First lesson

If you go just slightly beyond the common baked bean, you’re entering a whole new realm of enquiry, which a single lifetime is hardly long enough to explore.

Take the mung bean, for instance. Common enough — granted — but how many of you can say that you’re really familiar with mung beans? How many? I thought so.

And how many of you know the connection between haricot beans and the fall of Stalingrad? How many? None!

Can anyone tell me the difference between the field bean and the bean of Molucca? No one!

Who discovered the powerful narcotic properties of St Ignatius’s bean? Anyone? No!

Ignorant, crapulous fools! You let your whole lives go by and you don’t even consider these questions! Not one of you! That’s it! Stare at your shoes — I’m sure you’ll find the answers there — like snot-nosed schoolboys, and yet governments around the world allow people like you to vote! Says a lot for democracy, doesn’t it?

Now open your books at page 4, Historical Overview: From Mung to Malabar.


 

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