Can life be the same with less bacon in it?

image The thing I hate most about doctors — not counting proctologists — is that they’re always trying to tell you HOW TO LIVE!

For example: “Ned, unless you lower your blood pressure, you’re going to die.”

The nerve!

Though I’m well within my optimum weight range (190 lbs.) for my age (48) and height (6’1″), am active and have a relatively low-stress lifestyle (when our three teens aren’t home), my blood pressure is still high.

Apparently, it’s something that runs in my family. Which is ironic considering my family isn’t known for running.


Because I don’t really need to lose weight and my heart sounds fine, my doctor has started me on a very mild dose of blood pressure medicine. “Just take 10 milligrams each morning at breakfast,” he said.

“Can I wrap it in bacon first? Ha! Ha!” I joked.

Well, mostly.

You should understand that when my doctor takes his glasses off, whatever he’s about to say is never good. He removed his glasses the time I had walking pneumonia, and also right before telling me I needed hernia surgery. So as I watched him slowly pull his glasses forward from the bridge of his nose, I was ready for something bad.

Nothing could’ve prepared me for what he said next. As the words left his mouth and echoed in my ears, the world turned gauzy. My sense of reality shifted. And I struggled to fathom what he was telling me…

“You should think about cutting back on the bacon a little.”

“Can you say that last part again?”

“I’m sorry. I wish I had better news,” he said, crossing his arms. “I know how much bacon means to you.”

“Don’t patronize me, doctor!” I snapped. “How could you POSSIBLY know how much bacon means to me? Do you have a bacon-scented pillow case? Do you cook with bacon salt? Have you submitted a recipe for bacon Cheerios to General Mills? I don’t think so!”

There was an uncomfortable silence as I tried to regain my composure.

“I’m just saying there are options…” he began.

“HA! Really? Like what? TURKEY bacon?!”

“I realize it’s not ideal but people have been known to live happy, productive lives eating turkey or veggie bacon.”

“Happy… Productive… And veggie bacon,” I muttered. “I’m no mathematician, but that equation doesn’t add up, doctor.”

He sighed. “I’m only suggesting you cut back a little.”

I gripped the door knob and turned back to meet his gaze. “Sure, doc. And I’ll just cut back on breathing air while I’m at it. Good day, sir!”

Needless to say, I will be getting a second opinion. Possibly as early as this evening, depending on if our butcher has left for the day.

In the meantime, I’ve put something together to help my doctor understand what bacon means to me…



(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. Still looking for that perfect book for summer reading? Ned’s first book, Humor at the Speed of Life,available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble. Disclaimer: You should still use sunscreen when reading this book)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

73 thoughts on “Can life be the same with less bacon in it?”

  1. Oh, oh, Ned. I know that last photo is meant to be humorous, but if I were you, I’d keep an eye out for men in dark suits knocking at your door. You might want to hide in the kitchen for awhile – where you can eat up the evidence before they break in.

      1. Absolutely. Life is better with Bacon.

        Not sure if you remember my stories about Johnny Id, but one thing he posted about on his visit here was our bacon contest…because I tend to bake mine now, and he does his on the stove and adds – pepper! – and we had a bacon eating contest.

        Both were pretty damn good.

        1. I’ve baked my bacon for years. Sometimes with a little sugar sprinkled on it. Other times, freshed-cracked pepper. It tends to shrivel up too much when you cook it on the stove.

          1. I like to make a lot of bacon at one time (naturally) and find that baking it yes, keeps it straight but then also I can walk away from the oven and do other stuff.

            There is a bar in my city that smokes their bacon and they serve it at the bar as a bar snack. Makes the outrageously priced cocktails worth it!

        2. A guy I knew used to grill his bacon with a clever grill that drained the fat away. It was supposed to be a very healthy way to grill bacon. He never threw the juice/fat away, he saved it to roast his potatoes in

          I think he is still alive.

  2. When I first saw the title question, my immediate response was “Hell No!” But now I have decided to be supportive and assure you that you can life a full, productive life without bacon. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go spend some quality time with my frying pan.

  3. LOL! My doctor once suggested I drink less coffee. I had to explain to him that quality of life was far more important then length.

    As to the bacon, what we usually worry about is the salt. Salt can raise your BP. Bacon itself is not so bad. The problem is, salt free bacon is just sad, a bit like tofu strips.

      1. Right! Except I am spoiled with the Neuske’s bacon. I get a little disappointed by the regular bacon offering at restaurants now. It’s like going from Ghirardelli chocolate to Hersheys.

  4. I’ve figured out a solution for you…You could tell your doc that not being able to have bacon causes you extreme stress and that would raise your blood pressure further so, it’ healthier for you to continue bacon eating for the sake of your health. There, your bill’s in the mail. 😉

  5. I’m gonna whip up my world famous maple bacon cupcakes – just for you! DELICIOUS!!
    Maple comes from a tree, a tree comes from a seed – seeds are found in fruits and vegetables, therefore, you’ll be eating your veggies.
    Added bonus? I get to put that cute, new apron to use sooner than expected.

      1. Oh man, I can’t “like” this comment. I’d miss that brilliant brain of yours!
        Abort the cupcakes. How about a nice green, thick, spinach smoothie?

    1. That will be etched in my tombstone! Or on a plaque mounted near the bacon section in our local supermarket, where my ashes will be sprinkled.

  6. I don’t wanna say my family was lazy, but we NEVER had to jiggle the toilet handle and there was never a misplaced fiber in my mom’s L’Eggs Ultrasheer.

    On the bacon front, I have literally warned a few friends that I would cannibal their butts if I thought for one minute they tasted like bacon…and they laughed and laughed and laughed, and then suddenly went silent and backed up a little.

        1. I could say the same, Kendall — about the bacon, the reception and why so many folks find their way to your terrific site 😉

          Great to see you here. Please don’t be a stranger.

  7. Bacon: cheaper than Prozac
    You MUST try Bacon flavoured Olive Oil…it will change your life and can be used in a healthy way in many areas you would normally use bacon in…except for the whole bacon eating part…

  8. Sorry to read you may be going through bacon withdrawals, but your heart — and your family — will thank you for it. There are alternatives (as above, though use sparingly) and at some point (like me, I was non-vegan for 45 years) you may even find happiness in opting out altogether.

No one is watching, I swear...

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