In my quest to become a whole, functioning human being, I have been going through a yearslong process of undoing and unpacking the subconscious biases and fears that created the person who could never be described any funnier or more succinctly than by my line brother, who once said:
“Michael Harriot, you’re one weird-ass strain of nigga. Who made you?”
A few months ago, I offhandedly mentioned to my co-workers that I had recently tried bacon for the first time. I was homeschooled and raised in a cultlike religion that didn’t allow the eating of pork, hearing other people pray, wearing shorts, doing anything not Jesus-related from sundown Friday night until Saturday night, or even attending movies. You didn’t know that sin was a contagious disease?
The Root staff was astounded that a black kid born and raised in South Carolina had not tried the most delicious of all the varieties of swine. (Sidenote: The first time I tasted pork was in my freshman year of college when my roommate breaded and fried these delicious little steaks that I later found out were called “pork chops.”) All of my co-workers were waiting for me to explain how I must have had a mini-orgasm the moment the cured side pork passed my lips. They expected me to say how slavery, Jim Crow and Tyler Perry’s Boo: A Madea Halloween were all necessary evils that got me to this moment in my own porcine history.
It was a’ight, I guess.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t dislike bacon, as one co-worker whom I will not name, except to say her name rhymes with “Danielle Young”—I’m bad at rhyming—is trying to tell people. Before you get all pearl-clutchy and panty-bunched, let me be clear:
Bacon is perfectly fine. Like Sza.
I think bacon is analogous to the sentient Auto-Tune voice box that everyone tells me is a combination of Beyoncé, Nina Simone, Harriet Tubman and light-skinned Jesus. I was late to the Sza bandwagon because I was ashamed to ask about her, mostly because I didn’t know how to pronounce her name. As everyone talked about how great she was, I quietly declared to myself that I wouldn’t listen to her until she became more responsive to her fans and put some motherfucking vowels in her name.
And then I listened to her, and she was perfectly fine.
Not groundbreaking or anything. Her music sounds like when a reggae selector rewinds a song. At first I cussed out the entire Apple corporation, screaming about how the company had gone to shit since Tim Cook murdered Steve Jobs (an accusation for which I have no real evidence, nor do I need any, because I was screaming to myself) because I thought iTunes had sold me a song that was playing backward or at the wrong speed. But when I started listening, I liked her.
Then, when I expressed my Sza sntmnts (see how hard it is to understand words like “sentiments” when you don’t include the vowels, Miss Sizza?), her fans acted like I didn’t listen to the right song. This is exactly what people at The Root did when I Kanye-shugged bacon.
“You must have eaten that maple-flavored shit, dawg!” —Yesha
“Are you sure you didn’t eat turkey bacon?” —Genetta
So I tried it again Thursday. Same results. It was a’ight. Quick anecdote: I am currently in Spokane, Wash., so when I asked the waitress for some ketchup for my hash browns, I said “Can I get some ... ” and she perkily interrupted me with “ ... hot sauce?” before I could finish my sentence. Ahhhh ... white people.
Anyway, I want to make it clear before my co-workers tarnish my name that I am in no way dissing bacon, but what they not finna do is have me out here needing a stint in my aorta because I’m outchea sampling bacon flavors trying to find the right one. Bacon is cool. Sza is straight.
Perhaps I am a victim of the media’s overhyping of pig-related products. Here is a list of things that are comparable to bacon—perfectly reasonable in quality and taste, but people act like they’re the next coming of Jesus:
- the TV show Power
- the Eminem freestyle about Donald Trump
- the actual Jesus
- Crown Royal Apple
- Kevin Hart’s comedy
- Five Guys burgers
- graduation ceremonies
Here is also a list of things that are better than bacon—undersold, but better than you thought it would be:
- fried bologna
- the movie How High
- Method Man as an actor
- Fenty Cosmetics (I have no idea, but apparently black women are breaking down in real tears that a foundation exists in their color)
- fish as a breakfast meat
Anyway, look for more posts about me trying new things like coffee, macaroni and cheese (I’m lactose intolerant),
white women (Yesha swears I’ve already tried this) and Christmas.
And don’t believe any of the bacon-related lies you hear about me.
All the other stuff is probably true.