OK, some 10 years ago, when I was the managing editor of the San Mateo Independent newspaper chain (serving 13 cities and towns on the San Francisco Peninsula), I would occasionally get some weird idea for a story. Editors are like this. Find some connect-the-dots-link between a current event and pop culture, tab an unlucky reporter, and send them off to do a story. It kinda works like this:
Perry White: “Hey, Kent! Come here!”
Clark Kent: “Yes chief?”
Perry White: “Tomorrow’s Christmas, right?”
Clark Kent: “Yes, yes it is.”
Perry White: “And Metropolis has a 34th Street, right?”
Clark Kent: “Um, yes, yes it does.”
Perry White: “Great, get down to 34th Street and find me a miracle to write about for tomorrow’s front page.*”
So, I had my share of brilliant ideas that most of the time didn’t pan out. The unfortunate target of these oft lame ideas was Sonia Mansfield, my entertainment editor. She accepted these assignments with dignity and grace, but I’m sure she cursed the shit out me as soon as she was out the office door.
Well, one April, a week before Easter, I sent her out to do a story on which Easter candy was tops on the local list. There was a See’s Candy factory just down the road in South San Francisco, so it seemed like an easy hit. Then I threw in the capper: “Sonia, I also want you to do a sidebar about Peeps. Find out what people like better, fresh Peeps or stale Peeps.”
Sonia, being the trooper she is, went of and did a great story on the Great Fresh vs. Stale Peep battle. She also added a part about little-known Peeps uses: Peep Jousting.
Unfortunately, the Independent has gone belly up and there are no records or articles from the papers on the Internet, so I’m having to remember this story… it could be all wrong. Sonia would probably remember. She probably still as nightmares about some of these assignments. Still, I remember it as being one of the better stories assigned at that paper.
Anyway, here is an article on the Fresh vs. Stale Peeps debate. And if you’ve never seen Peep Jousting, here it is:
So, as today is Easter, I’m not surprised to find Peep articles around the Internet today. Here is just one: Francis Lam at Salon.com gives us this recipe for: Peeps Brûlée! Like toasted marshmallows, but awesome. Give the candy critters a crisp, glassy caramel shell. Go ahead, show them a little love.
This is not unique, as there are several recipeeps. Here is an example:
And, of course, artists, writers and poets have all sung the praises of the sugary marshmallow confection. Among the many is Peeps Haiku.
Fluffy as real chicks,
Just as yellow as real chicks,
But peeps taste better!”
Regardless of how you like your Peeps (assuming you actually do like Peeps), have a Happy Easter.
*a San Jose Mercury News reporter was story actually assigned to find a miracle on 34th Street… all she found on 34th Street in San Jose was a bunch of Spanish-speaking people just trying to get ready for Christmas… not a miracle to be found.