LUV - I fucking hate the internet sometimes. It’s ruined everything I love. It’s ruined calling people a dick - now, whenever you call someone a dick, someone from BBC Three comes round your house and bellows the word ‘TROLL’ through your letterbox until their camera crew get cold and go home. It’s ruined You’ve Been Framed - now I’ll never earn £250 from filming myself fall over at a wedding because everyone’s too busy watching monkey blowjobs on YouTube for free.
But worst of all - worst of everything - the internet has ruined bacon.
Bacon used to be brilliant. Magical, even. It was always there for you, no matter what. If you couldn’t face up to eating another lonely tin of warmed up beans in front of the telly in your horrible little bedsit, you could fry up a couple of slices of bacon, put the bacon on top of the beans and - BANG - immediate feast. If you wanted to impress a woman, but couldn’t cook to save your life, you just had to wrap some bacon around a chicken breast and - POW - immediate declaration of love. Feeling fancy? Bacon sandwich. Feeling SUPER fancy? Bacon cheesewich with a fried egg in it. Bacon was so easy to cook that you’d barely ever get food poisoning from it, not like those dicks pork and bivalve molluscs. God, bacon was magnificent.
Not any more, though. Not since the internet came along and reduced bacon to a punchline. A shit, lazy punchline used by the least funny people in the world; the sort of people who say ‘Nom’ and ‘LOL’ out loud and think badgers are inherently funny and wear chinos and still think that phonetically writing text messages like a fucking Lolcat is something that someone in their twenties should still acceptably do. I’m talking about you here. Literally you. You make me sick, you whimsical internet dickhead. You appalling fucking empty-spectacle-wearing, Moomin-liking, Seven-Dials-shopping, Time-Out-reading cupcake-eating social media BMX perpetually adolescent internet cunt.
You’ve ruined bacon. It was your ironic love of bacon that caused a flood of shitty bacon merchandise, like bacon-flavoured lollipops and bacon-flavoured dental floss and bacon soap and bacon jellybeans and bacon fudge and bacon cupcakes and bacon toys and bacon milkshakes and bacon T-shirts with the phrase ‘I HEART BACON LOL’ written across it in bacon, that has completely devalued bacon as a food in its own right. You made it impossible for me to go into a shop and buy some bacon without thinking “What if people see me buy this? Will they think I’m one of those internet bacon cunts?” And I will hate you forever for it.
But I still believe in you, bacon. I still believe in your deliciousness and versatility. I still love you on your own terms. I will love you until I die. Which, let’s face it, might be quite soon. You’re bacon, after all.
- Stuart Heritage
HAT - Right, I realise that, in your eyes, I’ve already lost this argument. It’s bacon. Everyone loves bacon and anyone who doesn’t is a communist.
But I don’t care if I’m in the minority. I don’t care if it’s just me and this guy. You know why? Because BACON is BULLSHIT. I genuinely believe this. I genuinely 70% believe that bacon is bullshit and 30% have arbitrarily decided to hate bacon because the fourth paragraph of Stuart Heritage’s rant describes me with such depressing accuracy.
Because, look, I’m not a monster. I know that the smell of cooking bacon is the best thing in the world.
Smelling bacon is like falling in love. You salivate. Your pupils dilate. Your brain starts to pump out serotonin like there’s no tomorrow – or rather, like there are lots of tomorrows, they’re all non-work days, and they’re all filled with bacon. And it doesn’t matter whether you are hungry, hungover, vegetarian, on your way home from a fifteen-course banquet, or are in fact a pig – the smell of cooking bacon is going to get to you.
But the problem is that the promise of bacon is greater than the reality of bacon.
The aroma of hot, sizzling bacon promises something fatty, salty, warm, voluptuous and abundant. But the reality is disappointing. In a cooked breakfast, for instance, next to lovely plump sausages, glistening eggs and golden fried bread, two thin strips of cooling, congealing bacon are a mean, greasy afterthought, like Steve Buscemi in The Wedding Singer.
And just look at a rasher of bacon. I mean actually look at it. Thick rivulets of white fat cover two-thirds of its surface area. Which is why sometimes when you eat a bacon sandwich the rind gets stuck between your teeth, and you flail about uselessly like a walrus choking on a shoe lace. It’s why, each time you eat a bacon double-cheeseburger, it’s so bad for your cholesterol that it actually counts as self-harm.
The truth is we don’t need bacon. We don’t need actual bacon at all. We need the promise of bacon.
That’s why we have turkey bacon, which tastes and smells sort of like bacon, but which a) probably won’t clog up your arteries and kills you b) you can confidently put in a sandwich without worrying about breaking a tooth on a knob of gristle.
That’s why salad counters at Harvester restaurants have a vat full of Bacon Bits made of chunks of soya. That’s why there’s Baconnaise. And that’s why 2013 will see the release of my new range of deodorants for Lynx, Promesse de Bacon.
You’re welcome, smelly carnivores of Earth.
- Robyn Wilder
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