Gill-d Hall

The Black Jelly Bean Phenomenon


I can’t take it anymore. I’ve tolerated it for years and years now; for almost a decade, I’ve been sitting on the sidelines, watching as all I hold dear goes down the tubes with a pathetic whimper. No more. It’s high time we had a discussion about the horrid philosophy that takes all that is good, turns it on its head, and pretends everything is okay while systematically destroying all that is decent.

We need to talk about the Black Jelly Bean Phenomenon.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about black jelly beans. I hate them. You hate them. God hates them. Little children in sub-Saharan Africa who’ve never heard of jelly beans hate them. These “candies” sit amidst all the other jelly beans, staring at you, daring you to pop them in your mouth. And at some point, all of us have been duped; we’ve all bitten into a black jelly bean and felt our tongues contemplate seppuku.

Seriously, who in the candy manufacturing business thought “Hey, let’s have pink jelly beans that taste like strawberries! And we’ll have yellow jelly beans that taste like lemons! And we’ll have black jelly beans that taste like a buffalo’s rectum!”

All of this is common knowledge to anyone over the age of four, and I won’t waste your time recounting my traumatic jelly bean experiences. Black jelly beans have always been an evil, but until recently, they were an isolated evil. I’ve become aware of a disturbing trend: the Black Jelly Bean Phenomenon is spreading. It’s already spread to other food groups and, unless stopped, will soon consume all that is good.

Remember the days when there was only one kind of chocolate? Those were happy times. Back then, if someone asked if you wanted chocolate, you always said yes. Always. Why wouldn’t you? Chocolate was an exceptional thing that filled one with feelings love, comfort, and acceptance.

Then they introduced dark chocolate. Now, if someone offers you chocolate, you have to ask “Well, what kind of chocolate is it? Is it the good kind or the kind that tastes like celery and cough syrup?” And God forbid you bite into a piece of dark chocolate thinking it’s the good chocolate. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Chocolate: once an honest, loyal friend, now a devilish deceiver.

And remember when there was just one kind of yogurt? I’m not a heavy yogurt user, but I do dabble. Once, while housesitting for my grandparents and scrounging for food, I opened the refrigerator and spied a package labeled “Greek yogurt.” I thought, “Hm. This must be different than normal yogurt, but whatever. It has pictures of fruit on it. I’m sure it’s just regular yogurt mixed with Spartan blood or something.”

So I took a bite. And for a split second, I thought a sewer rat had climbed in my mouth, died, and evacuated its bowels all over my taste buds. Once again, a rancid taste abomination has wormed its way into what was once good and wholesome. Greek yogurt is black jelly beans in yogurt form!

All over the world, black jelly beans are taking on new forms and poisoning the things we love. It isn’t just happening with food, either. Remember when there was just one DC Comics? Before that New 52 crap? Now, whenever I buy a comic book, I have to check the publication date to make sure I won’t be engrossing myself in the adventures of pissed-off, angst-y Superman or PMS-ing Wonder Woman.

Remember when there existed only good Star Wars movies?

Remember the days before low-flush toilets?

Remember when all movies were two-dimensional?

Black jelly beans are popping up all over the place. They may not look like black jelly beans, but they are black jelly beans in spirit. It’s time we put our foot down and demand that all black jelly beans be destroyed with holy fire, as they should have been since the beginning.

Or at least, we should stop buying baked potato chips.

More Glorious Beards

I’m sure you remember the “Glorious Beards” post, in which I discussed the wondrous lost era of facial hair when men were men and follicles were follicles. While researching the post, I found a plethora of beard pictures I’d like to share:

beard 5

beard 2

moustache ( 2

beard 6

fox beard (

moustache (

beard 7

baby beard

beard 1

So take your effeminate goatee and shove it!

The Easter Bunny


It’s almost Christmas. And that has me thinking about all the traditions that surround Christmas: hanging giant socks by our fireplaces, sharing passionate kisses under a poisonous weed, or the strange holiday characters. Most of these fictional people have absolutely no relevance to the holiday they represent.

But as little as a flying, bearded fat man has to do with the birth of Jesus, I’ve never really had a problem with Santa Claus. He’s a fun myth, he embodies kindness and giving, and his legend is based in history.

I just can’t bring myself to find anything wrong with ol’ Saint Nick. Not when there’s a far stranger and more disturbing holiday mascot running around: the Easter Bunny.

My first concern is the vagueness of the Easter Bunny’s exact form. Santa is easy to picture. He’s an obese, bearded, elderly man in an old-school snow suit that looks like it was died with the blood of a thousand ferrets. The Easter Bunny is usually depicted as a cartoon. So what does he look like in real life? Is he just a super-intelligent, talking rabbit wearing clothes, like something out of Babe or Homeward Bound?

Or is he a five-foot tall, biped, mutant freak with humanoid hands? When portrayed in cartoon form, the Easter Bunny is usually a human-sized rabbit with realistic arms and legs, similar to Bugs Bunny. I love Bugs Bunny, but there’s a reason he’s a cartoon. Would you want a giant, malformed rabbit in a festive vest and bow tie sneaking into your house at night? Rest assured, that image has made me wet the bed on more than one occasion.

Then there’s the legend itself. The myth of Santa Claus provides answers to all the questions you’d naturally ask the first time you hear it. Where does Santa get enough toys for all the children in the world? He has a workshop manned by a legion of elves who spend all year making toys. How does he visit all the houses in the world in one night? He rides in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. How does he get into kids’ houses when all the doors are locked? He goes down the chimney.

But where exactly does the Easter Bunny come from? No explanation. Where does he get all those eggs? We don’t know. How does he travel to everyone’s house in one night? We don’t have to explain! Stop asking questions! All the secrecy surrounding the Easter Bunny has me suspicious. On one particular dark, fog-laden night when I was six, I could’ve sworn I spotted the Easter Bunny standing in a dark alley with some shifty characters, exchanging unmarked bills for colorful eggs. I don’t even want to imagine what you’d have to do to a chicken to get it to lay brightly-colored eggs.

And that’s the third thing I just don’t understand about the Easter Bunny. It’s perfectly reasonable that Santa would bring kids toys. Kids love toys. Toys are one of about five topics that occupy 85% of a kids’ thought life. But eggs? Why eggs?

Nowadays, people give kids those colored, plastic eggs filled with candy, but decades ago, kids got real hard-boiled eggs. Has any kid in history ever said to his mother “Mommy, you know what I’d like more than anything in the world? Eggs. Just like the ones we eat for breakfast every morning. And scatter them all over the yard so I have to spend half the day looking for them.”

Yeah. Eggs. Way better than the Son of God rising from the dead.

Now, I know I may seem pretty cynical, but I’m not completely heartless. I do understand that the Easter Bunny is a beloved tradition in many families. The legend of a massive, bipedal rodent sneaking into their houses and leaving them objects that come out of chickens’ butts makes a lot of kids happy, and it really isn’t my place to take that away.

I guess, in the end, I have no right to complain about the Easter Bunny.

On an unrelated subject, does anyone know where I can buy some giant rabbit-sized bear traps?