Monday, June 16, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Twins Game

By Kristin

Last weekend, a friend and I made the arduous trek to the Windy City to see our Minnesota Twins battle our division rivals, the Chicago White Sox. Actually, it was not so much of a battle, as it turns out, but more of an unmerciful slaughter. Anyway, we began our adventure to the game at a local pub, absorbing the local culture and sampling the local brew. Erik and I both wore our Twins’ jerseys proudly, not caring that they were a little outdated displaying Hunter and Santana respectively. I even came up with a few zingers to combat any insults that would be pitched our way; At least we don’t share a city with the Cubs, or, At least our mascot isn’t a smelly sock. Unfortunately, I would be unable to use any of these stellar statements.

As we left the bar, someone yelled out, “Hey, Twinkie!”. At that moment, two thoughts flew through my head. Either he thought I wanted a Twinkie, or that there was a Twinkie stuck somewhere on my back. I was so shocked with this insult, assuming that it was an insult, and was unable to retort with my rehearsed lines. As I hurried past the group of Sox fans, the small gathering laughed and jeered.

“That man just called me a Twinkie,” I yelled exasperated at my companions.

“Yes,” one of them replied, “that’s what they call Twins fans, Twinkie.”

The rest of the game proceeded with minimal incident apart from the expected hollering and bashing. The Twins played a dismal game but we wore our Twins Jerseys proudly, hoping no one would notice that they were outdated. I was surprised to find that the people who did point out the fact that Santana and Hunter were no longer playing and could choice word, were Twins fans themselves. I returned home determined to see if anyone else had ever experienced being called a Twinkie. A reliable Twins fan and good friend told me that way back when the Twins were in a bit of a slump, people referred to the Minnesota ball players as Twinkies.

But this is not Twinkie’s only way of insulting a group of people. It is used as a term to describe Asian Americans who have become so immersed in American culture that they no longer follow any traditions of their Asian heritage. Another way it is used is by Native Americans to describe Americans who are entirely European, but claim Native American ancestry. Who knew that the name of a popular treat could have so many meanings and describe so many different people?

As a relatively new Twins fan, I was not as insulted as others may be by being called a Twinkie, mostly just caught off guard. I will take it as being called sugar, or sweet and stand proudly to be called a Twin/kie Fan.

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