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The two-word message might come at any moment. Within seconds of its arrival, the Palo Alto office kitchen is filled with lawyers and staff.
 
Welcome to “snack attack.”
 
The brainchild of avowed snacker Brendan Cullen, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell—who may or may not have been inspired by the Saturday Night Live video short “Lazy Sunday,” in which snacks feature prominently—snack attack is, true to its name, a massive assembly of junk food, including beef jerky, candy, chips, cookies and every single Hostess cake product available for sale. Sorry, health nuts, but you will find nary a carrot here—nor, for that matter, a nut—unless it is shrouded in caramel and chocolate. Snack attack is all about “unabashed, bad-for-you junk food,” Brendan said.
 
While snack attacks are unpredictable, they are likely to occur several times a year. Brendan and an accomplice make runs to Safeway where they spend a minimum of $300 on goodies. A former associate recalled the first iteration in 2006. Brendan “just started shoveling things into the cart like I’d never seen before. Each successive snack attack was a repeat, with some refinement of the process along the way. As a policy, we tried to clear out the entire Hostess section,” he added, referring to the venerable snack-cake company. (Brendan’s snack of choice is a Twinkie or Donette—either the powdered sugar or chocolate variety.)
 
“Sverker Hogberg is now my partner-in-Safeway-snack-aisles-plundering,” Brendan said. 
 
Brendan admitted that some in the office have tried to push for more healthful foods. These attempts have largely been unsuccessful, although Brendan said that, once in a while, in a purely ironic gesture, he and Sverker will buy “something tofu-y.”
 
But while the snack sessions might be lacking in nutrition, they offer other benefits.
 
“I think it’s been great for morale. It helps bring some fun and bonding into the office. It provides a chance for everyone to get together.” As Brendan said, “people are happier because snack attack is delightful and delicious.”
 

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