These days, New York City is flaunting its fetish for all things bacon. Even swine flu cannot kill the bacon mania. There are artisanal bacon bars, bacon ice cream, bacon-infused cocktails, bacon cupcakes--I thought bacon was the new cupcake, something to hate because, as Details wrote, "The only bad thing about the pork product is the cult of assholes who've made it their god."
Make that goddess.
Because now that fetish has spawned a walking, talking hybrid of woman and delicious cured pork.
She surfaced in--where else?--the Meatpacking District, where, followed by video camera and microphone, she approached a hot dog vendor and asked, "Do you like bacon?"
The vendor smiled and shrugged his shoulders. The friendly bacon lady continued to pepper him with bacon-related enthusiasm.
"Don't you like bacon? Bacon is so good. Do you ever put bacon on these hot dogs? Cause they'd taste really good wrapped up in delicious bacon. Maybe sprinkled with bacon. Or stuffed with bacon. Come on, don't you love bacon?"
The hot dog guy smiled again and responded, "My English is not so good."
"Oh, well, what language do you speak?"
"Arabic," said the hot dog guy.
"Arabic! That's cool," said the bacon lady, ever effervescent, "How do you say bacon in Arabic?"
The hot dog guy shrugged his shoulders.
"Come on... How do you say bacon in Arabic?"
The hot dog guy shouted to a colleague nearby, presumably asking in his native language, "How do you say bacon in Arabic?"
His colleague shrugged. No one knew the Arabic word for bacon.
"How about sausage? You must eat a lot of sausage," the bacon lady tried as a last-ditch effort. No luck. Giving up, she moved along, shuffling her foam pork slab along the sidewalk in search of better bacon fun.
What the bacon lady and her film crew seemed not to understand, of course, is that bacon is not halal, and the hot dog vendor, most likely being Muslim, would not eat bacon nor handle bacon. He might even feel rather uncomfortable had he realized he was talking to a big hunk of pork (and not a woman in a vagina costume--which it kind of looked like--though that might also have made for an uneasy encounter).
In fact, bacon has been used in hate crimes against Islamic people--to vandalize the Koran and to force-feed Muslims. Though some modern Jews now champion bacon, the food could be similarly used against those keeping kosher. Could "bacon mania" be a cleverly disguised, perhaps unconscious, expression of anti-semitism?
Now I'm not saying the bacon lady was committing a hate crime against the hot dog guy, and at least one halal cart in the city quietly serves bacon, but could this be viewed as another form of vendrification harassment? The artisanal, bespoke, Christian bacon vs. the halal/kosher, Semitic, underdog hot dog...
And thus the battle for New York's soul continues.