Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bacon vs. Hot Dog

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.


EV Grieve said...

Oh my. What were they thinking?

Any idea what the crew was filming this for?

And that costume looks nothing like bacon.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i heard them say to someone it was for an internet project. there are so many roving "reality" cameras on the streets these days, they are unavoidable.

of course, right after they left the hot dog man, a bunch of numbskulls leaped in front of the camera, desperate to be on TV with a woman dressed like bacon.

Lex said...

Don't you think you're taking this a wee bit too far? If we can't joke about bacon, then the terrorists win.

Goggla said...

Thank you, this made my morning!

Jeremiah Moss said...

ha! i hope readers know i am having some fun here, and don't consider this at all a hate crime. dumb, yes, hateful, no.

Anonymous said...

This woman and her film crew were at Carl Schurz park yesterday (Oct 14th) in the afternoon going into the dog runs to get reactions from the dogs. It was very strange!

Jeremiah Moss said...

oh my. how did the dogs react?

tebok said...

When I went to school in Tucson I was shocked at their local delicacy... A Hotdog wrapped in bacon in a roll topped with salsa or mayo.

Shocked we don't sell em here.

mingusal said...

Certainly doesn't rise to the level of a hate crime, but it's yet another uncomfortable moment caused by a mind-boggling sort of smug white hipster cluelessness. Where do these people come from?

Anonymous said...

Interviewing strangers on the street for your little "internet project" may well be the most obnoxious thing in the world, and she's lucky the guy was polite to her. Once the vendor guy said he didn't know the answer, though, she should have left him alone. Don't keep pressing him. He's working for a living, doing honorable work--not dressing as a pork product and harrassing people. And the stupidity not to realize you don't talk to a Muslim about bacon! I just have no words. There really should be an IQ test to get into this city.

hotdog_guy said...

Any place that serves hot dogs, protesters or not, needs me to come and eat at it!

A new blog dedicated to hot dog restaurants, and stands all over the world.

check us out and leave us a note.

Melissa said...

"most likely Muslim"????

Why, because the guy speaks Arabic?!

Sure, he might be Muslim. But he is just as likely--if not more likely--to be Christian. 63% of Arab Americans are Christian, while 24% are Muslim. (

Watch it with those assumptions and stereotypes. I only speak English and know what "bacon" is, but I'm not a Christian...

Melissa said...

PS. Aside from that strange assumption, very interesting post. For some it might be an expression of anti-semitism, others an expression of anti-islamism, and for others still a celebration of secularism (as opposed to the religiousness that is fuelling horrific conflicts around the world.) In that last sense, celebrating bacon might actually be expressing a desire for peace and tolerance, albeit on Christians' terms.

And don't forget the bacon vs vegetarian/vegan angle or the Big Ag Pork Industry vs food activists and small, independent farmers. The pork industry is struggling, so the markrters are going...whole hog.

Bacon is an interesting subject for sure. Symbolizing and embodying so many different things--cultural, social, political, religious, economic, and environmental. There's definitely a book or a thesis in there somewhere...

CaliRasta said...

Its amazing that vendors don't offer bacon wrapped hot dogs in NYC, regardless whether it's halal/kosher or not.

Maybe it's just an LA thing.

Anonymous said...

a hotdog wrapped in bacon is almost a Texas Tommy... but you need to first slice it down the middle, stuff it with cheese, then wrap it with bacon and deep fry it.

Anonymous said...

fxxk tolerance. i dont need to tolerate anybody.