Once upon a time, not too long ago, and in a land not too far away, there lived a fine man named Phaseolus — who just loved freshly baked beans.

He ate freshly baked beans for breakfast.
He ate freshly baked beans for lunch.
He ate freshly baked beans for dinner.

He even ate freshly baked beans for in-between-meal snacks.

Imagine that!

Of course, as we all know, beans have a lively after-effect. And Phaseolus was no stranger to that sad fact of life. However, he was a bachelor and lived alone, so there was no one to offend. He simply kept all the windows open and a ceiling fan in constant rotation to ensure an ever-present quantity of fresh air. And, of course, he was a strong believer in the use of air fresheners.

One splendid day Phaseolus went to a party not too far from his house. He had heard the featured victuals would include freshly baked beans, so of course he had to go to have some of his favorite treat!

Also attending the party that night was Dolichos, the fairest woman of the village. Phaseolus admired her from afar but thought her to be much too refined and beautiful for him to even hope for a dance with. Besides, she did not like beans, being a lady of delicate constitution and sensibility, and never ate them. She had just accompanied her aging father who wanted to come along and watch the festivities.

Oh, it was a wonderful party! There was music, dancing, beautiful women and handsome men, and of course, lots of freshly baked beans. And Phaseolus certainly ate his fill!

As the hour grew late and the party was drawing to a close, fate found Phaseolus leaving at the same time as Dolichos. They met at the door. They glanced into one another’s eyes and in an instant both realized that a mystical union had been made.

Phaseolus swept Dolichos up into his arms and exclaimed, “You are the most beautiful and sensuous woman in the world! Say you’ll marry me or I shall surely die!”

Dolichos, overcome and in a swoon with her own swelling love for Phaseolus, sighed, “Oh, I shan’t have you die. I shall be your wife!”

They were married shortly thereafter.

Phaseolus and Dolichos built a little cottage in the village and settled down together. During the day, Phaseolus would ride his donkey cart off to the great woodworking mill in the town of Leguminus, just over the hill, while Dolichos stayed home and kept house.

-ooOoo-

The seasons came and went, and with each passing year their love for one another grew and grew. However, Phaseolus’ love for freshly baked beans did not diminish; and, in fact, scarcely a day passed that he did not yearn for a big bowl full. However, he also deeply loved his fair Dolichos and avowed never to do anything to offend or repel her. He had made the ultimate sacrifice — and had given up freshly baked beans forever.

Phaseolus and Dolichos led a quiet and simple life. They rarely had visitors, although they had made friends with the other good folks who lived in their village. They would all get together occasionally for celebrations and parties. Oftentimes at these parties Phaseolus would sit quietly and think back to that most wonderful of parties, when he had met his beloved Dolichos ... and when he had eaten his last bowl of freshly baked beans.

One day as Phaseolus was headed home after a long and hard day at work, his faithful donkey slipped on a stone and fell, breaking its leg. Phaseolus was, of course, brokenhearted. But he did not want his beast to suffer in pain. With heavy heart, he took out his rifle and put the poor donkey out of its misery.

He gathered up his knapsack and belongings from the cart and sadly started his long trek home.

As he trudged along the winding dirt road up the hill to the village, he came upon a little house with a cafe in front. A familiar, lovely scent filled his nostrils as he approached the cafe. Sure enough, there was a sign up front: “Today’s Special — Freshly Baked Beans.”

Poor Phaseolus was faced with a real dilemma! How badly he yearned for a large, steaming bowl of freshly baked beans. Yet he also realized he could never return home and inflict the side-effects of his passion onto his lovely and fair Dolichos.

Phaseolus stood in the doorway of that cafe, wavering.

Finally, his lust for freshly baked beans won out. He decided the walk home would be long enough for him to work off any ill side effects before he arrived there. So down he sat, and before he left he had finished off three large, piping-hot bowls of freshly baked beans.

All the way home Phaseolus putt-putted with all his might. These particular beans were very lively and he was having quite a time.

He was more than a little concerned when he arrived at his cottage and realized he was still full of gas. What would he do?

Dolichos greeted Phaseolus at the door, of course very anxious and agitated over his late arrival. “My darling! I’m so glad you’re home! What happened?”

Phaseolus explained his plight. Dolichos’ eyes filled with tears as he told of the poor donkey. Of course, he omitted having had his little snack on the way home!

Dolichos gave him a hug and took his broad, rough hands into her fair, dainty hands. She looked lovingly into his eyes and asked, “Surely you didn’t forget what today is!” Her spirits fell as she saw the questioning in his eyes. Then he smacked himself on the head and groaned. “Oh, my fair love, how could I forget our anniversary!”

She smiled somewhat sadly but said, “I forgive you. One of us didn’t forget. I have a little surprise for you! Wait here!”

She scurried off into the cottage with a little giggle, and returned with a blindfold. “Here, darling, put this over your eyes.” They laughed together as Dolichos slipped the blindfold down over Phaseolus’ head. She took him by the hand and led him inside. She helped him take his seat at the dining room table. “Are you ready?” she asked excitedly.

Just as Dolichos was about to slip the blindfold off Phaseolus’ head, there was a knock at the back door. “Oh, who could that be!” Dolichos exclaimed. “Dear Phaseolus, you must promise not to remove the blindfold until I return!” Of course, he assured her he wouldn’t.

She hurried off into the kitchen and answered the door. It was Madame Vigna, the old but sweet hag who lived next door and who had a penchant for gossip. Sure enough, she had plenty of questions about Phaseolus’ late arrival, which had not escaped her attention.

As Dolichos patiently and kindly retold the whole sad story to Vigna, Phaseolus took advantage of the opportunity as he felt the urge to release a large buildup of gas. He lifted one leg and let go. It was not only loud as a lion’s roar, but also ripe as rotten eggs. He frantically fanned the air around his lap with his napkin and settled down in his seat again, once again comfortable — if only temporarily.

Before much time passed he felt the urge again. He lifted the other leg and blasted forth once more. This one was even louder and riper than the last one.

This gaseous activity went on for quite some minutes as Madame Vigna and our sweet Dolichos continued their chat. Phaseolus let go time and time again, each time waving the air with his large cloth napkin and fretting to himself about the awful predicament he had gotten himself into. He loudly cursed, “Confound those beans! I shall never eat another mouthful!”

Another thunderous report from his steaming breeches blasted forth as if to underscore his pledge! The fuming stench from this mighty release was nearly more than he could bear. His eyes began watering under the blindfold. Coughing and sneezing, he stood up and shook first one leg then the other — as if to wriggle free the remaining trapped gas that was assaulting his already over-taxed nostrils.

Finally, Phaseolus heard the chattering ladies bid their farewells. He knew his freedom was over. He settled back in his chair, folded his hands over his lap, and was the picture of innocence when Dolichos returned to the table.

“Oh, my love, I am so sorry I kept you waiting! Madame Vigna was just full of questions! You didn’t peek, did you?” Phaseolus assured her that, of course, he had not.

Dolichos stepped over...

whisked the blindfold away from Phaseolus’ head...

and there was his surprise:   [click on “surprise”]



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