Whether you’re looking for a belated Festivus gift for Bernie Madoff or a currency alternative to the dollar, here’s a recent report on the trend of brokering deals in honey buns:
They are a lowly, sturdy food designed for desperate cravings and vending machine convenience. They can endure weeks of neglect and even a mild mashing in a coat pocket or backpack. They are, it should come as no surprise, especially beloved by a similarly hardy but disrespected population: Florida’s prison inmates.
Inmates in the Florida prison system buy 270,000 honey buns a month. Across the state, they sell more than tobacco, envelopes and cans of Coke.
Not only that, honey buns have taken on lives of their own among the criminal class: as currency for trades, as bribes for favors, as relievers for stress and substitutes for addiction. They’ve become birthday cakes, hooch wines, last meals even ingredients in a massive tax fraud.
Yep, fermented orange juice plus honey buns equals prison hooch. The more you know! You can even use them to pay your lawyers (take note, anyone who has to represent Tastykake in the near term):
George Alec Robinson, an unemployed sanitation worker and father of three, paid his public defenders in honey buns after they saved him from Virginia’s electric chair.
“He said, ‘This is all in the world I can give you guys,’ ” attorney James C. Clark told the Washington Post. “They were good, too.”
The article also details some interesting honey bun arbitrage, including trading honey buns for bail-bond lead generation and for Social Security numbers, the latter of which were then used to steal a cool million from the IRS. Not a bad rate of return for something that retails for $1.08. And speaking of that $1.08, they’ve appreciated in value from 66 cents in 2008. That’s 63% in the last 3 years. (And given the quantity of preservatives, a stash of them purchased in 2008 would probably still be edible.)