A few weeks ago I was at the Burbank airport. The gift store carried Mexican jumping beans. I bought a couple of boxes for my kids.
I was as delighted with the jittery beans as my daughters were, but I was even more charmed by the informational card that came with the beans. The irresistible, off-kilter writing style of card's author reminds of Dr. Bronner's, with the added bonus of making sense.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP CHILDREN OUT OF HARMS WAY. IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, I HAVE ONLY HEARD OF TWO INSTANCES OF CHILDREN SWALLOWING A MEXICAN JUMPING BEAN. ONE LADY CALLED BACK TO LET ME KNOW THAT THEY FOUND THE MISSING BEAN. IT IS MY BELIEF THAT THE STRONG ACID CONTENT OF THE STOMACH WILL KILL THE GERMS AND LARVA IN SHORT ORDER.MEXICAN JUMPING BEANS ARE REAL!
THE MEXICAN JUMPING BEAN IS UNDOUBTEDLY AMONG ONE OF OUR CREATOR’S BEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS. IT UNDOUBTEDLY GIVES MORE PLEASURE AND INTRIGUE FOR THE MONEY THAN ANY OTHER CREATION.
REGRETTABLY, THEY ARE DOOMED WHEN THEY LEAVE THEIR NATURAL HABITAT IN MEXICO. THERE ARE NO HOST PLANTS THAT WILL PERMIT THEM TO CONTINUE THEIR LIFE CYCLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT WILL KILL THEM FROM HEAT, DEHYDRATION, FREEZING. THE MOTH SHOULD BE PERMITTED TO FLY FREE IF THEY EMERGE FROM THE BEAN. A SCENIC TRIP AS IT WERE.
[Instructions for playing the Mexican Jumping Bean Game include the following legal advice:] If you wager, make it small amounts. The Government doesn't like gambling unless they get a piece of the action.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects