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Spoofs & Satire

Library of Congress

Bringing Home the Bacon

In order to survive in today’s world, you need to make a lot of dough—but a family cannot live by bread alone.

Honey, first off, I want to say how much I love you. I can’t imagine sharing my life with anyone else. You are a wonderful husband and father and I know you’re doing your best to provide for our family. I remember your marriage proposal like it was yesterday. We went on that picnic, and you looked into my eyes and promised that ‘til death do us part, you’d make sure to bring home the bacon and I looked back at you and said that if you did, I’d fry it up in the pan.

But now, my darling, I need you to stop.

I know that in today’s economy we should be grateful for you still having a job at all, but—and I’m sorry to say it—you being paid entirely in pork is killing us. James Jr.’s blood work came back today and his cholesterol level was 285. Dr. Bernstein said it has to be some kind of record for a seven-year-old. He asked what I was feeding the boy and I told him and I think maybe he started looking up the number for children and family services. He wanted Junior screened for colon cancer. Thank goodness when the receptionist asked for payment she said, “that’ll be a hundred bones,” because otherwise, I don’t know what I would’ve done. Bones we got!

And Susie’s toenails falling off? Yep, just like we thought, it’s scurvy. She’s a trooper, though. She said she’d just be a pirate for Halloween. God, I love her, and I know you do too, which is why things have to change.

I know I shouldn’t complain. Compared to others we have so much. It’s just one of the things we don’t have is money. I barter as much as I can, but ballet teachers aren’t interested in bacon, be it smoked or cured.

Though I guess the ballet lessons are a moot point now since Susie can barely walk anyway, what with the oozing and all.

Julie Smith’s hubby makes a few bucks, but I know they’re as tired of venison as we are of bacon. Don’t think I don’t count my blessings. Margie Metcalf’s husband makes a bunch of bread, but their kids are like 300 pounds apiece and she’s no great prize to look at. And Margie has it better than Denise Sherman whose husband gets big piles of dough. She has to keep some of it in the garage there’s so much. And at least the bacon keeps us thin, which is lucky, since our hearts couldn’t take any kind of exercise due to the plaque buildup.

Frannie Parker has a lovely singing voice, but I don’t think those c-notes her husband likes to carry around do much nutrition-wise. And sure, Julie Smith’s hubby makes a few bucks, but I know they’re as tired of venison as we are of bacon.

Nancy Del’Abbate says that it’s all about the Benjamins, but we’ve only got the one extra bedroom, so I don’t know where we’d put a bunch more people. She said her Canadian friend makes loonies, but that sounds worse than Benjamins, extra rooms stuffed with crazy people? No thanks.

I don’t know why Abby Lopredo brags about her husband pulling down major bills. What’s she paying those with?

Don’t get mad, but I went behind your back and applied for a job at Nick’s Fishmarket. I know we said we wanted a traditional family where you work and I stay at home with the kids, but I was desperate. Don’t worry, though, it didn’t work out. The payment just wasn’t right. When I turned him down, Nick said, “but that’s a lot of clams!”

“I know,” I replied, “that’s the problem. James Sr. is allergic to seafood.”

I even tried going down to Longacre Farms to see if they’d trade some back bacon for one of those cash cows, but they looked at me like I was crazy.

You don’t have to make a lot of money. It could be moolah, cash, or greenbacks, for all I care. I’d even take a few dead presidents. We could put them on display or something, charge admission. We’d make a fortune on Reagan alone.

I’m just worried that if we keep up like we’ve been doing death is going to part us too soon. You from a massive heart attack, me from an aneurism.

Heck, even some cabbage would be okay. I just read in the paper that vegetarians live longer, and more time with you, my sweet, would be like a dream.

So, I’ve spent the day circling the help wanted ads, and I know that in no time you’ll have something new, something that pays in currency other than bacon. Just make sure that when it comes time to talk compensation, that they’re saying “salary” not “celery.”


TMN contributing writer John Warner’s first novel, The Funny Man was recently published by Soho Press. He teaches at the College of Charleston and is co-color commentator for The Morning News Tournament of Books. More by John Warner