17 November 2010

Pigging out on this season's bacon themed novelty gift items

Modern society would be nowhere without its chuckle-inducing trinkets and cute little dust collectors -- momentarily amusing bits-and-bobs that scream, “I’m hip, I’m cool, and I’m totally on the pulse of pop culture!” Throughout the latter part of the last century alone, we’ve been inexplicably captivated by pet rocks, Rubik’s Cubes, Beanie Babies, Tickle Me Elmo dolls and Pokemon cards…but none of them can hold a candle to the tractor-beam draw of pork belly, known more euphemistically as ‘bacon’.

In other words, thinly sliced, salt-cured pieces of a pig’s stomach – that is what has triggered legions of die-hard devotees to swoon for the last several years now. Pig-scratch fever has become so intense, in fact, that a continually thriving novelty product niche has emerged specifically to showcase this particular meat in all of its bizarre glory. From t-shirts and lunchboxes to jam, paper stationery and relatively supportive undergarments, if it once had a pig pulse or bacony essence, countless companies have figured out how to monetize it.

Unless you’ve recently taken a jaunt around the solar system, engaged in a marathon Rumplestilskin-like snooze-fest or sworn off of all forms of media, you’re probably well aware of our culture’s unwavering fascination with the other white meat. Once relegated to the breakfast plate and special-occasion hors d’oeuvres, those who are so inclined can now consume it dipped in chocolate, studded in peanut brittle, infused in maple lollipops and offering animalistic nuances to an otherwise popular vegetarian snack time delight, popcorn. They say that spice makes everything nice, but Bacon Salt and Bacon Hot Sauce are simply no match for the unholy union of finely minced pork belly blended with mayonnaise.

If various toothsome bacon incarnations aren’t enough to placate your carnal desires, have no fear…liquid versions are here. How about shaking off your morning haze with Boca Java’s Fresh Roasted Maple Bacon Coffee -- perhaps sweetened with a dash of Torani Bacon Syrup -- and followed with a Bakon Vodka chaser? What’s that? You’re on a diet?? Fortunately, David Burke has you covered with his Smoked Bacon Spray, plus you can always pop a low-calorie bacon gumball into your mouth or smear your lips with a pig-infused moisturizing balm for significant caloric savings.

For all of the sizzling excitement with none of the caloric or carnivorous guilt, you or the lucky person on your holiday gift list can now squeal with delight (ermmm, maybe not) upon gazing at ThinkGeek’s My First Bacon, a talking plush toy with a heart of swine. Unlike the Cabbage Patch Kids of yesterdays past, this upgraded huggable model with bulging eyeballs will not only terrify your wee little kiddie into becoming a vegetarian -- they will receive infinite reminders of their dietary commitment each time they squeeze their 19" tall by 7" wide battery-powered meat mascot. That's because an emphatic declaration of "I'mmmmmmm bacon!" will emanate from the $20 toy right out of its little movable muppet-mouth. Cholesterol test and coronory stents sold separately.

Elizah Leigh | @elizahleigh
Elizah Leigh's master's degree in education combined with her passion for the written word and deep-seated interest in environmental issues has proven to be the ideal trifecta for her present status as a green journalist. Currently commissioned to write a reference book on vegetarianism, Elizah hopes to inspire people through her words. Follow Elizah on Facebook.

Photo credit: Screen capture thinkgeek.com