In a recent interview with ESPN.com, professional skateboarder Mark Gutterman states that “A life without bacon is no life at all.” Gutterman speaks from a transitional moment in his career, at a time when all of his previous sponsors have gone out of business and new one are in the process of signing on. To weather the storm of a life in flux, he took a job in a small cafe, surrounded by the smell of bacon every day, for the comfort of it.
This interview got me thinking about my own life with bacon. It’s no big secret that I love the stuff, as I devote my time and energy to working on The Republic of Bacon to spread the bacon love as far as I can. But it is more than that. The more I think of it, the more I realize I can chart my own personal history through my ongoing love affair with bacon.
When I was growing up in a small town in Southern Ontario, my absolute favourite activity to do with my dad and younger brother was to go out for breakfast. Several times a week, usually before school, we would end up at Duffy’s Tavern, a hotel and restaurant on the shores of lake Eerie. From the time that I could talk, I would order eggs over easy, buttery toast, and crispy bacon. Those memories are some of the most cherished of my childhood.
When I moved away from home and settled in Calgary, Alberta to do my Master’s degree, bacon again figured prominently in my social and private life. There was a breakfast restaurant called Nellie’s that I absolutely adored. On the weekends, a group of my friends and fellow students, writers and artists would gather at a Nellie’s for a huge bacon and egg breakfast, to catch up with each other and chat into the afternoon. Sometimes I would go by myself during the week too, and write while nibbling on a bacon sandwich and sipping a coffee.
In Love With Bacon
Now that I live in Toronto, going out for brunch with my partner is a ritual that I still love. He and I regularly wander just a few blocks from our house to the Beachside Grill, a quiet little restaurant tucked deep in the beaches. Their all day breakfasts are and scrumptious as their bacon cheeseburgers. Nothing makes me feel quite as right with the world than spending a lazy Saturday morning talking over our weeks, stealing pieces of bacon off each other’s plates.
I have certainly lived a rich and full life full of friends and loved ones, and in a lot of my best memories bacon figures prominently. What about you, loyal readers? Tell me your history, you lie with bacon.