WEATHER ALERT

Now matter how you slice it, bacon’s worth celebrating

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Of all the special days on the calendar, today is arguably the most special of them all.

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Opinion

Of all the special days on the calendar, today is arguably the most special of them all.

That is because today, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, along with being part of a beloved holiday weekend, just happens to be the day on which we pay tribute to the world’s most delicious breakfast food.

For those of you who have been hiding in a drainpipe all summer, what I’m trying to say is that today — prepare to begin drooling uncontrollably — is International Bacon Day.

I should stress that I am not making this day up, because when it comes to sizzling strips of salted pork, I do not kid around.

As far as I can tell from randomly Googling this remarkable day, it was created in 2004 by three graduate students at the University of Colorado Boulder whose devotion to all things bacon is almost equal to mine.

If you are at all confused on how to celebrate International Bacon Day, here’s a helpful tip from the holiday website checkiday.com: “The day should be celebrated by eating bacon! The creators of the day suggest eating bacon waffles with a side of bacon for breakfast, eating BLTs with a side of bacon for lunch, and tasting various types of bacon recipes for dinner, perhaps by cooking them on the grill.

“They encourage everyone to celebrate the day, mentioning that vegetarians can eat soy bacon, while those who don’t eat pork on religious grounds can eat turkey bacon. They also suggest the watching of Kevin Bacon movies, and movies where pigs get the lead roles, such as Babe.”

In a sincere effort to help you get your pro-bacon festivities started on the right hoof, here’s a poem I just made up to express my innermost feelings: “Roses are red/Violets are blue/I eat bacon for breakfast/And lunch and dinner, too!”

As much as I feel that my heartfelt poem deserves to win at least three Pulitzer Prizes, I have to confess it pales in comparison with the following masterpiece I accidentally discovered online: “Roses are red/Bacon is red/Poems are hard/Bacon!”

I hate to brag, but as regular readers already know, I am not the sort of columnist/poet who celebrates bacon only one day a year. No, I am the sort of columnist who sings the praises of bacon all 365 days of the year.

In the land of bacon, I am king. Whenever I take part in public events, such as hosting charity dinners or reading to schoolchildren, it is not unusual for the organizers to show their thanks by presenting me with the gift of bacon.

It is also not unusual for random strangers to clap me on the back at the grocery store and chirp: “Hey, you’re that Bacon Guy, aren’t you?”

As a crusading journalist, I have written countless columns professing my love of bacon and describing a host of bacon-y inventions, including: Bacon lip balm; Baconlube, the world’s first bacon-flavoured massage oil and personal lubricant marketed as the “McRib of Sex;” and the Bacon Coffin, a $2,999.95, 100-kilogram, 18-gauge steel casket painted “with a bacon and pork shading” to ensure the dearly departed can spend eternity wrapped in the loving arms of bacon.

Prior to retiring, when I wasn’t eating bacon from the Free Press cafeteria — which I was obligated to share with Walter, a canine member of our Newsroom Dogs project — I was breathing in fresh bacon fumes from the bacon-scented air freshener shaped like several strips of bacon that was pinned to the wall next to my bacon-strip bookmark.

Now, when I park myself in front of the home computer to bang out my once-a-week column, I am inspired by my loyal sidekick, Mr. Bacon, a bendable plastic strip of bacon with a happy little face and tiny arms and legs.

“With breakfast, lunch or dinner, Mr. Bacon is a winner!” my pork-inspired mascot’s cardboard packaging shouts whenever I sit down to pound the keyboard.

Historically speaking, I am not the only person who has been blessed with the gift of free bacon simply for doing the right thing. According to multiple online sources, the phrase “Bring home the bacon” was coined in 12th-century England when the church promised a side of bacon to any man who could swear to the congregation that he did not quarrel with his wife for a year and a day.

Mind you, other sources say it had more to do with catching a greased pig at a country fair, but I kind of like that first explanation.

The important thing is that my love of bacon will never waver, even though our troubled economy is driving up the cost of this most sacred of breakfast foods. Sadly, the price of bacon hit an all-time high in August 2021 when the cost of a 500-gram pack reached $8.24, exceeding the $8 mark for the first time ever.

Speaking of love, consider this: In a survey of 1,006 randomly selected adults, 43 per cent of Canadians (including 42 per cent of women) said they love bacon more than sex, and nearly one in four Manitobans (23 per cent) had wondered if “my partner loves bacon more than me.”

I would never suggest to my wife of 40 years that I could ever love a breakfast food as much as I love her, but I am always happy to remind her that it is possible to have bacon more than once a day.

dougspeirs65@gmail.com

Doug Speirs

Doug Speirs
Columnist

Doug has held almost every job at the newspaper — reporter, city editor, night editor, tour guide, hand model — and his colleagues are confident he’ll eventually find something he is good at.

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