Dear Journal,

I spent the morning planning on telling you about how Teresa MacPherson tried to steal Larry away from me and then how much fun last night's camp with the troop was... but I just learned the most horrifying thing!

I was grabbing me a Twinkie, which I really wanted! but the box has been on our shelf for months! Well, it felt soft, I mean, Twinkies don't actually have a shelf-life, right? Everybody knows that! But I mean... gross! But it wasn't hard so I unwrapped it and tossed it to Butch.

BUTCH IS DANGEROUS! I watched him! He wolfed down that Twinkie like his life depended on it and then his eyes got HUGE and he started to hack or cough or maybe it sounded like he was gonna hurl a lung or something but he started to shiver and then he LOOKED AT ME! I mean you know, dogs look at you but he LOOKED AT ME like Tony Becker I mean ICK like he wanted to kiss me or eat me or SOMETHING.

Yes I screamed! and I ran for my room and slammed the door and moved my bed in front of it. Then I called Darcy and told her to warn the troop that the Twinkies were doing something to the dogs and she she didn't believe me and suddenly she screamed and the phone went dead and

BUTCH IS OUTSIDE MY WINDOW! I'm calling our troop leader now!

  • Our timeline is present-day Earth.
  • A young Girl Scout just discovered that eating Twinkies turns people into zombies.
  • We're in a 15,000ish midwest city.
  • The entire troop (assuming Darcy hasn't been eaten Yes, Darcy becomes a zombie, it's not just dogs....) is available to help, but the adult leaders initially don't believe them.
  • The world is doomed if we can't get some adults with authority to realize the problem (mayor, city council, etc.).

Question: Other than waiting long enough for zombies to start walking the streets, what can the girl scout troop do to prove to their city leaders that twinkies are turning people (and dogs) into zombies?

Answers will be graded on the following:

  1. How "teenager" the response is. Take off those adult glasses and remember what the world was like when you were 13.

  2. How well you encorporate the policies, procedures, and culture of the Girl Scouts.

  3. How plausible the response will be received by City management.

  4. How low the probable body count fast your solution could be implemented.

Attention VTCers!  Questions about the "effects of events or world elements, including biology, technology and magic, on specific aspects of that world's societies, cultures, and environment" are on-topic. The existence of my narrative (considering 90%+ of all questions are for the purpose of furthing a story) does not automatically make the question "too story based."

What's funny is that there is no story. I created this entire question ad hoc because the idea of Girl Scouts trying to stop the Zombie Apocalypse tickled my fancy.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Isn't this just general knowledge? Those little cakes scare the daylights out of me. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B II
    Jul 6, 2018 at 4:29
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ And best of all, the antidote is Girl Scout Cookies (except Thin Mints - ugh!) $\endgroup$ Jul 6, 2018 at 5:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Beg your pardon for my ignorance, but I have no clue what Twinkies and Tony Becker are. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jul 6, 2018 at 5:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch I'm with you. Although I have a vague impression that Twinkies are an abominable confectionery or similar widely consumed by persons with no good taste in the United States of America. As for Tony Becker, I know nothing. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Jul 6, 2018 at 6:43
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @ArtificialSoul Twinkies are widely available in the United States again. They were discontinued for a while when the original company went bankrupt, but there was a big public outcry, and a different company bought the rights to produce them. I don't know what all the fuss was about. They honestly aren't very good. Preservative-laden sponge cake filled with intensely sweet white "creme". They never spoil, but they always taste stale. $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2018 at 0:52

5 Answers 5


They are present day teens. I am pretty sure they know how to make a podcast or posting a video online.

They can replicate the process with a small critter (it's easier to handle, it doesn't hurt a "good" animal like a dog or cat), film it and put it on line, sharing it with their community, even via a Whatsapp (or equivalent) group. If they are somehow less considerate scouts, they might even use another dog for the experiment.

Then someone from the troop will have a parent who is influent enough to rise the alarm to the competent authority.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It probably works, but it might still take days. that might be enough though, after all the US military presented their Zombie Apocalypse Defense plans 1-2 years ago taking into account pretty much every fictional zombie outbreak scenario. $\endgroup$ Jul 6, 2018 at 6:47
  • $\begingroup$ The question establishes dogs are zombified by Twinkies. It's an open question whether other vertebrates might also succumb. Presently we can take it as read that humans will become zombies. After all, what's a zombie apocalypse without human zombies? An undead doggie only apocalypse would be too sad. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Jul 6, 2018 at 7:03
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    $\begingroup$ @ArtificialSoul, well, you cannot have an apocalypse if you stop it immediately, don't you? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jul 6, 2018 at 7:11
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android, I embedded a scenario where also dogs are tested $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jul 6, 2018 at 7:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ But so far all the girls have done is show that twinkies make animals sick, that's probably the case anyway, just a different sort of sick $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Jul 6, 2018 at 10:07

In addition to existint answers:

Do not give a diagnosis, just explain the symptoms

Saying "My dog has turned into a zombie" is going to raise a few eyebrows, and most people will think "Another teenager who has watched some TV show that she should have avoided and is now having nightmares".

But "My dog has gone feral after eating a Twinkie" (or even, just "my dog has gone feral" and give the Twinkie details later) is a different thing. Dogs do go feral, and things like rabbies are very dangerous. This is not going to be so easily dismisssed, and when people (pest control, police officers even) go to check and put down the dog they will notice that something is very wrong.

The less extraordinary the claim is, the less proof will be required to get the authorities'ear.

Coordinated action

The more calls authorities receive, the more pressed they will be to act. Even if they do not believe the callers, if they get lots of complaints they will be forced to act. Get all the troopers to call, and police will go if only to fine the "pranksters".

Get the chain of command involved

An adult may have doubts about the judgement of an unknown 13 year old. But an adult who interacts with her in a regular basis might be more amenable. Maybe not enough to blindly believe her, but to be convinced that "something is happening" and to go to check out. Once the higher-ups become convinced, their claims will have a lot more of credibility.

  • $\begingroup$ Upvoted especially for the 'observation, not diagnosis' approach. This also deals with the self interest consideration of blaming twinkies to cut competition for the cookies. I've seriously wandered in the past whether or not many representations of zombies in movies and TV series aren't just a multi-resistant form of rabies with amplified symptoms. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B II
    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:46

There are problems here in what you've asked for, it would be much easier to prove that twinkies cause zombieism than to prove they would cause a zombie apocalypse. What if they'd just cause a bit of a zombie outbreak but no real problem or maybe a zombie crisis, but that's still not an apocalypse.

To prove that it would be a Zombie Apocalypse you have to clearly show that not only are twinkies causing zombieism, but that it is permanent and contagious, and that the zombies so created last long enough that it will rapidly transfer to the larger part of the population.

With the resources available to the average group of girl scouts, the only way I can see to prove that it would cause a zombie apocalypse is to cause a zombie apocalypse. Anything else is just conjecture.

Proof by demonstration

Always the best way, get out there and start distributing them. If the zombie apocalypse happens then you can prove that the twinkies caused it.

If it doesn't happen then you'll need to change your hypothesis, perhaps twinkies cause zombieism in a limited section of society.

If you get zombies while you were distributing starburst to your control group, perhaps it wasn't the twinkies after all.

Grading requirements

  1. Mostly I got in trouble for setting things on fire in my early teenage years, given the chance I may well have started a zombie apocalypse.
  2. I was a boy scout, mostly we liked setting things on fire and shooting things, we didn't have much exposure to girl scouts.
  3. The city council will take this badly, very very badly.
  4. Quite quickly, I hear the girl scouts have a very efficient distribution network.

They could grab a small rat out of PetCo or something and talk to a high-powered executive or government parent of one of the troop's members to get into contact with someone who could do something about it once they show them what happens to the rat when they feed it the twinky. Or just walk up to the front desk at city hall and show the person at the desk so that they can get to talk to the mayor.

It's rudimentary, a little silly, and relatively quick.

  • $\begingroup$ Rodents are often used in scientific research. However, what works for a rodent may not work for humans. How would you test if Twinkies only turn humans into zombies, but not other species? If so, your otherwise suggestion would result in some mightily embarrassed girl scouts and a zombie apocalypse going unchecked. But who said science was easy? $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Jul 6, 2018 at 6:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You could use lawyers instead. As the old saying goes, nobody will get attached to them and there are some things a rat won't do...... $\endgroup$
    – Thorne
    Jul 6, 2018 at 7:28

Scientifically there is one way to prove Twinkies can infect and transform people and dogs into zombies. When your girl scouts contact someone in authority, they can do one of either two things. (1) feed a Twinkie to a dog, or (2) persuade a human to eat a Twinkie. In the later case, choose your human carefully. "Hey, Mr Mayor, if you don't believe us. Why don't you eat a Twinkie?" This might not be the most sensible scientific approach to proving Twinkies as the causative agency for zombification.

Approach (1) is too cruel for words. OK I confess I'm a dog lover and owner. Besides there are currently seven billion humans and if we're in the grip of a zombie apocalypse, then the occasional sacrificing of a few humans for science won't really be missed.

Although we must consider that there is a zombie Butch and Darcy rampaging around the landscape. Perhaps if either can be captured they can be taken to the authorities to demonstrate the reality of a zombie apocalypse. There should be a girl scout for capturing and restraining zombie dogs and zombie girl scouts. Acquiring specimens of any phenomenon is a tried and true scientific method. So capturing a specimen zombie of any vertebrate species is a sure fire technique for proving the existence of a zombie apocalypse.

I must concur with @L.Dutch's sensible suggestion about making a video and posting them online. This would be spread the word about the zombie apocalypse.

In conclusion, either capture your zombie or feed a Twinkie to a suitable test animal to demonstrate and prove that Twinkies are the cause of zombification.


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