-What’s the difference between a blogger and a journalist?
-Bloggers read and respond to their readers’ comments, journalists don’t!
OK, please relax journalists, I understand that there are plenty of other differences such as a proper education and training in journalism, journalistic standards (properly citing sources, etc) and accountability. But there is a real point here – bloggers place far more importance on reader comments and interactions with their readers; journalists tend to adopt a more unidirectional approach.
I always like receiving comments on Eat Rio, but every so often something extra special comes in that stands out from the rest. And just such a comment appeared exactly a month ago.
It all started out quite unremarkably – someone called Tom left a comment on an old post about the chocolate milk drinks called Toddy and Toddynho. Tom was asking if anyone knew where he could purchase this chocolate milk in the US. But once the full story unfolded this turned into a rather heart-warming tale.
As you can see from the images at the top of this post, Toddy has been around for a long time. That creepy image on the left dates from 1939, at which point they were claiming that Toddy ‘closes the door on sickness’. The image on the right is from 30 years later when they were telling kids to drink Toddy chilled to grow big and strong like Daddy.
What I didn’t know is that back in World War 2, the US troops were given cans of Toddy as part of their rations! Tom’s father was one of those troops and brought back some of this precious chocolate drink for his kids.
Well, we all know what kids are like with chocolate – Tom loved it! And I suspect something about the specialness of this drink, the fact that it had been brought especially for him by his father, etched Toddy into Tom’s memory.
Well, the years passed and although Tom didn’t get to taste Toddy again, he never forgot that sweet, creamy, chocolate elixir. At some point, Tom found a supplier of the powdered version of Toddy, but was disappointed to find that it didn’t match his memories from all those years before.
Then, when browsing the internet one day, Tom stumbled across Eat Rio and my post about his beloved drink. He decided to leave a comment to see if anyone knew of a supplier in the US. Well, I put the question to the people following the Eat Rio Facebook Page.
Well, before long we had some suggestions. It turned out the the first suggested supplier had burnt down in a fire last summer, but then my friend Monika from Maní Pão de Queijo found it listed on Amazon! A few days passed and I wondered if another mishap had thwarted Tom’s long running quest to recapture that magical taste from his childhood. Then I received a new comment on the blog:
Mission accomplished! Tom was kind enough to send me some family photos and also the final shot of him enjoying the Toddynho for which he had waited 6 decades!
Now if that doesn’t warm your heart then you might want to check if you still have one! Now it just remains for me to thank Tom, Monika and all the other readers who helped with the hunt – we got there in the end!