Magic beans

2009 02 11 11 10 13 360 Jimmy Earll 70

Editor's note: Jimmy Earll (not his real name) is a practicing dentist in Northern California and a stand-up comic who performs all over North America. His column, Laughing Gas, appears regularly on the advice and opinion page, Second Opinion.

I've been writing this column for about a year now, and I believe some thank yous are in order.

If only you could see the raw articles I submit that the editors of turn into art. It would make you wish you had a full-time editor in your life.

It reminds me of the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, when Jack's mother takes those worthless magic beans (aka my initial draft of jumbled words) and, in disgust, throws them out the window. But the beans take root and germinate, and by morning a gigantic, magnificent beanstalk has grown in their place (this would be my article after going through the editing process).

I understand that sometimes you have to be carefully edited -- like my "Beware the fine print" column. You try figuring out the appropriate euphemism for "pooping your pants!"

There have also been articles when the editors just say "No" -- like the one I wrote last year about my wife taking away my $0.99 bar of soap and replacing it with a $30 bottle of papaya body wash, leaving me smelling all "fruity." That one never saw the light of day.

So, to the editors and staff at Thank you!

With that said -- good luck editing this one!

It was my freshman year in dental school and I was broke. My parents were middle-class and didn't have much money left over after my dental school tuition and my brother's medical school tuition.

Then one day I received a letter in my mailbox. It was from the fertility clinic at the medical school, offering $75 for ... well, how can I put this.

For ... um ... my magic beans!


I began making some calculations. If I could give them magic beans once a day, five days a week, that's $375 a week, or $1,500 a month. That's plenty of cash to live on.

Then it hit me: If I get in shape and eat more Brussels sprouts, I could give them magic beans four times a day! That's $300 a day, $1,500 a week, and $6,000 a month!

In fact, I realized, I could quit dental school altogether and make a pretty good living.

And I'd still be working with my hands!

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2010

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