Update October 2013: According to this site, mathematical calculations actually prove everything is better with bacon.
Update August 30, 2013: In the last few years, bacon has been incorporated into everything from lip balm and bar soap to dessert and even cocktails. Now, a car company offers a way to give a bacon flavor to your automobile.
Since my blog below was published, another Bacon Fest occurred, complete with a Bacon Queen wearing a dress made completely of bacon. Sizzlin’!! Anyway, if you missed this entry last year, it might be a good time to see the event from a pig’s point of view. And no, this is not anti-bacon–Wilbur would probably have liked bacon if he didn’t know where it came from. It’s just having fun with a topic that seems to have become an obsession–Baconmania.
(a guest editorial by Wilbur, E.B. White’s famous pig from Charlotte’s Web)
Bacon is the i-Phone of meat. It’s cool, it’s social media trendy, and everyone wants it. Fast food restaurants sprinkle it on ice cream sundaes. Famous chefs feature it. And ads on television make it sizzle so succulently you can smell it in your living room. Modern day “Madmen” know there’s nothing like bacon to get a couch potato up and moving toward the fridge.
This all makes me nervous. I was headed for the holiday ham chopping block some years ago, but a brilliant spider named Charlotte saved me with her command of the English language. She turned me into “Some Pig,” and for a while, I was “Terrific.” Now the only word to write above my barn stall is “Paranoid.”
Charlotte left me with an egg sac full of baby spiders, but I need her now to explain why bacon has become such an obsession. Restaurants offer bacon cupcakes, bacon sushi, bacon ice cream, and many more sizzling items. The Twittersphere mentions bacon so often I suspect it’s part of some college drinking game. And bacon is even the focus of conventions—more like baconpaloozas, if you ask me. The annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival
in Iowa is an example. Attendees at last year’s festival ate 6,000 pounds, or the equivalent of 96,000 strips. That’s piggin’ out way too much.
I know pigs have a reputation of being fat and lazy, and back when people read George Orwell’s Animal Farm, we were also looked upon as power-hungry and conniving. But I thought those days faded when Porky Pig stuttered his way through Looney Toons, and Babe played his academy award-winning role in that famous movie. We were lovable for a while, but then television dealt us a lethal blow—Homer Simpson.
In one episode, Homer tells his daughter Lisa that pigs are a “wonderful, magical animal.” He did not mean that in a good way. Another of Homer’s many pork-obsessed quotes will give you his basic tone.
Homer: I’ll have the smiley face breakfast special. Uhh, but could you add a bacon nose? Plus bacon hair, bacon mustache, five o’clock shadow made of bacon bits, and a bacon body.
Waitress: How about I just shove a pig down your throat?
(Homer looks excited)
Waitress: I was kidding.
Baby pigs are cute, and even though we mature into a type of stately homeliness much as humans do, we’re not drop-your-coffee-mug ugly like, say, the armadillo or naked mole rat. Sure, we have beady, pink eyes and moist, protruding snouts. But I’m not sure why so many people look at us and see only strips of bacon. We’re just as intelligent as your pet dogs, and we would grudgingly learn how to catch a Frisbee and lick your faces if that means a stay of execution from the bacon factory.
I don’t like to tell folks what to eat. Why, even Charlotte was a carnivore. But I end with a suggestion. If you can’t live without the smell and sound of bacon in the morning, consider a bacon substitute. How about turkey bacon, mutton bacon (makon), or veggie bacon (fakon)? Anyone care for a TLT—a Tofu, Lettuce, Tomato sandwich? by dan gogerty (Wilbur image from staff.bbhcsd.org; bacon sundae photo from usatoday.com)