Ancient Candy

At MidWeek I have the privilege of working with some amazing young talent. Much of our staff are in their 20s and, yes, they could literally be my kids. Of course I have much respect for their work ethic and journalistic skills. As an old newspaper guy, it’s encouraging for me to see this generation having a passion for the printed word.

And I’ve said this before, but our staff is more like family to me. We certainly get our work done, but in the process we try to have fun and not stress out in this pressure-cooker business of news and deadlines. Sometimes it does get away from them, and suddenly with these “kids” I often have to take a bite of the reality sandwich.

The other day two of these 20-something young women were talking as I walked by. One of them asked if I wanted a piece of candy. It was one of those milk candies called White Rabbit. The two young women seemed to be reminiscing about the candy that they enjoyed when they were little girls.

I too remembered having a similar candy when I was a kid, and off the cuff started to say, “Yeah, when I was growing up I enjoyed …” when I was abruptly cut off by one of the women who said, “You mean they had this candy back …”

She stopped mid-sentence, realizing what she was about to imply. I finished her sentence, “Back in the olden days before electricity?”

She covered her open mouth with her hand and turned bright red.

Calmly I said, “No, we didn’t have candy back then. We would take a stick and jam it into a beehive and then eat the honey.”

The two of them started laughing nervously.

I don’t know if they were playing or what, but then one of them seemingly serious asked, “How did you avoid getting stung by the bees?”