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June 27, 2022

Life Without Bacon

By Tedi Trindle

Nobody ever said life was fair. Or, if they did, they are obviously either not from this galaxy, or they just haven't been paying attention.

Life isn't fair. If it were, then bacon would be good for you. In the best of all possible worlds, bacon would be the healthiest food source known.

It should be good for you. It smells good when it's frying. It sounds good, crackling in the pan. It looks good on the plate, all crispy and brown, and it tastes good in your mouth. Your mouth tells you, "Hey! Now this is good food! Eat lots of it!"

But, alas, it is all an illusion. For, despite what your senses tell you, bacon is bad, bad, bad for you. It is the unkindest cut of all. If the red meat and fat content don't give you heart disease, the preservatives will give you cancer. At the very least, the calories will give you enough guilt to last the rest of the day. We won't even talks about the salt and sugar. It's all so depressing.

So, we are faced with a dilemma. Do we give up bacon for the good of our so-easily-fooled body? Or do we eat it with the full knowledge that each luscious slice may be speeding up the hands on the clock of life?

Well, I don't know what the rest of you bacon-eaters are doing out there, but I'll tell you something. If the paramedics come while I'm at breakfast, my bacon is going for an ambulance ride. I'll give up bacon when they slip the last greasy morsel out of my lifeless fingers. Life without bacon is not life at all.

If it were just bacon that played this cruel trick on us humans, I could deal with it. Those of us who still insisted on eating bacon while the more disciplined majority gave it up could eat in the bacon section of a restaurant. They could post a sign. "Warning, bacon served on the premises." The hostess would ask, "Bacon or non-bacon section?" And those of us who wanted to sprinkle some on our otherwise healthy salad would slink over to our bad people's tables and indulge ourselves. I would be a responsible bacon-eater, too. I wouldn't eat bacon at work, or around impressionable children. I wouldn't even make a non-bacon eater watch me eat it. I promise I would turn my back.

But, it's not just bacon. Bacon is really just a symbol. There are lots of other thing in life that should be good for you which aren't. Riding a motorcycle is very pleasurable on a warm, sunny day. But it's also dangerous. Lying in the sun is relaxing and leaves a nice, warm tint on your skin. Also bad. Sleeping late when you're supposed to be at work is great, until the boss catches up to you. The list is endless: morning coffee, late-night conversations, eggs (in any form), gossip, general property destruction, and so on. And then, perhaps the saddest bad-for-you-good-thing of all, chocolate.

There are so many good things which are bad for you, it's tempting to lock yourself in an environmentally-correct cellar and try not to move unless you find it necessary to breathe. Every day, experts discover ten new things for us to worry about doing. That is, if we were allowed to worry. Which we're not, since that's also bad for you. They promise us that if we hold fast to our ever-lengthening list of do's and don'ts that we'll live forever and never be sick or wrinkled. Follow us, they chant, we have the key to longevity.

Truth is, I've given up a lot of my bad habits over the years. Not all of them, by any means, but I've subjected myself to a healthy dose of deprivation as age creeps up on me. It's not that I want to live forever. I definitely don't. But I have a few more articles I'd like to write and a few more summers I want to enjoy, so I've made myself a "things I can live without" list. With a little luck, I'll buy myself enough time to finish up most of what I still want to do. If I gave up everything on the don't list, I wouldn't live forever anyhow. I'd die of boredom within a week. And if, by some miracle, I survived the boredom, I'd die of loneliness. All the fun people would be long dead and there I'd be, old and boring. But my skin would be smooth.

So, whats the answer? I'd say that's obvious. If your favorite "don't" doesn't hurt anyone but you, make like an ostrich and bury your head deep in the sand. Eat some bacon, catch some rays, drink coffee until it squirts out your ears. Life is too short to give up everything. And much too long if you do.

Article © Tedi Trindle. All rights reserved.
Published on 2003-07-14
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