I read a report from South Africa this morning, in which I found that the Dry Bean Producers’ Organization is protesting a television commercial in which beans are linked with flatulence.
Everybody who has ever eaten a bean knows that they do this. Five-year-olds learn little songs about beans being good for the heart and the obvious rhyme which goes with that. Even kids who don’t actually like beans will frequently choke down a can or two of them, then retire to their bedroom to plot the sudden bombing runs which will inevitably occur once you think they’re fast asleep and settle down for a few drinks. They time it perfectly. When you take your first sip of Chablis or Chardonnay, you’re still wondering whether they’re really asleep. By the third sip, you’re more settled. At the moment of the fifth sip, a small, loud tornado enters the room, pauses, lets loose a real ripper, then beats a retreat back to its bedroom.
It’s going to take a lot more of that wine now.
But in any case, I’m not really surprised that the DBPO is protesting this – after all, it’s one thing to have a product which causes this, but quite another to have it announced all over national television – but what I am surprised about is that there is a Dry Bean Producers’ Organization.
Not that I object to their production of dry beans, or to their wish to organize… but was the regular Bean Producers’ Organization not enough? Could they not simply have operated under that umbrella instead of seceding? The Bean Producers’ Organization, Purveyors of Fine Legumery since 1857? Heck no. Not good enough for them. Couldn’t possibly be good enough for these producers of great flatulence and elementary-school delight.
The result of all this is that the country’s Advertising Standards Authority – which is, unlike its US counterpart, an agency less likely to bend over in the face of a big corporation unless they’ve already had their beans – has closed the case, saying that the commercial “plays on an objectively determinable factual reality which cannot be denied”.
Rock on. And you know how hard they were smirking when they made THAT call.