I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I am being muzzled.
It appears the powers that be think I am wasting too much time writing about bacon.
Call me paranoid, but I started to sense something was up the other day when I had lunch at Tim Hortons with my buddy, Bob, who also happens to be the boss of everyone who works at this newspaper.
"I think you're wasting too much time writing about bacon," is what Bob advised me. (See? What did I tell you? It's like I have ESP or something.)
As a crusading columnist, I was taken aback. "What do you mean?" I sniffed, nibbling at my cheese panini with thick-cut bacon. "How can you write too much about bacon? Everyone loves bacon!"
Surprisingly, Bob did not see the logic in this argument. "That's kind of the point," he explained. "It's not like you have to convince people to like bacon."
As a hard-hitting columnist, I am used to facing this kind of pressure. A few years ago, just when I was on the cusp of winning several major journalism awards, an editor decided to lower the boom on another vital news topic.
"You really should stop writing so many columns about toilets," is how she put it at the time.
But getting back to bacon, I politely informed Bob I have now become so identified with these sizzling strips of cured pork that, whenever I attend some manner of charity event, a kind-hearted reader will present me with, at minimum, a pound of free bacon. (Note to readers: This is completely true. It happens all the time.)
This furrowed Bob's brow. "Well," our boss suggested, "maybe you could try writing about something else for a change."
I frowned to indicate I was thinking. "You mean I should start writing about luxury cars so that, instead of bacon, readers start giving me expensive automobiles as gifts?" I said in what I hoped was a haughty tone.
Bob smiled. "OK, that actually could be pretty funny," he conceded.
So there you have it: Thanks to powers beyond my journalistic control, I currently cannot provide you with urgent news updates on late-breaking bacon stories, of which there appears to be a never-ending supply.
For instance, I am prohibited from telling you I have just received another groundbreaking news release from the geniuses at J&D -- or, as Bob would call them, "shameless self-promoters" -- announcing their latest bacon-related gifts to the world.
By way of background, these are the same heroic people who created Baconnaise, Bacon Lip Balm, Bacon Shaving Cream and the "Bacon Coffin," a 100-kilogram, 18-gauge steel casket painted to resemble a strip of our favorite breakfast food.
If I thought I could get away with it, I would happily tell you that, according to their latest news release, these plucky "bacontrepeneurs" have just unveiled two products, both of which you will think I am making up but I definitely am not.
The first product -- and feel free to slap yourselves for not thinking of this genius idea on your own -- is billed as "the world's first bacon-scented sunscreen."
Here's how the news release describes it: "Science has shown us that 10 out of 10 people prefer the smell of bacon to coconut, which makes this the most anticipated new product of the summer. Bacon Sunscreen is enriched with SPF 30 and rich, porky moisturizers."
If you are sane, you are probably thinking that is the dumbest thing you have ever heard of, but that is only because I haven't told you about the second (bad word) product -- "J&D's Bacon Condoms."
OK, even someone as passionate about bacon as I am finds it a bit uncomfortable to contemplate this particular product. I have read the news release several times and the only bit I feel safe sharing with you is this: "FACT -- Each year, five billion condoms are sold worldwide, 450 million in the U.S. alone and exactly zero look, taste or feel like bacon -- until now!"
The thing is, seeing as how I am no longer on the bacon beat, I am not going to mention you can potentially get your mitts on these items for only $9.99 by visiting www.BaconSunscreen.com or www.BaconCondom.com.
But that is not today's freedom of information point. Today's point is, even though your motives are pure, I think my boss would appreciate it if you no longer, out of the goodness of your heart, gave me gifts of delicious, crispy bacon. I know that seems unfair, but at least there's a silver lining: If you've been thinking about giving me the keys to a Lexus or a Mercedes Benz, there's nothing stopping you now.
But, for the moment, I wouldn't mention anything to Bob, because I'm trying to get him to pay for lunch.