A CASE FOR HYPHENATION
Recently, I went to the Minnesota State Fair, where there was much joviality, most likely the result of day-long orgies of food, conveniently served on sticks. It was heavenly. During my tenure, which some have called my Reign of Terror, I was presented with one of the finest examples of our species' creative marvels: the deep-fried Twinkie. Like a shiny oasis in the middle of the desert, except not really because it was surrounded by other booths and it was a fall-like day, the deep-fried Twinkie booth loomed like God. Glory bless!
The artisans working behind the counter were whistling a happy tune. The sun was shining. Small, blue birds rested on my shoulders until I shooed them away because those things carry diseases. A red carpet unfurled itself from the booth. Two lines of trumpet-playing lords tooted my arrival. I skipped gracefully down my path to my rightful place in front of the booth. I looked up.
The trumpet-playing lords suddenly stopped playing. The red carpet started shriveling underneath my feet. This is what the sign said: Deep Fried Twinkies.
Deep Fried Twinkies.
Not a hyphen in sight. Now, what was I to make of this? Were they serving deep Twinkies that were also fried? And did they mean "deep" metaphorically? Like, able to grasp complex, philosophical concepts, while also being fried? Were these magic Twinkies?
I was so confused, I had to sit down. Luckily, there was a giant, cushy mushroom in the shape of a Laz-E-Boy next to the booth. The artisans were clearly unaware of their malignability against the hyphen. Could you blame them? They were caught in the throes of creativity--dipping each Twinkie-on-a-stick into luscious, buttery batter; dunking them into roiling vats of oil; and then--Glory! Bless!--striping each Twinkie with a line of chocolate and topping with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
I can see how having all that could possibly preclude one from considering hyphenation, but I say to you: Citizens of the World! Who are we as a society if we do not punctuate correctly in the best of times? What will we do during the worst of times? Let go of punctuation altogether? Periodless sentences? Questions that remain forever unanswered because we've forgotten the question mark? WHAT WILL BECOME OF US?
All this I pondered on my mushroom chair. And then I realized that I should always carry nail polish with me because: 1.) I could easily use nail polish to insert a hyphen in that sign and therefore save the fate of humanity; and 2.) the polish on my toe nails was chipped, and that made me self-conscious.