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    L&EPaulEmail

    American Bean

    Under normal circumstances, I'm not a blogger, one of those brave men and women who keep a record of all the kooky and wonderful sites they've discovered on the internet. Mostly, that's because I'm trying to foster the illusion that lanceandeskimo.com is the only site on the web. Thus our slogan, "LanceandEskimo.com: Because There are No Other Sites!" This strategy has been wildly successful, and was, I flatter myself, one of the primary causes of the dot com crash.

    Today I feel like violating my usual no-blog principle, because there's a site I think you should visit. It's not the flashiest in the world, and it doesn't describe the hippest product. But it's a nice, solid, nutritious, sustaining site... and it's cholesterol-free! It's americanbean.org.

    When I found the site (never mind how, but it DID NOT involve looking for porn, hardly) I was initially bored. Soon, however, that feeling gave way to ennui, and then to more boredom. But as I read further, I felt a change overcome me. By the time I had scrolled halfway down the index page, the site had reduced me, as it intended, to a state of wide-eyed bean enthusiasm. I was a bean booster. I had bean fever. I needed to know more about beans, but I needed direction. I didn't know where to look. Then inspiration struck. I was on a site about beans! I could simply prop my eyelids open (which became increasingly necessary to counter the drowsiness which numbed my senses) and bean information (or "bean-formation") would be presented to me.

    B.E.A.N.

    The first tidbit of information that presented itself was etymological. You may be curious, as I was, where the word "bean" comes from. Apparently (and I found this as shocking as you will) it's an acronym. As the picture to the right proves, BEAN is short for "Bean Education & Awareness Network." The recursive implications were staggering, and I spent the rest of the morning staggering, and repeating the words "Bean education and awareness network education and awareness network education and awareness network" until my central processor blew up.

    As soon as I was back online, I returned to the website, taking care to steer clear of the dangerous bean graphic. This time I chose to consider the nationalistic overtones of the site. The American Dry Bean Board's slogan is "America's Source for information and Recipes Using one of Mother Nature's best foods!" Why "American" bean dot com? Why does the Board provide bean information merely to this nation? Surely the Canadians, British, and other English-speaking countries could benefit from some good ol' bean propaganda.

    My question was soon answered. Apparently, the Board is part of a new campaign by the American Institute for Cancer Research that "combines the latest science, great recipes, and the common sense for which Americans are renowned." As I saluted, a tear trembling on my eyelash, I berated myself for ever doubting the Board. Of course! Yankees, with their famed common sense and good old American ingenuity, are the only people who could really appreciate the Good News-- the Gospel According to Bean. The other English-speaking countries wouldn't be receptive. England is too caught up with its spaghetti on toast; Australia with its barbies, or shrimp, whichever one is food. I don't know what the Canadians eat, but it's probably not really food.

    Other highlights of the site:

    The Color Garbanzo

    - The oddly-named "Colors of Beans" page, which features a quick field guide of American-grown dry beans. It includes popular bean colors like Pink, Navy, Small Red, Light Red Kidney, Great Northern, and Garbanzo. Check for the swoonworthy bean pics, perfect for using as background tiles or printing out and taping to the inside of your locker. WARNING: The headline of this page is "Be'an Smart About Beans." Read at your own risk.

    - The "Members Only" section. It's password-protected! I can't get in! What's in there? Who could possibly be the members, and what sick bean-related services could they possibly be providing? Are there steamy bean sex pix and erotic beansploitation stripper streaming videos? Is it a subscription service? Because I'll gladly pay.

    BEAR

    - You can order a BEAN Lapel pin! What better way to show your support of one of America's most precious natural resources, the bean, than with this attractive pin that almost certainly says "Bear." (Incidentally, "Bear" is an acronym for "Bear Education and Awareness Network.")

    Who knew beans were so exciting? I didn't, before my 30 visits to americanbean.org, punctuated by my 29 naps. But I certainly plan to eat a lot more beans now. As the American Dry Bean Board hastens to tell us, "canned beans are so readily available at your grocery store that you'll probably ask yourself why you didn't think of this before!" Hindsight is always 20-20. I only thank my lucky stars that someone was around to kick me in my not-enough-beans-eating ass and show me the way to the eating-enough-beans utopia that is my national birthright.

    God bless America, my bean-eating amigos. God bless America.

    *

    L&EPaulEmail

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