Little Debbie Marshmallow Pies (Banana)

Grand Supermarket
2700 South Grand Boulevard

In sunny 1960 a postage stamp set you back a measly four cents. The average home cost $16,500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average peaked at 685 points and a carton of Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, released that year, made your wallet 49 cents lighter.

We all know that inflation, like marshmallows in hot cocoa, can't help but rise, and plenty's changed since 1960, the year the Food and Drug Administration approved The Pill and Elvis Presley was discharged from the army. Last year the U.S. Postal Service ramped up the price of a first-class stamp to 39 cents, the price of the average home hit $264,000 and the Dow hovered near 11,000.

But the folks at McKee Foods Corporation, the parent company responsible for our great nation's supply of Little Debbie snacks, are bucking inflation's dizzying trend. Witness the box of eight individually wrapped Little Debbie Marshmallow Pies (Banana) I recently got inside of. The carton was priced to move at a thrifty $1.09. That's just 13.62 cents per individually wrapped banana Marshmallow Pie, and take it from me: A Little Debbie Marshmallow Pie is worth each and every one of those 13 cents.

Wrested from its plastic wrapping, the confection makes its presence felt via a waxy coating of a toxic yellow hue (banana!) that leaves skid marks on every surface it touches. On the palate, said sheath registers little banana flavor but beaucoup cloying sweetness. Harbored within are two cookies, amply moistened by partially hydrogenated oil and cemented together with a spongy marshmallow core. The latter is sticky, elastic, luminescently white, and in a pinch could be employed to extinguish a grease fire.

As a foodstuff? Not so much.

Still, it's hard to go wrong at 13 cents per. Better yet, the carton contains a mail-in offer for a pair of action figures: Little Debbie and her pinto pal, Oatmeal Creme, which McKee will let go of for $13.

That doesn't include shipping and handling, of course — and at 39 cents a stamp it'll cost you.