Ring Ding/Devil Dog Dialogue by Molly MacDermot



The tunnel-long Drake’s ad in the 59th Street subway station

By Molly MacDermot

Ring Ding/Devil Dog Dialogue

Molly:  The last time I was eating a Devil Dog was in 1987. I was at the corner deli in front of my junior high school. The “cake”—or whatever petroleum synthetic it was made of— stuck to my braces and the roof of my mouth.

Amy: I was in the Midwest and we didn’t have Drake’s out there—we had Little Debbies. Our Ring Dings were called Ding Dongs. Is this a rap song?

Molly: I just googled it. Drake’s Cakes were pulled from shelves when Hostess went bankrupt but Little Debbie just bought them (for $27 million) and they’re back!

Amy:  Did the giant ad enhance your commuting experience?

Molly: I miss the kids’ murals that used to be there. I remember one: a line drawing of the Statue of Liberty filled with gradations of orange and green. What would Bansky do with this space?

Amy: They messed up the kid-art moment on your commute! We need those little touchstones, sometimes, to get through the brutality that is the subway.

Molly: Did you eat Little Debbie Zebra Cakes? I’m looking at their site now and they sell Zebra Cake lip balm for $5.95. Do you put that on after eating a Zebra Cake?

Amy:  Zebra Cake Lip Balm makes perfect sense to me since they were practically made from lip balm, anyway.

Molly: My babysitter Mallory, a Millennial, wouldn’t think of eating a Ring Ding. I think her generation is really mindful of what they put in their bodies. She eats almonds out of a small tin Bento box. She doesn’t want to keep her almonds in plastic.

Amy: The Ding Dong colors look fantastic, though, don’t they?

Molly: Very retro. The ad says they are celebrating 125 years. I can’t picture someone in the 1880s eating a Ring Ding or a Devil Dog, or even wanting Devil in the name. This makes me think of Katy Perry. Her family was very religious and her mom refused to call Deviled eggs Deviled. I think she called them Angel eggs.

Amy: And now she’s dressed in a devil outfit in the ad campaign for Pop Chips.

Molly: I need a snack.


Molly MacDermot is a noted expert on teens and has served as Editor in Chief of the teen magazines M, QuizFest, AstroGirl, and J-14.