This country is in dire need of — and I think we can all agree on this — more ways to eat bacon. (If you thought I was going to say “alternative sources of energy” or “more reruns of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 on TV, you get partial credit.)
But ever since the American pioneers invented bacon in the 1800s as a means to mail pigs through the postal system one strip at a time, we as a country have lived by bacon fat and, more accurately, died by bacon fat. It may be the only food in the world that is imagined as a straight line when ordered but arrives in the shape of a rubbery, cholestorolic ‘Z’ — and we are even more pleased.
So we’ve asked our scientists to put that whole “global warming” thing on hiatus and give us some more ways to enjoy our ultimate demise.
But many over the years have failed.
In the early days of America, the fabled Johnny Baconseed attempted to sow the earth with “bits of bacon” in the area known then as “The Wisconsin Bay of Green” but known today as simply “Milwaukee.” The bacon trees did not last long in the harsh winter climate. Plus the trees quickly died of heart failure.
During the Cold War, engineers in an abandoned Waffle House began devising “nuclear baconfare.” The concept was to deploy this monstrosity onto the Kremlin so that the fiendish Russkies would know just how much we love free markets and blocked arteries.
Then, during the dot-com boom, the popular Web site tastybacononline.com charged people $4.95 a month to bring up a picture of freshly cooked bacon and subscribers could lick their computer screens to taste it. After 1507 people died of electric shock, tastybacononline.com was forced to pay the families of the 1506 victims a hefty cash settlement (the 157th person was coincidentally shot by a burglar while he was surfing the side then fell into his computer screen, so in that case they couldn’t prove tasty negligence.)
It’s clear that these entirely accurate accounts of bacon history — might I remind you that they actually happened and weren’t conjured up by any late nights of guzzling Pepsi One while stranded in Indiana — are proof that we had the desire but not the innovation to improve bacon.
Until Chip Hearn and David Burke answered the call.
Hearn, an ice cream store owner in Rehoboth Beath, Delaware, invented a bacon ice cream. The dessert has actual bacon bits in it, so you know it’s bacon-flavored and you’re not just eating ice cream that was left near someone farting.
While Hearn has not released his recipe — because adding bacon to ice cream is just that difficult for people to attempt — we can safely assume that by milking a cow and adding pig meat, he could have killed half as many animals by just milking the pig then slaughtering it. (Or, if a card-carrying PETA member is reading it, “humanely putting the pig to sleep.”)
Meanwhile, Burke, a reknowned chef, spent his time working on bacon flavored spray. His arsenal of flavor sprays includes not just bacon but also ranch, sour cream, chocolate cake and marshmallow. Or, as C.C. Sabathia knows them, “the five food groups.”
The sprays appeal to diet fanatics for the spray’s zero-calorie, zero-carb properties. So people can stay fit and still have their breath smell like they made out with a grease trap.
But what does the future hold for bacon? Hopefully it stays just as delicious, for our insatiable hunger for smoky, sizzling breakfast meats will need to somehow be addressed by technology. Congress may even have to step in and pass some nonpartisan legislation to bring the country together with a billion-dollar Bacon For Everyone bill loaded woth pork and trans-fat. That sounds like something Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R, IHOP) could easily endorse.
In the meantime, I must make sure that I don’t put my bacon spray right next to my bottle of Axe.
Matthew T. Sussman, a.k.a. “Matt” Sussman, a.k.a “Suss” is giving this weekly humor feature a shot. Failure to a) keep this up once a week or b) make people laugh is a definite possibility. No bacon was consumed during the writing of this column, which I wholeheartedly blame the absence of a Waffle House in Jasper, Indiana.