Pretty much the first thing I do every work day is grab a copy of that day’s paper, especially on days, such as Thursday, where I haven’t stuck around till the bitter end of production the night before.
Atop the front page was a story whose headline read, “Council approves loan for brewery.”
“A young couple intend to open a new microbrewery on Albany’s riverfront this fall after securing a $45,000 loan for their startup company from the city council Wednesday night.”
I was familiar with the issue, though I didn’t know the loan had been OK’d, and while there was no byline, I knew the story had been written by our editor, Hasso Hering, who was at the council meeting when I called it a day around 8:30 p.m.
“How old was this couple?” I asked him.
“Late 20s, early 30s,” he said. “I don’t know for sure. I wasn’t really able to talk to them much and didn’t find out.”
“So 30 is young?”
“It is to me?”
“It sort of is to me too,” I told my boss, who is two decades my senior.
And though I wasn’t necessarily looking for a debate, I felt compelled to follow up.
“So at what point does a couple stop being a young couple?” I said.
“That depends on your perspective,” Hasso said. “It’s like physics. How something looks depends on where you’re seeing it from.”
“Fair enough,” I said. “So if they were 50, would you have referred to them as a ‘middle-aged couple.’”?
“What about if they were 70? Would you have referred to them as an elderly couple?”
“No, we don’t call people elderly.”
“A senior citizen couple?”
“Look,” he said. “The point is, most of the people we write about our old. These people weren’t, and I wanted to mention that. I should’ve gotten their ages. That was an obvious failing on my part.”
It’s not exactly that Hasso considers himself infallible, because the highly skilled, experienced and erudite newsman has certainly owned up to errors before, but I have to admit a degree of special satisfaction in getting him to realize that “young couple” didn’t really cut it.
And now, as promised, here’s another glove pic, the second installment in our Catch of the Day series: