and a tea-stain color. I unfolded it.

Someone printed, in black ink, across the top of the paper;

You built a powerful time machine and this is how you use it?

You really should feel embarrassed. Shame, shame, same.

Scrawled at the bottom was a large “S”

Then the following;

BTW. In case you are wondering; Tasted fine to me.

Just as I suspected; The cake would not be where I left it.

I turned and faced the massive pile of boxes and abandoned experiments that I had in the basement lab. I calmly pushed as much aside as I could and dug into the mess until I found what I was looking for; my first toolbox. 

It was a standard box painted red, chipped, dented with rust spots here and there. There were a few stickers, across the top and side that had peeled and were curled. Colorful logo’s for super heroes and products like STP oil treatment, Superman and Jack’s Garage. I popped the chrome latches and opened the lid.

If anyone were with me they would have seen something rare; me grinning from ear to ear. I rarely smile and there’s not much that can evoke one. 

I lifted the Twinkle-ee cakes from the toolbox, the ones that remained from what I had purchased. I pulled open one of the cellophane packages and sniffed the cake inside. As fresh as if I had had bought it today. (Yes, yes; I know. I did buy it today, but thirty years have gone by. Since then just deal with it.)

I took a bite.

Disgustingly good. Just as disgustingly good as if I had bought it today.

Now… what to do about S?

 

  

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