Mysterious Peddler Offers Trail Runner Magic Beans

 istockphoto.com

istockphoto.com

A strange old man appeared on a local trail yesterday morning, Dumb Runner has learned, offering a passing runner "magic beans."

The runner, who gave his name only as Jack, said the man was dressed in robes and a cloak, with long, unruly gray hair and beard and "mischievous eyes."

"He just popped out of nowhere," Jack said. "Kind of scared me, to be honest."

He just popped out of nowhere. Kind of scared me, to be honest.
— Jack, trail runner

After beckoning Jack to come closer, the wizened stranger produced a package from the folds of his clothing and held it out, explaining in a whisper that it contained beans and offering to trade them for Jack's Garmin watch.

"At first, I was like, Sure, dude—like I'm gonna give you my watch for some beans," Jack said. "But then he explained that these were no ordinary beans. They were magic."

Specifically, said Jack, the man told him the beans were "clinically proven to maximize sports performance," contained electrolytes, and came in a "handy resealable bag to maintain freshness."   

After making the exchange, Jack said, he turned away to resume his run but paused to ask the man how the beans worked. 

"But when I turned around," he said, "the man was gone."

After ingesting a few of the beans, Jack reported feeling "a little magical" for the remainder of his run.

Are the beans in fact magic? Dumb Runner sent a sample to an independent lab to find out.

"We're sorry to say that, no, these beans are not magic," said Benjamin Stock, Ph.D., the scientist who analyzed the sample before popping it in his mouth. "Mostly they're sugar."

"We did confirm," he added, "that the resealable package is handy."