Jun 27

Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans

Jelly Belly Candy Company
Image via Wikipedia

Watching Avitable’s latest video, The One Where Adam Tries Not To Vomit, reminded me of a story.

A few years ago while working at the National Laboratory in Berkeley, there was a Materials Science Ph.D. in my division who was heavy into playing politics. He was the nicest guy if you were just shooting the shit about the weather or any other non-work-related topic, but the minute things turned to work he was a two faced lying scum bag who would sell you down the river if he thought it might make him look good.

So he discovered that I live in Fairfield, which is home to the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Factory. It’s basically across the street from the Budweiser factory. There’s a great tour that you can go on to see how they are made and you always get free samples just for walking in.

One of the benefits to stopping by the factory is that you can buy bags of “Belly Flops” which are the jelly beans that don’t quite make the cut. They might be disfigured, stuck together, or sometimes they are flops because the logo didn’t print right on the bean. They taste exactly the same of course. The “flops” are usually between $1.25 and $2.50 per pound. By comparison, buying a bag of mix-your-own beans is $9.00 per pound.

At any rate, Dr. Asshole, asked me pick up a few bags of flops for him, you know, if I didn’t mind. I really didn’t the first time, especially since he hadn’t really come out as a total dickwad yet.

Then the requests came more and more frequently. He would ask me nearly every week to bring him another 4 pounds. I discovered that he was setting them out in a bowl on his conference table where he would invite some of his scumbag asshole compatriots in to basically do everything possible to make my life (and the lives of everyone on my team) completely miserable.

Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans

Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans

About this time Jelly Belly got the rights to market their special brand of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans from the Harry Potter stories.

Flavors included: booger, earwax, dirt, black pepper, earthworm, sardine, garlic, grass (my favorite), and vomit.

I picked up a box and took them home eager to try them for the novelty factor. Several friends sat around with me sampling the unique flavors that for the most part tasted just like you would expect them to. Sardine was pretty fucking vile even though I have been known to eat sardines from the can.

However, nothing prepared me for the experience of a vomit flavored jelly bean. It was as close to the flavor of the real thing as you could ever want to get. It immediately made my stomach rumble and the acidic taste was EXACTLY like that first watery-mouthed stomach bubble that precludes a technicolor yawn.

There are few things that I’ve put in my mouth that I immediately had to spit out. (TWSS) The vomit jelly bean elicited an immediate “GET THIS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH YOU FUCKING IDIOT” response.

I’m sure you know where this story is going.

As Dr. Asshole began waging his war on my team (trying to get rid of us) on the sly, I was still his bean-pusher.

I started mixing in the Every Flavor Beans with his now weekly delivery of sugary treats.

I always pulled the grass flavored ones out though.

At first, it went unnoticed. I could just picture the group sitting around the table popping jelly beans in their mouths a handful at a time, wondering why there was an unusual flavor every so often.

When I failed to get a good reaction, I started adding more and more boxes of the foul beans to the mix. I would giggle every time I saw one of the scumbags pop their heads in Dr. Asshole’s office to grab a handful on the go. I just know they would get back to their desk, gag on one of the beans and move on to one of their favorite flavors.

This went on for MONTHS.

Until one day the fire alarm went off and our building was evacuated. After weeks of expensive air quality tests, the addition of air purifiers and several meetings with the Health and Safety Division it was decided that there was some sort of “toxic substance” in our building that was making many of the division staff sick.

The symptoms?

Nausea, vomiting, and complaints of “unusual tastes in their mouths.”

I ended up with a new office far away from Dr. Asshole and never had to buy him another fucking bag of jelly beans.

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Jun 25

Gone Too Soon

Forget all the bad press, the accusations, the rumors, the surgeries, the weird lifestyle…

He was one of the most amazing performers that has ever graced us.


Michael Jackson

I love this song he wrote for Ryan White. “Gone Too Soon.”

Jun 12

The Faces of Twitter

The people I follow on Twitter… click through to follow them yourself.


Get your twitter mosaic here.

Jun 11

How Zabouts Some Bullets?

I can’t quite seem to find enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished that is on my list. Usually that also includes a blog post.

Some bullets of things that I have been meaning to write about or just happen to be on my mind….

  • Don’t let anyone tell you that launching a business is easy to do. Any one that tells you “It’s no big deal. You can do it in your spare time” deserves a swift punch to the crotch.
  • I can’t see ever working for someone else ever again. There’s a lot to be said about being the responsible party. The problem is there’s no one to complain to when your boss is being a total asshole.
  • On top of launching my own cruise travel agency, Cruise Avenue, (yes this is a total plug for my company… I NEED CUSTOMERS!) I am also doing all the social network marketing for another company, have a couple of freelance web design projects I’m working on, and it’s been a pretty busy period for Total Eclipse.
  • All of this work is making it incredibly difficult to keep up with the good TV that’s quickly making the “off season” my favorite… Weeds, Kathy Griffin, The Closer, Nurse Jackie, Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, True Blood… they all have new episodes airing. Monday nights rock!
  • I’ve been spending way too much of my “free time” on Facebook lately. Between talking to some high school friends who I have missed terribly without even realizing it, and trying to catch up to Othurme’s score on Bejeweled Tournament (HOW does he keep scoring so high!?), I have just dedicated one of the tabs in Firefox to Facebook. Always.
  • My ex-boss decided to try and follow me on Twitter today. I haven’t worked for him in over 3 months, and he’s dragged me into a lawsuit against a different ex-employee. The problem is, every piece of evidence that I could possibly contribute to the lawsuit actually benefits the other party. In fact, I’ve already sent in my affidavit. To HER lawyer. How’s that for a little FUCK YOU?
  • I suspect he intends to try and make some trouble for my new company, Cruise Avenue, (like how I worked that back in there?) under some misguided notion that his poorly written non-compete agreement (which I never signed in the first place) would stand up to being enforceable despite his terminating me. (It won’t.) If he’s found this blog already, I just want to make sure he realizes that I’m about 5 seconds from calling the IRS and blowing the whistle on all the illegal activities and kickbacks he’s sending to his corporate clients. Let’s just call that one of the aces I’m keeping in my hip pocket.
  • As you can probably imagine, I’m pretty much in a state of mind that makes a vacation not only overdue, but a necessity. Luckily, I’ll be on the Carnival Elation this weekend going from San Diego to Ensenada and Catalina Island. I’ll be doing some training for Cruise Avenue’s new agents, but most of the trip will lots of sun, alcohol, and I might even splurge on a massage.
  • I hear there’s a big blogger party going on this weekend. Apparently my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. It’s ok, though. I’d much rather be on a ship. With strangers. With Swine Flu. And hemorrhoids.

So yeah, that’s what’s been on my mind lately. How are you all?

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Jun 04

New Total Eclipse Promo Video

I had UMB put this together with some relatively new footage we got of Total Eclipse playing at Maggie McGarry’s in San Francisco. If you watch carefully, you’ll see Lee and Sly (from my radio show back in the day) dancing around in the foreground.