Does Cinnabon as a concept serve any purpose other than making you question every decision you’ve ever made the second you sit down to eat one? It’s like you’re sticking a plastic fork and knife directly into a hot, gooey pile of self-loathing and hypertension. There are no upsides to a Cinnabon — even as a cinnamon roll, I think we’ve all had better. They’re less a pastry and more a lardy, solidified blob of sugar, coated in a generous helping of still more molten sugar. There are certainly danishes more worthy of our time, and yet we still give our souls over to these abominations. We have to stop.
2. Deep-Fried Twinkie.
I get the principle of a Twinkie. I understand that, as far as pre-packaged dessert-cake snacks go, they are amongst the least egregious offenders (even nutritionally speaking — seriously, go look it up). But they already exist as a ball of goldeny dough with a creamy center. Is the goal now to add another goldeny dough layer so as to render the once-distinct Twinkie components into one vegetable-shortening infused bomb of yellow cake? Amongst all the foods we could deep-fry, did this not most take us over the threshold and eventually lead to our indifference towards things like deep-fried soda, and deep-fried butter? There is no reason for a deep-fried Twinkie. We need to stop pretending that there is.
3. Dunkin Donuts
I’m just going to put this out there — Dunkin Donuts is bogus. Their donuts are all cakey and never hot, their coffee drinks are sub-par (though I will admit their roast isn’t as offensive as, say, McDonalds’), and they almost invariably mess up your order in some way. Can’t we collectively make it to a Krispy Kreme, an actual bakery, or — even better — a Fractured Prune, and have a legitimate donut experience? I am tired of the twice-baked socks that DD is passing off as breakfast pastry. We can do better as a society.
4. Pumpkin Spice Anything
As fall approaches, my dreams are once again haunted by the imp-like spectre of Pumpkin Spice syrup, sending my every food and drink on an irresistible, sugar-filled Waltz of the Taste Buds. This delectable sauce — on everything from lattés to beer to muffins — says “unbridled fall weight gain” more than a baggy sweater and a Breaking Bad marathon. Pumpkin Spice was brought here to bring us down, and we can’t let it beat us. This fall, we’ll try to at least cut our intake down by 14 percent. Just 14.
5. Taco Bell
Does any single establishment incite such simultaneous disgust and desire as Taco Bell? It’s as though this spicy fast-food establishment was the asshole who is clearly so bad for us but whom, for the life of us, we can’t stop sleeping with. Everything from the Cheesy Gordita Crunches to the sweet, sweet, cinnamon pork rinds or whatever those monstrosities are reach the darkest, most beautiful parts of our (often drunk) soul. Taco Bell touches something that no other fast food place can, and yet leaves us feeling like enormous, gassy failures at the end of every shame-filled meal. And considering 90 percent of their menu is simply the same five ingredients stacked in different orders, we can’t even blame our repeat offenses on curiosity. We know what we’re doing, we just can’t stop.
Just, what even are these things? Who is like, “I want a delicious dessert today — I’ve worked hard, time to really treat myself. I think I’m going to get a florescent-pink ball of coconut-rolled marshmallow sponge filled with dry cake and partially hydrogenated frosting!” Who?? No one, ever. Cut this shit out, Hostess.
Weren’t onion rings hard enough in actual onion form? I mean, when you either had to purchase a relatively expensive (in the junk food world) snack, or make your own from scratch, God forbid. Either way, onion rings were going to be an investment — and so worth it. Onions are everything that’s good about junk food: salty, fried, bringer of terrible breath, and usually accompanied with a zesty dipping sauce. But now, with Funyuns, one can have a passable facsimile of the onion ring experience with only 99 cents and a convenience store. Now we have to live with the constant possibility of oniony goodness over our heads at all times, and are simply not equipped to make these kinds of decisions. Funyuns — and Hot Fries, while we’re at it — can go f-ck themselves.
8. Slim Jims
No human should ever eat a Slim Jim, not even for survival in some kind of stranded-island situation. Death is more honorable than eating a Slim Jim.
9. Mountain Dew
I can almost see the point of Mountain Dew — it is the crack to Red Bull’s cocaine, I suppose — but God, it just seems so cruel. Putting kids on this horrifying witch’s brew of caffeine, sugar, and krazy-ass colors at the age of, what, six? Eight? How old are kids picking up the ‘Dew these days? I don’t want to go into detail about my ordeal with the stuff, but let’s just say that putting down Code Red for good was a process that I would not wish upon my worst enemy. It’s just so sugary, so efficient, and so incredibly unnatural-looking, it’s the nectar of the computer-geek Gods. It’s there to sustain us, to love us, and to ultimately make us hate ourselves.
10. Cake Pops
I don’t know if you’re aware, but there is this website called Pinterest, and its basic purpose in the Grand Internet Scheme of Things is to show us pictures of cupcakes shaped like things that are not cupcakes and promptly put on a stick. Do you want to eat a cake version of Pokémon? How about Hello Kitty? Avengers? Channing Tatum’s pecs? Of course you do, because as we all know since all of those absurd cake-decorating shows first came to our attention on the Food Network, a cake is only as good as the crazy-ass fondant sculpture that covers it. But seriously, wasn’t cake enough of a problem in our collective lives before we could get it in the perfect shape, color, and product placement to suit our mood/event? I don’t need my cake to look like Miley Cyrus and be on a popsicle stick. Save that shit for popsicles, so the shapes can get all hilarious and wonky when they melt.