“You are shitting me,” Rob said.
“You’ve got to be making this stuff up,” Sam added still laughing. Offended, Charlie yelled for Sue. A few seconds later the petite woman’s shiny dark head popped out of the kitchen.
“Sue what did we use to call the honeybees when I first started making them at USM.”
“Dick on a Stick,” Sue yelled back before ducking back in the kitchen. Charlie raised her eyebrows at the two stunned men. Shaking his head in disbelief, Rob reset the camera before hitting the record button again. Once again, the little red light came on and Charlie continued with her story.
“So, as I was saying the Honeybees initially were called Dick on A Stick mainly because of their, you know, phallus shape, and the cream- well, you get the picture. Now this was not Grand’s name this was something I came up with to sell them. You know how raunchy college kids can get especially late at night when they’re looking for something to get into. Everyone on campus loved the naughtiness of it, but, of course, as the treats gained a more shall we say, “off campus crowd appeal” the name became a problem. No matter how progressive a lot of people claim to be they don’t appreciate having to ask for an order of dicks on a stick. The imagery is kind of hard to get over. The college crowd didn’t mind but by then the non-college crowd was growing even quicker especially when I changed the name. Grand couldn’t stand the name either, so you know, got to do what granny says. Plus, Cyndi, my PR person, although back then she ain’t have no title. But it was her idea that if we wanted this thing to grow, we had to give it a more family friendly name. That’s when I decided to call them honeybees, in homage to my Grand, of course. The Southern Fried moniker, I thought, gave them a regional appeal, but it’s kind of taken on a life of its own. We, meaning my staff, all consider ourselves Southern Fried Honeybees. That really gave Cyndy something to work with too. She stepped it up big time with branding once I got set on a name. She slapped a honeybee on everything she could. So, with her marketing, and my cooking it became a big hit.”
“What about Sue?”
“Oh, Sue,” Charlie laughed, “she’s the brawn of the deal.” The men laughed considering the barely five-foot woman that had stepped out earlier. “No seriously, Sue may be small but she’s mighty. Sue makes sure we have what we need with all the buildings, contracts. And if we need some folks smacked around verbally to get them, in line, we send Sue in. If she were two feet taller and had a few more pounds on her she could probably do it for real too. Don’t get it twisted, Sue about that life.”
“I understand where the honeybee name came from, but what does southern fried mean?”
“Means you’re a little crazy, just a little nuts, and a lot weird, but it’s all love. You know like: that boy is southern fried as hell, but he’s still good people. That’s what southern fried means. It’s like crazy, but harmless crazy. You know us Southerners, we’re all a little southern fried, or touched in the head as my Grand used to say something to do with the heat and hurricanes you know. Not dumb, just different. I mean you got to be to live down here. Mississippi ain’t for the faint of heart, lord no.”