Solution to his sticky situation
IHAVE never been any sort of a businessman. When I was a student, I went to buy a record-player available for £20 or nearest offer, and ended up paying £25. I have never managed to sell anything in my life. I was at school with boys who have become some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country and all learnt was a smattering of Latin and classical Hebrew. What sort of an education is that for a Jewish boy?
But I’d like to believe that even a shlemiel like me will have one good idea in his life, and though I’ve never done myself any good, perhaps I can help a friend. And my friend Adrian is in a sticky situation. He’s drowning in honey. For decades he’s kept bees and they’ve provided him with a goodly amount of high-quality sweet stuff. But this year they’ve gone completely mad, they just won’t stop laying or whatever it is they do.
For weeks the poor man has been coming in from his garden, dressed like a spaceman, bearing superheavy honeycomb. His harvest is twice as big as ever before. “It’s never been like this,” he whimpered in a mixture of pleasure and panic. “You’re dealing with a beehemoth,” I said solicitously, though his expression suggested it was more like Beelzebub.
“It’s up to 400lb now,” he expostulated over a wall of jamjars. “How on earth am I going to sell it? My usual outlets won’t be able to cope.” “I can tell you what you need,” I said. “You need Jews. Get into the Jewish market and it will be Christmas come early.”
“What do you mean?” he muttered (he’s of Christian stock). “I mean Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.” “So?” he whispered.
“Well,” I replied, “it’s probably fair to say Jews don’t eat more honey than anybody else. Give a blindfolded Jew four pieces of toast, one with smoked salmon, one with chopped liver, one shmeared with chicken fat, and one with honey, and the honey would probably come fourth. But on Rosh Hashanah, we are more or less commanded to eat honey. We put some on an apple to symbolise the sweet year ahead. There’s even a special blessing.”
“My God!” gasped Adrian. “Exactly, what’s more, it’s the season for making honey cake. And, it’s only four weeks away. But (and I think this was my flash of genius) it can’t be any old honey. We have to brand it. Your initials are ABJ – Amazing British Jews. We’ll put that on the label with Divine Rosh Hashanah Honey.”
“Fantastic,” he cried, “but doesn’t it have to be kosher or something?” “That’s true. I’m the only one who’s seen you handling it and I wasn’t a member of any beth din last time I looked. It won’t be properly kosher. That means they could sell it at Sainsbury’s in Birmingham but I doubt they would shift 400 jars. Apart from that I’m out of ideas.”
“Uh, that’s not much good,” he sighed, “and it’s top quality stuff. I want a premium price. Maybe one of your readers will have a good idea.”
“You never know,” I said. And I don’t.
Jews are the answer to Adrian’s problem