Making headlines with lessons from the heart
No one has ever accused me of being romantic.
My idea of romance is a hot … cup of coffee and the morning paper.
Call me boring. Everyone else does. After ingesting another day’s worth of news, much of which inevitably deals with people in some rather exasperating circumstances, just before I slide into my nightly coma seconds after my head hits the pillow, I am always reminded of one of my favorite sayings: There is something to be said for a boring life.
Just ask Jeff Bezos. Who knew there was so much romance and intrigue in the newspaper racket?
In case you missed it, Mr. Bezos, the CEO of Amazon and one of the richest men in the world, was in the news last week. Bezos also happens to own the Washington Post, which gives a whole new meaning to making headlines.
But Bezos is not just shaping the news; he’s making it, for reasons I’m sure he would just as soon forego. Bezos wound up being splashed on front pages across the country when it learned he was divorcing his wife – and that he was having an affair with another woman. Then things really heated up. On Thursday Bezos posted a blog post in which he alleged the owner of the National Enquirer was trying to blackmail him by threatening to print more salacious details – and photos – of his affair if he did not drop his investigation into who leaked the texts that sparked the original outing of his affair.
The head of American Media Inc., which owns the National Enquirer, happens to be a man named David Pecker. Among the things he was allegedly threatening to do was expose some “below the belt” selfies of Mr. Bezos.
For someone who has spent a lifetime creating headlines meant to stop people in their tracks, this was a whole new realm. Mind-boggling stuff.
Look, I’m no Jeff Bezos. I’m just a lowly editor. No, we don’t share the same pay grade. But I have to admire his guts and his decision to stand by one of the fundamental principles of journalism. Instead of knuckling under to the alleged extortion attempt, Bezos went public and beat Pecker to the punch, in effect describing in detail the kind of material the Enquirer was threatening to expose. Let’s just say they weren’t family pictures.
But I digress.
This was supposed to be about romance. As I said, I don’t know a lot about it. But I do know a good story. And when Peg DeGrassa told me she was planning to interview a couple that had been married for 70 years, I was hooked.
Today, on the two pages preceding this column, it was our pleasure to preview Valentine’s Day with a profile of the Liberatores of Ridley Township. Endless love? Yeah, about seven decades of it.
Me? I come up about three decades and change short of that. My wife and I will hit 37 this summer.
Having accomplished this feat – which I can assure you is almost completely her doing (why she has not kicked me to the curb yet I have no idea), I can offer gentlemen a single – but very important – piece of advice for Valentine’s Day.
Uh, guys, that’s Thursday, in case you’ve lost track.
Like most longtime marriages, every year my wife and I tell each other we really don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day. Guys, if you have never believed one thing this liberal, leftleaning, Commie, pinko, Democrat editor has ever written, believe this:
She’s lying. Whatever you do, do not walk in that door Thursday night empty-handed.
There will, however, be one thing missing from the items I will offer my “Sweetheart” this year.
Those would in fact be “Sweethearts.” Conversation Hearts. You know, those sugary, heart-shaped confections with the pithy sayings on them like, “Be Mine.”
For as long as I have known her (which is longer than I care to admit), I have held to a Valentine’s Day tradition with my wife. Every year I get her a card, and taped to that card is always a box of Conversation Hearts. Well, not this year. Relax, my wife and I are still together. No, this is more troubling than that.
This Valentine’s Day will have to go on without Conversation Hearts.
It seems Necco Wafers, the company that for years made the Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, was bought by the Spangler Candy Company. But Spangler says it does not have enough time to make Conversation Hearts this year. They assure us the Valentine’s Day staple will be back on shelves next year. Cold comfort.
The truth is I buy these things for myself. I gobble them down by the handful. I will miss them terribly. My wife? Probably not so much.
You might be able to find some Conversation Hearts out there in some stores or online, but the company warns they will not be new product, and likely stuff left over from last year. Brach’s is trying to jump into the void, but their hearts come in a plastic bag, not the trademark box.
My heart is broken. Literally. Well, there’s always jewelry. Why do I get the feeling that Jeff Bezos does not have this problem?
Philip E. Heron is editor of the Daily Times. Call him at 484-521-3147. E-mail him at [email protected]cotimes.com. Make sure you check out his blog, The Heron’s Nest, every day at http://delcoheronsnest.blogspot. com. Follow him on Twitter, @ philheron.
A Valentine’s Day without Conversation Hearts? Say it ain’t so.
Phil Heron Heron’s Nest