A jelly bean that makes you think? Think about it.

Return to Letters Menu

The wrapper said: Snow's jelly beans: Smart Beans, they actually help you think. Well, I felt the task was beyond them. But I got a reply!

Dear Sir,

My kids bought me some of your Smart Beans.

I am still trying to figure out if it was a complement or an insult.

There is no denying, however, that they did start me thinking. How (I thought) could little jelly gonads make me smarter? Is it the beans that are smart or the consumer? Or the vendor? If the beans are so smart how come they let some ill-mannered oaf shovel them into his mouth? If they make the afore mentioned ill-mannered oaf smarter would he continue to buy the beans? Is that smart? Is there a law of diminishing returns? Is it dependant on where you start from? I mean, if your starting material was a state politician it would be greatly different to feeding them to someone like the Dalai Lama. Wouldn't it make a difference? I would have thought so. I mean, if there is a maximum level of enlightenment and brain-oomph and you are at either 10% or 90% of that starting point then the bean diet would be of mixed value. I think. Sort of.

My head hurts.

Have I got the right end of this stick?

Is it, after all, physically possible for me to eat enough of these little testicular tackers to build my brain up to a point where, rippling and flexing in the golden afternoon sun, it can out-manoeuvre the cat at supper time?

Yours none the wiser (I think), J. Cosmo Newbery.

A reply came:

Your kids bought well.

There is no point trying to figure 'it' out we will enlighten you - it was a complement.

You yourself admit it did start you thinking.

"How could little jelly gonads (Sir! GONADS??? We blush!) make me smarter?"

We could tell you...but then we would have to kill you and that is against company policy. I mean where would all those state politicians and Dalai Lamas come from if we eradicated them all?

In answer to your questions "Is the beans smart or the consumer? - Sir! It is obvious.

"Is it the vendor?" Wewll we do admit, shall we say modestly, but you force the issue, damn it, yes we are IQ'd to a high degree. (Probably +40C plus at the moment so I will stop for a while this is mind searing!)

Smart beans love to be shoved into mouths. We love them shoved into mouths, and CUSTOMERS love to shove them into their mouths, and yes, of course, the now smarter customer would continue to buy them. How else will we drive our expensive cars home tonight. (A Jag is a cat, is it not?)

There is no law of diminishing returns here good Sir, no there is only the joy of compound interest...er...smarts! You need only pull out the old disused chess board then go and buy some Smart Beans.

Put one on the first square, then two on the next, then four on the next, then eight on the next, then sixteen on the next....well you get the idea. You will understand how smart this will make you, as you will be able to eat them in reverse order. Please let us know how you got them all to stay on the last square.

"Would it make a difference?" Indeed it would. We are running the machines flat out as I write.

"Is the a maximum level of enlightenment and brain-oomph and you are at either 10% or 90% of the starting point then the beans would be of mixed value" No, No, NO you have it all wrong. You are using very little of your Smarts (so science tells us) and these little "testicular tackers" as you call them, are there to build...

My head hurts now.

"Have I got the right end of the stick?"

Let's examine this. In the beginning

1. We have the beans
2. You (your kids?) had the money

OK so after the transaction is complete we see that:

3. We now have the money
4. You have the beans. (And are thinking, and the cat can't be fed because the money ran out, no manoeuvering needed unless you refer to your Jag.) I have just decided to disappear "rippling and flexing in the golden afternoon sun".

Sorry but I have just suffered a nose bleed.

As you are a valued client we feel that your life will be enhanced if you were to bring your children to see the Smart Bean factory running.

Kind regards, The Public Rotations manager Chief Cook and Bottler Washer,

Peter Rodowicz.

I replied (enclosing two aspirin):

Dear Sir,

I am terribly sorry to hear about your hurting head.

Please believe me, I meant you no harm.

Alas you have inadvertently uncovered a flaw in your own argument regarding the final resting place of the smart quotient of your beans when you offered to make your factory available for a visit of Les Enfants Newbery. This is not a smart thing to do.

Generous-yes. Kind-yes. Brave-yes. Smart-no.

There will be a clause in your insurance policy that specifically precludes cover for natural calamities, plagues, pestilence, direct nuclear attack, Armageddon, attack from intergalactic beings (Smart or otherwise. Through what self respecting alien would travel 20 light-years to get to this little galactic backwater, just to be photographed at night with badly focussed cameras on country roads, eludes me. Unless the reputation of your beans has...), disasters of biblical proportions, football crowds (same thing), and...

...and a visit from the Newbery Kids.

They know. They've paid out before. What do you think broke GIO?

Thank you for the offer. It is appreciated. You are very brave.

Verging on the foolhardy admittedly but brave none the less.

A reply came back:


Meaning to do no harm and not harming are two different things Sir.

My head did hurt. It was kind of you to send me two Aspro's. I needed them.