This week started like any other, but without warning tragedy struck.
On Monday the king returned to his castle at the appointed time and was greeted with a hero’s welcome. That is if “a hero’s welcome” is a 3 year old bounding towards you wanting to wrestle, a Wii entranced 9 year old’s half hearted acknowledgement that someone entered the room, an unrequited kiss on the cheek for your daughter as she races passed you to go to a friend’s house and a wife who is on the phone. Ah yes, it’s good to be king.
When my wife got off the phone she greeted me warmly and we exchanged a summary of our day’s activities; followed by my standard query, “What’s for dinner?”
She responded that we’d be having brinner [for the uninitiated that is breakfast for dinner], which is a favorite in our household. She explained we’d be having eggs, toast and…wait for it, bacon.
My heart began to soar. Oh bacon, how do I love thee? Let me count the…wait a minute. Who says eggs, toast and bacon? Isn’t it always bacon and eggs, or at the very least eggs and bacon? How did toast rise higher on the marquee than bacon? Something was amiss.
In a panic I raced to the frig and threw open the door. And just as I feared, there it was. An abomination; the worst fraud perpetrated on mankind since the Ponzi scheme and Milli Vanilli (kids ask your parents; they will know it's true ooh, ooh, ooh, they'll tell you). Staring up at me from the meat drawer was turkey "bacon". (get used to the sarastic quotation marks around "bacon")
Fighting back the tears I reached in and retrieved the package so deceptively wrapped that, without careful examination, one could be led to believe that it was indeed bacon. My protests were rebuffed with, “You’ll thank me when it comes time to step on the scale.” If I lived in a post-apocalyptic hellscape subsisting mainly on bark and weeds where the only source of protein was giant mutant cockroaches I still would not be thankful for turkey "bacon". You think a pound or two is going to make this affront to my senses easier to swallow? How dare you madam and how dare you Oscar Mayer!
Bacon is a cured meat prepared from the blessed pork belly of a pig. It is cured with large quantities of salt. It cooks up greasy, crispy and delicious. It goes wonderfully with, well, just about everything. The word bacon is derived from an Old High German word bacho, meaning buttock or ham and cognate with the Old French word bacon.
Turkey “bacon” is a meat product prepared from reformed turkey and sold as a low-fat substitute for traditional bacon. It comes from the thigh of a turkey and is manipulated to look like bacon. The word is derived from the Latin words atrox meaning terrible and prodito meaning betrayal.
That knowledge aside, if I knew nothing else about it, the fact the turkey “bacon” does not change in size, color or texture when you cook it would be enough for me. That’s not natural. My oldest child summed it up best when he said turkey "bacon" is “kind of like a fruit roll-up only salty.”
Where is the beautiful popping sound when the meat hits the skillet? Where are the greasy leftovers that need to be drained after half the package? Where are the rolling hills of fatty goodness rising up from the pan to greet you and the one of a kind aroma that sticks with you as a blessing for the rest of your day?
America, I know we have our problems. I realize that the scale and our waistline are foremost among them. I’m willing to make concessions, I really am. I drink, and prefer, skim milk. I’ll take water packed tuna over oil packed tuna any day. I can stomach low-fat ranch or I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Anything. I’ll even look the other way on sugar free ice cream (believe me that one hurts), but I’ll be darned if I’m gonna let somebody take my delicious delicious pig fat from me. I’d rather die.
There are some things that you just don’t trifle with; a man’s family, his home, his life, his liberty and his bacon. God bless you, God bless that pig and God bless the United States of America. Thank you for your suppork…I mean support.