Getting Your Bacon On

Oct. 14, 2020

Do we really need a bacon-scented face mask?

One day there probably will be a list of significant, timeless inventions that were inspired by the coronavirus. It will undoubtedly include things like extra-fast tests, more efficient ventilators and lightweight yet effective personal protective equipment.

I’m fairly confident that it won’t include this:

HORMEL™ BLACK LABEL™ Breathable Bacon is a revolutionary face mask featuring the latest in pork-scented technology with two-ply multi-fiber cloth to keep the delicious smell of bacon always wrapped around your nose and mouth.

Yes, there’s now a scented mask that lets you breathe in the aroma of bacon to your heart’s content. It’s available by lottery to anyone who signs up at the BreathableBacon website.

There’s a worthy cause behind Hormel’s effort. For every request to be entered into the great Bacon Mask Lottery, Hormel will donate a meal to Feeding America (up to a limit of 10,000). And the mask thing is of a piece with the general marketing plan for Black Label, which seems to consist of finding silly things to do with bacon, like making music with it or creating a bacon-fueled motorcycle.

But enough is enough. I like bacon as much as the next guy, but when I cook the stuff, I have to open windows, no matter how cold or hot it is out, if I don’t want to be reminded of my meal for the next two or three days. When I’m hungry, the smell of bacon is an annoyance; ditto when I’m sated.

This isn’t just a question of odor. Bacon is ubiquitous these days. You can’t escape the stuff, whether you eat out, shop or just watch TV. It’s been that way ever since restaurateurs figured out that bacon was a cheap, easy way to give just about everything an extra jolt of flavor – and pork processors geared up to provide them with lots of precooked bacon. In some restaurants, you can close your eyes, put your finger on the menu at random, and have a least a 50% chance of touching an item with bacon in it.

I mean, what’s next? Bacon-flavored toothpaste?

Oh, right.