Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Magic Bean Seller

Ok, so I've got something of a philosophical question to put to you folks, but in order to properly appreciate what I'm talking about, I have to put you in the frame of mind I was in when it occurred to me. Bear with me a bit; those of you with small children may have an advantage.

So its 4am this morning, and I'm hopping up the stairs to silence the Screeching of the Damned eminating from this reprobate Ewok:

(Said screeching being because we were so monumentally cruel as to take him half-starved and newly motherless off the side of the highway and lock him in a warm room with food, water, and a comfy bed - its the new waterboarding, I tell you!) But I'm going upstairs to shut him up - rather than pop in an earplug and go back to sleep - because nocturnal operettas in high C are exactly the sort of thing that gets you sent back from new adoptive homes to spend the rest of your life in a box, and I'm still mostly convinced at this point that we don't want that. I'm _hopping_ up the stairs because my left foot is entirely covered in liquid dog shit, which I just ground into the carpet outside our bedroom door because this idiot:

can't tell when something she finds in the woods is too feral even to qualify as a dog's breakfast, and she's attempting to spread it over as much of the house as possible so our nostrils never have enough chance to recover and tell us how bad it smells. (Always on the carpet, mind, because all dogs instinctively know not to crap on tile floors.) This one:

is trying to look innocent - and she probably is - but as she still smells distinctly of the elk poo she deliberately rolled in yesterday I'm not cutting her any slack. And at this point it suddenly pops into my head that if a strange man were to turn up at the door and offer me a handful of magic beans for the lot of them he'd be holding a handful of dog and staring at a locked door so fast he'd hear a sonic boom. Still with me?

So here's my question: who the hell is this guy who goes around trading magic beans for low-grade livestock? I mean Jack I get: not the first time poverty has driven someone to housebreaking, and the murder charge is at least arguably self-defense. Even the giant I mostly get: if you've got vermin in your house then _eating_ them is a sort of strange solution, but the dude lives on a cloud so he's not exactly getting into agriculture, and he's bound to be pretty sick of molten gold omlettes. But the Magic Bean Seller I do not get. Is he trying to get Jack killed for some obscure reason? Is he an ironic conman, and he doesn't realise that they really _are_ magic? Or is he just so sick of beansprouts for dinner that he's willing to do anything for a bit of beef?

P.S. On an unrelated note: one of the foremost physicists of the last century is named Albert One-mug-of-beer in German. That's cool, and I'd love to know the story behind how his great-great-grandfather ended up stuck with that name, but what I'm even more curious about is: how the hell did I manage to go all the way up to last week and never notice that before?

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