So­lu­tion to his sticky sit­u­a­tion

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT - David Rob­son

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

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