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Ask the Bean!

Do you have questions? Sure you do. The Bean has the answers. He's our resident expert on everything from global warming to engine coolant, from poetry and art to philosophy and philandering. Stumped by an existential or empiric dilemma? Ask the Bean.

Dear Bean,
A few months ago, after a long lunch with my girlfriends involving several strong cocktails and a heated political discussion, I decided to show my devotion to Hillary Clinton's historic presidential bid by getting a tattoo. I had a detailed portrait of her inked on my left breast. I stand by my decision, but my husband is deeply disturbed by it and recoils in horror whenever he sees it. What should I do?
Margaret Clemons

Dearest Mags,
Your husband obviously suffers from asymmetriphobia, triggered by your large and dare I say disturbingly life-like tattoo on your left breast. Had you a portrait of similar size and detail on your right breast as well, you would appear more balanced, and he could avoid the shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, and overall feelings of dread — all common symptoms of this condition. Please consider a companion tattoo. Might I suggest the fetching Geraldine Ferraro?

 

Dear Bean,
Last night I ran out of cash at the gentleman's club, and somehow charged $12,000 worth of champagne to the company AmEx. Should I write an IOU and file it with accounting, or just cross my fingers and hope "The Kit-Kat Club" goes unnoticed as a travel expense?
Leonard P. Raczka, hungover businessman

Leo the Lion-Hearted,
Descartes wanted us to believe the mind and body are two separate entities, but our experience with surgically-enhanced naked women and private rooms suggests otherwise. While drunken rationalism begets sober rationalization, rest assured that accounting departments are notoriously thin on methodological skepticism, which is to say: deny, deny, deny.

 

Dear Bean,
I am thinking about becoming a pirate, partially for the rum but mostly for the sodomy and the lash. Father is angry. He insists that I go to law school. But the seas (and the sodomy) are calling me. How can I live my dream without breaking father's gin-soaked heart?
Anton Hepplewhite, of the New Hampshire Hepplewhites

Tony, Tony, Tony,
Your father is right. Sotted buggery and unfettered sadism? Sure sounds like law school to me. I'm sure your six years as a fiber arts major at Bennington come in handy all the time, but there is simply no substitute for a sturdy graduate degree. Plus, your father might be moved to present you with a cutlass upon graduation as a nod to the life you gave up. Perhaps it will even be engraved.

 

Dear Bean,
I tried washing my cat in a smallish bucket and he clawed out one of my eyes. How do I stop the bleeding (please hurry re: this last part) and how long until this thing grows back?
Squinty McPooh, cat lover

Pooh Fellow,
I think you need a bigger bucket. In the meantime, be advised that we will soon offer licensed, trademarked Bean Glass Eyeballs™ (for the stylish monocular gentleman!). You'll want to pop one in for those days that don't require a more or less permanent squint, though be advised — the ladies do love a salacious wink.

 

Dearest Bean,
I used to eat you a lot in salads, but the lady in the hair
net took you off the salad bar. i don't have a question.
Sid Ruffage, the least curious man alive

Sidney, my dear,
I haven't been on the salad bar circuit since that last ill-fated Catskills tour of '67. Far be it from me to call your dietary practices into question, but I suspect you haven't indulged in a decently-balanced meal in quite some time. You might want to start getting curious about a few things, like, say, rickets and scurvy?

 

Dear Bean,
Would you mind if I used a tattoo of you to hide my third nipple? I'm trying to meet girls and I don't think this thing is very super at all.
T. Nord

Mister (?) Nord,
Please contact my agent for the appropriate licensing fee schedule. I think we can work out something mutually beneficial, though you should know that my likeness must carry both a URL for this journal and a mandatory minimum amount of public exposure. On the bright side, The Bean is a notorious tang magnet, so you will have that going for you.

 

Dear Bean,
Who will be our next U.S. Poet Laureate?
Dr. Ethel Cervantes, Professor Emeritus


My dear Ethel,
According to the Bean's bookie, Connie Two Shanks, it's a dead heat between Sam, a Chinese Crested recently named World's Ugliest Dog, and beloved television personality Leonard Nimoy.

 

Dear Bean,
Why are people still writing uncapitalized poetry with the lower case I?
Stiffs Naybor, Pained Editor


My Dear Mister/Ms. Naybor,
I think it was Jung who once remarked that “the greatest sin is to be unconscious of capitalization rules.” I suspect some poems treat the I as a stunted stepchild of the ME, which tends to be broadcasted clearly like so many uncorrected personality traits at the AWP convention. The Bean prescribes vigorous calisthenics and a free weight program incorporating unabridged first editions of Ulysses.

 

Dear Bean,
How many language poets does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Hamisch Finelight, Man-at-Large


Dear Hamisch,

years five even form part the learn better
me down may sentence second another
this poem is better screwdriver Liev Schreiber paperback writing
above two we this side part than study
words what since world usually word we

 

Hey Beanie,
Just say, hypothetically, we have a steel cage death match between nihilism and the Fresh Air Fund. Who would win?
Melville Wattatoonce, Fight Promoter


Dear Mel,
Nihililism is the easy win every time. But one of those x-mas tree car air fresheners will at least make it smell better.

 

Dearest Bean,
I'm not paranoid, but someone is definitely tapping my phone. How can I know for sure, what do I do about it, and also can I learn to read minds?
Richard Brautigan, Double Agent-in-Training


Dear Double Dick,
Learn to read minds in five easy lessons! Amaze your friends! Impress the girls! For special Mind Reading Booklet send a check to Garbanzo! for $39.99! Send an extra $5 for bonus Mind Speed-Reading!

p.s. Yes! The Tapping, Tapping on your phone is the Raven playing the xylophone.

 

I say there, Bean!
The physical differences between a yawn and a sigh are obvious, but what of the philosophical divide?
That Lady In the Weird Hat
Who Walks the Italian Greyhound
Through the Community Garden


What
philosophical divide?! Just whose side are you on anyway, Lady? You're probably some sanctimonious Neo-Kantian vegan out to make trouble and it bores this bean dippy!