The Bean and I


I’m currently struggling with a virus that eventually hits all of us who put pen to paper…or in today’s electronic world, fingers to keyboard.

No, I don’t mean chicken pox, herpes, avian flu, or the dreaded Ebola. Nor am I referring to Trojan or Netsky viruses.

I’m talking about that dreaded disease known as Writer’s Block – those moments when you sit in front of your computer screen counting how many times the damn cursor blinks in sixty seconds.

I suppose I could ask that if any of my fellow Witches, Druids, and Dumbledore clones have a spell to spare, that they send it my way…or if, failing that, they ship me a case or two of Wonka Bars.

Except that now I have to make a confession ~

I’m not that crazy about chocolate.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I dislike chocolate. But it doesn’t rank number one on my list of culinary must-haves. Given a choice between ordering chocolate mousse or creme brulee as my sweet ending to a surf and turf dinner, I’ll go for the brulee.

I don’t hoard packages of Cadbury Eggs like my friend Wolfers does. I don’t scour ebay lists looking for great deals on gift boxes of Lady Godiva chocolate creams. I don’t go racing down candy store aisles to tackle some hapless shopper before she purchases that last Valrhona bar (considered by connoisseurs to be the world’s finest chocolate), or camp out in front of Teuscher’s in order to be first in line for one of their truffles.

With all due respect to the chocoholics out there, my life just doesn’t revolve around the confectionary treasures of the cacao bean.

But there is another bean out there that does perk my interest.

No, I am not referring to the coffee bean, the lima bean, the mexican jumping bean, or Mr. Bean.

I’m talking about the jelly bean.

Or to be more precise, THE jelly bean – Jelly Bellys.

Like many a kid, I grew up getting my fair share of jelly beans every Easter, and having to dig down amongst that plastic green grass in my basket seeking the very last sugary legume. But these were generally the El Cheapo brand, undoubtedly purchased at a buck a bag from the local Schnucks.

It wasn’t until I was out of college, a young single professional female, that I tried my first Jelly Belly. I can’t remember the flavor now – probably one of those fruit flavors like cherry or grape or whatever.

My eyes lit up. My taste buds danced. Now THIS was a jelly bean! Not just some glob of sugar, corn syrup, red dye #40 and artificial flavoring…this was a true work of art, created by some candymaking genius.

I was hooked. I immediately headed off to the nearest Candyland, where I found bins of Jelly Bellys of all colors and various flavors (they do have 50 official flavors, you know…) Never mind that that they cost an hour’s worth of slavery per pound – I had to have my Jelly Bellys.

I’ve now become a true Jelly Belly connoisseur. I buy them by the poundfuls, and I have sampled all 50 official flavors, along with some of their speciality flavors such as the Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe’s 7Up, the Jelly Belly Smoothie Blend Mandarin Orange Mango, and the Jelly Belly Sour Watermelon. I draw the line at the Jelly Belly Bertie Bott’s Vomit flavored bean, tho…a lady does need to have her boundaries, after all.

I’ve tried out some of the special Jelly Belly Bean Recipes that involve popping three, four, or sometimes even more beans in your mouth all at once, and savoring the flavors together. You can even make a pretty awesome Banana Split that way – one Top Banana, one Chocolate Pudding, one Crushed Pineapple, one Strawberry Jam, one Very Cherry, and one A&W Cream Soda. Cram all into your mouth and chew. Mighty tasty, if I may say so myself.

It wasn’t long before much like former president Ronald Reagan, Jelly Bellys were becoming a staple in my office (that was probably the only thing the two of us had in common). And unlike some of those mean, stingy, cold-hearted chocoholics, I actually SHARED my Jelly Bellys. Of course, I charged a penny per bean, but that’s besides the point.

At the moment, I’m currently “between jobs” and still looking. Amidst typing up resumes, I grab handfuls of my favorite bean to sustain me through the day. And once I do get that luxurious (spell that L-U-D-I-C-R-O-U-S) offer, complete with my own personal Lexus, a fat expense account, and  twelve weeks of paid vacation leave per year, you can be assured that my Jelly Bellys will be moving in with me to that corner office with the skyline view.

Jelly Bellys rock!

Now, getting back to a cure for that Writer’s Block…I’m still looking for a spell, so if any of you Merlins, Morgannas, Harry Potters or Broom Hildas have one tucked away in your Book of Shadows, I sure would kindly appreciate your sending it my way.

Otherwise, a pound or two of Jelly Bellys will make my day.



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