I had hoped I would be able to make it through the first month of the new year without having to write another column about my unbridled lust for all things bacon.
I can see now I was an idiot.
Regular readers do not need to be reminded how much I love bacon, but I am going to do it anyway: I really love bacon. I love the look of bacon. I love the smell of bacon. I love the taste of bacon. I love the way bacon feels as it slides from my mouth to my tummy.
I am fully aware I am not alone in my obsession with strips of cured, smoked pork, but in a land of bacon lovers, I am their king. Whenever I leave the safety of my couch to attend some manner of event, without fail, one of my loyal subjects will sidle over and present me, from the bottom of their salty heart, with a bacon-related gift.
I have been handed bacon-flavoured jellybeans, bacon breath mints, bacon car deodorizers, bacon-shaped fridge magnets as well as -- prepare to be extremely jealous -- actual frozen packages of this most beloved of all breakfast meats.
The troubling thing is, for some time, my buddy Bob, who also happens to be the publisher of this newspaper, has been dropping subtle hints that, just possibly, some of my columns are a tad too pro-bacon. "Do you think you could write fewer columns about bacon?" is something he likes to say. Or: "I am starting to suspect you are subsidized by the pork industry."
As a result, I make every effort to tread softly around breaking bacon news. But I have come to believe a higher power is determined to keep bacon on my literary menu, so to speak.
I reached this spiritual conclusion earlier this week when I looked in our mailbox and pulled out a gigantic bubble-wrapped manila envelope addressed to me. When I ripped it open, inside was the sort of thoughtful gift that would make any bacon lover drool -- a copy of the 2014 I (Heart) Bacon Wall Calendar.
The mere sight of this glossy calendar will cause your drool glands to launch into overdrive. It is a masterpiece packed with photos of bacon-y goodness and crammed with several frying pans full of bacon facts, trivia and mouth-watering recipes, such as bacon burger puffs and bacon and cheese waffles.
Here is a tiny taste of the vital bacon information it contains: "Starting with a cold skillet will keep the bacon curling to a minimum and the low temperature will help prevent burning."
I would like to personally thank whoever mailed me this swell gift, but I don't have a clue, because there was nothing on or in the envelope to identify the sender. What's more -- and this is wonderful news for you bacon-loving readers -- I already have a copy of this year's calendar, a gift from Santa, who clearly knows my heart's desire.
Anyway, there is an old journalistic saying that states: "When life gives you two copies of a bacon calendar, hold a contest and give one of them away as a cool prize to a deserving reader." So that is exactly what I am going to do, but first I want to mention a couple of bacon-related news items that I have just become aware of.
First, according to a news release sent to me by an editor who secretly adores bacon, the nice folks at J & D Foods -- who gave us Bacon Lube and the Bacon Coffin -- have just unveiled their latest product: Power Bacon, a meaty fresh stick deodorant "designed specifically for those with active lifestyles -- or people who just sweat like pigs."
I am not sure who you will attract if your armpits smell like bacon, but that is none of my business. It is my business, however, to tell you about the cheesy TV ads I have seen promoting something called the Perfect Bacon Bowl, which is kind of like an upside-down muffin tin designed to turn strips of bacon into an edible bowl that you can fill up with anything you want, such as -- this is the ad suggesting this, not me -- baked beans.
"Wow!" I said after seeing this ad on the TV in our den. "We should get that."
"Wow! You're an idiot," my daughter sniffed. "Just turn a muffin tin upside down."
Getting back to our contest, if you'd like to win my extra copy of the I (Heart) Bacon 2014 wall calendar, just email me your favourite recipe in which bacon is the star ingredient. I'll pick my favorite and, along with the calendar, the winner will receive a copy of my nifty book, Bite-sized Doug, and two tickets for some upcoming event.