As the photos disclose, I am a "has bean." In his southwestern drawl, Mr. Armbrister used to call me his "podner," which always made me feel rather beanish. They are called string beans, though they are really wind instruments, as everyone knows. (Percussion for some, but we will avoid being too clinical here). They are flourishing in a cedar box above ground. Before I added the rich soil, I stapled a sheet of rust-resistant wire mesh at the bottom of the box, intending to frustrate my devious gophers. Now I can stand by the grow-box and imagine I hear the gophers beneath it, banging their heads on the wire mesh and muttering because they can not get to the beans. There's one I've named Captain Kirk because I think I hear it shouting, "Bean me up, Scottie. Bean me up." Out of love for George and Georgie, I pretend that they never venture to my garden. "Cause dey knows I has de hose."
If it grows in a pod, it's good for the bod,
But there are no beans for gophers
For the moron learned a lesson
And put the wire mesh in
The bean is of the genus Phaseolus. If you want a satisfying and happifying experience, try singing that last sentence as if you are in an opera. Well, it works for me. I sing to my beans, and they respond. Songs like "Let it Bean," by the Beatles. (Actually, the name of the band was originally the Beantles, but the nunation was assimilated by the dental ultima, according to basic philological principles). I have noticed that the bean plants at the end of the box, where I normally stand to sing to them, will flower first. This is consistent with the maxim oft-repeated among America's bean growers:
"The closer to the crooner,
To the grocer all the sooner."
I expect a great harvest this year.