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Public Eye 09/28/12

First, our economy tanks, then the Euro drops like a stone, the polar ice cap begins to melt so quickly that undocumented polar bears have joined the day laborer lines in Toronto and, after locking out its referees, the NFL calls in a crew of beanbag umpires to officiate its games.

Surely, the world is coming to an end. But wait, you say, that is not the case. We’re kind of, sort of working our way back economically and the NFL did just agree to let the real refs back into the game. And who cares about polar bears in the Canadian workforce as long as they’re polite like everyone else?

Ah, but this could be the end, if we are to believe the pork people of the United Kingdom. Just this week, they declared that we could be facing a bacon shortage. Aside from the fact that “pork people” sounds like a 1950s sci-fi move title (“Attack of the Pork People”) and that their alarm may not be entirely accurate, it remains that a world without solid economies, competent sports officials and well-mannered polar bears is survivable, but a world without bacon is a world without love.

As the UK pork producers tell the story, this year’s midwestern drought hampered the grain harvest, precipitating premium prices for pig provisions and forcing pecuniary pig farmers to pay more per pig portion. It was either that and passing the increased cost on to us, or trimming the fat from pork production.

Either way, this is not a good situation, especially since I have spent the summer stocking up on the staples of existence should we be inconvenienced by hurricanes, shifts in the tectonic plates, an asteroid shellacking or a continuation of a congress composed of pork barrel politicians who would meet the requirement for alleviating runoff by virtue of having pervious heads.

I have a six-month supply of tomato sauce, ice cream sandwiches, corn and tortilla chips, which, under most circumstances, would get me through anything. However, I am low on bacon and it could be too late to do anything about it, depending on whom you believe.

American pork producers contend that this whole bacon shortage business is a concoction of UK hog harvesters and pork purveyors, who are attempting to convince residents of the British Isles to buy locally and to pay more for it.

The hope here, however, is that by writing of this shameless scheme, I and others like me throughout the world will allay the public’s fears about having to endure a bacon-less, and thus soulless, dining disaster.

After all, “Knowledge is power.” And yes, Sir Francis Bacon said that.

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