Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Danish Gold

Probably still the funniest post in the world.

   It’s true: bacon is just that much fun.

   Also, it’s a thing; an important cultural institution throughout Britain. Countless peoples’ lives are improved; their days lifted just a little bit by a bacon sandwich. For the busy husband and father rushing off early for the long drive to work a bacon butty (as we say up North) from some trailer on a bypass is that little pick-me-up that boosts the day; that gets the blood sugar going and the brain working as he travels the weary distance from the home and family he loves to the workplace where, ultimately, the mortgage will be paid. For the rushing teacher on her way to a ten, twelve hour day followed by marking and preparation for the next, a couple of grilled slices with ketchup in a margarined bun ( or ‘bap’) is her first line of defence against a hard, rewarding, frustrating day.
   And what office building of a Friday morning isn’t lifted just a bit by the delivery (sometimes by several vigorously-competing sandwich companies) of those little bags of warm, revitalising, productivity-boosting and weekend daydream-deferring streaky goodness?

   It’s a better world for having bacon in it, and no mistake.

   I don’t eat bacon any more for moral reasons (the morality being that Mrs. Northwester is an ethical vegetarian and joining her is no price at all to pay for her smiles,) but I can’t deny that my colleagues are perked up immeasurably by that Friday morning buzz when the delivery arrives and the day’s volunteer distributes those neat little foil-wrapped parcels from desk to desk. Everybody wins: the taxpayers because they’re getting just that little bit more concentration and brain power when the public sector spending its money instead of neck straining towards the clock from eleven onwards, to the customers who find cheerier and more attentive helpers than otherwise, to the management knowing we’re busting some targets better than with rumbling stomachs or the brief, dreary carb high of toast.

   So here’s an idea: why not spread the love? Let’s share it out throughout the public sector.
   No: let’s share it throughout the private sector and put a Smoky and the Band-aid on the country’s wounded economy. Let’s make it a law, possibly even a legal right, to have bacon sandwiches delivered to every workplace in the land on Friday mornings - barring bank holidays, of course. And maybe Ramadan. It wouldn’t be very expensive, all things considered, to kick Britain into productivity overdrive as the streaky hits the palates of the nation and raises morale coast to coast. Oh, it might put a bit more on the tax bill, but it’d surely pay for itself in the long run as the economy booms not only from the fillip that the workers receive when the pink and crispy ambrosia goes down and their attentiveness and enthusiasm for the day’s work goes up, but also from the employment created for workers preparing and delivering their salty cornucopia. Accident rates, accounting and date input errors and apathy will all plummet on the most tiring day of the week.
  Now, absurd as it seems, I can imagine some folk having qualms about this. For example, they’ll say that this will be offensive to certain groups, for example vegetarians and vegans, and I’m sympathetic, I truly am: being one of the former myself. But nobody’s forcing such people to take part. They can scoff their soya sausages or Quorn slices alongside their porcovore colleagues, or breakfast before they get home, or simply ignore what their pig-munching workmates are up to altogether. Live and let live, I say. And besides, not all vegetarians are necessarily good people, if you know what I’m saying? You have to wonder just a little bit what else is on the agenda for the kind of people who don’t eat meat and who maybe have a less than sympathetic attitude for those who indulge in Kosher slaughter and who won’t eat pig meat at all, yeah?

   Which brings us to the Jews. I mean, I accept that in desert tents and closely-packed hilltop villages of the ancient Middle East the proximity to pigs might demonstrably have been a health hazard akin to the Far East’s tendency to originate pig-human crossover viruses, but really my friends! The Israelis have air conditioning and excellent sewage systems and medical services today; possibly having removed it all from the rest of the Arabic world apart from Riyadh, various tourist hotels and most presidential palaces. All the Jews have to do is to not take part, tolerate the pleasures (and necessitates) of their neighbours, carry on freely practising their quaint traditions in their own authorised and exempt designated enclosed spaces as the Sabbath approaches and just leave the rest of us alone. Now I think of it, synagogues are workplaces of a sort, aren’t they? Should non-Jewish cleaning staff and even liberal Jews (clergy and congregation) be cut out of the fun? Perhaps they shouldn’t be excluded, huh? Why should some ancient law in a mouldy old book keep the joy of pork from decent, legally resident British subjects going about their otherwise identical religious services? I think not.

  And what can I say about Muslims? Well, one thing I can say for sure is that I’m really, really glad I decided to blog under the nickname of North Northwester.

   Friday prayers or Jumu'ah are an important aspect of a pious Islamic life and it is just possible, (if only barely), to imagine some Muslims being irked at the idea of bacon that they had to pay for in their taxes being served to their infidel colleagues just before such an important part of the week. Knowing that it goes on elsewhere at their expense should pose no serious problems for them, should it? I suppose they might even object - however politely - to the notion of their holy places, such as mosques and madrassas and the Pennines, being permitted by law to serve or receive doorstep deliveries of bacon. I don’t, however, see that a law merely permitting such a cornucopia of pork being allowed in principle, especially as there happen to be no specific plans to make it compulsory any time soon, could ever threaten honest, law-abiding, tolerant modern Muslims.

  I don’t believe that such uptight people (minorities all) have anything to fear in the principle being allowed in law and thus spreading to their formerly ‘private’ places of public worship and into their economic lives, any more than they should be allowed to enforce their outdated notions on a more tolerant and laid-back majority and their political and moral leaders.  

   I mean, it’s not as if the powers that be in the Free World impose their universalizing largesse on large ethical or religious groups: even the conservative Powers That Be.


Picture from here.


Fahrenheit211 said...

I know quite a few Liberal and Reform Jews who take the same view as you do regarding the prohibition on pig meat, which is the reasons for its prohibition no longer apply because we have fridges now. I've even come across a Rabbinical student who keeps a pet pig.

Some American Liberal Jews are even more liberal than the British ones and serve clam and other shellfish (also forbidden under Jewish Kashrus rules) at Synagogue functions.

JuliaM said...

Make it English bacon, and not the horrible, tasteless, water-laden Danish, and I'm sold!


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