Recently I’ve taken a liking to Jelly Belly™ jelly beans. By “taken a liking” I mean “I eat the damned things all day long.” What’s not to like? They’re delicious, fat free*, and look really cool in a glass jar. Like all good things, however, my Jelly Belly™ addiction has a downside, and I think you can guess what it is.

Black jelly beans.

I can’t eat them. I can barely bring myself to look at them. I don’t know who decided that the ghastly flavor of black licorice would make a tasty snack, but he** was obviously a mentally unstable individual. But my problem doesn’t lie with the jelly beans themselves. They’re easily picked out, easily avoided. No, my problem is this: what do I do with them?

I can’t throw them away. Years of “clean your plate, there are children starving in [insert country here]” brainwashing renders me incapable of wasting food. I save every scrap of uneaten supper, stash it away in the fridge, and every four or five days toss it together in a concoction I call Betcha Can’t Guess What’s In This™ Pie. Oddly enough, I’m the only one who eats it, the rest of my family inevitably opting for PB&J sandwiches. But I digress…

I thought about donating them to the local food cupboard, but that won’t work, either. First of all, there’s the sanitation issue. I’ve handled each one of these grody beans, and although I frequently wash my hands, there’s no guarantee they’ll arrive at the shelter germ-free. And how do you go about sterilizing a bunch of jelly beans? I don’t think it can be done. More importantly, though, is what I call the “Muffin Stump” dilema. If black jelly beans aren’t good enough for me, then why would I force them onto those less fortunate than me?

My third option is to use the frigging things in some sort of arts-and-crafts project. Slice ’em in half, hot glue ’em to a popcycle stick picture frame, and you’ve got yourself a great gift. Except…I’m not eight years old.

And so, my black jelly beans sit–dejected and alone–in a small paper bag on top of my fridge. It’s like confectionary segregation, and that brings me great shame. Any ideas?

In the meantime, check out Chapter 2 of Waiting for Spring at Readers and Writers Blog, along with the latest installments of The Unearthing and Ginny Good.

* I don’t know this for a fact, but it sounds good.
** I refuse to believe a woman had anything to do with it.


About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

6 responses to “Guilt

  • Jenny

    AHHHHHHHH I love the black ones! I pick them all out first and yumyum them down my goozlepipe.

    My second favorite jellybelly flavor is wild cherry.

  • R.J. Keller

    We should work out some sort of jelly bean trade.

  • Crystal Lynn

    Black jellys beans are like slugs…they serve no usual purpose in my book. Therefore “good riddance” can be rendered guilt free….
    When I was little (less than 9) when we came “home to PA” for vacation I got to sleep with my great-grandmother (which was the most special thing!). After I was ready for bed… teethbrushed… we’d get settled in. She would read her “Guideposts” for the day, I would jabber, and then she would reach over and open a little china jar on her bedstand. It was full of these lovely licorce candies. It was her nightly indulgence (She didn’t have to worry about the teeth brushing thing). But I too would get a piece, and although even then I couldn’t stand licorice, it the sharing of this sneaky little pleasure. After my teeth were brushed, my mom didn’t know, and it was just my Nanny and me…..

  • anilize

    Could you get your children to use them in science projects, perhaps to determine whether they’re vegetable, animal, or extraterrestrial?
    Or the art project idea doesn’t sound too bad either… perhaps something involving a blowtorch, videoing the whole performance and uploading it to Youtube…
    I just know you’ll find a use for the li’l suckers 🙂

  • Crystal Lynn

    Ok it should read
    “Black jelly beans are like slugs…they serve no useful purpose in my book.”

  • Jaden @ Screenwriting for Hollywood

    You addicts! I love the watermelon jelly belly bean because it is green on the outside, pink inside like a tiny watermelon. So cute. And yummy too!

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