I’m really living the lifestyle now. I’m astonished it took me so long, in fact. Like you, I saw the trend at Applebee’s first, and then over and over again at Applebee’s, and then I saw it the one time I went to that quirky little delicatessen that serves very small portions, and I thought: I need to get into this!
It started with the bacon, of course. I’ve loved bacon for a long time, and cook it every day for breakfast with my sausage. I put bacon in everything: potato salad, chicken salad, BLTs, chicken BLTs, other kinds of bacon-based sandwiches, chicken salad-with-bacon sandwiches, meatloaf, potato salad-with-bacon chimichangas, whole-wheat bread, chocolate chip cookies, and full-fat milk—really, anything that holds bacon or in which bacon can be suspended. But when I switched to applewood-smoked bacon, it was as if I had never really tasted fried pig belly before. It was hog heaven! Although not for the poorly behaved hogs.
At that point, bacon became a staple in my diet, as opposed to a filler in all my other food that constituted my diet. I began cooking applewood-smoked bacon for nearly every meal, eating pre-cooked applewood-smoked bacon cold out of the fridge, and dropping custom-made applewood-smoked bacon ice cubes into my sage-and-peppercorn old fashioneds. I trademarked the phrase “on the hocks, please.” My whole apartment started to become imbued with the wonderful aroma of applewood bacon smoke, and the wall behind the stove took on a the lovely patina of brushed grease.
Then a funny thing happened. I noticed that when I went out to Applebee’s and TGIFs, women who were perfect strangers would slide up to me, mysteriously enchanted, and ask in sultry tones: “What is that smoky musk you’re wearing, mister?” At first I didn’t know what they were talking about, and claimed to have just castrated a bull. That response got me a few dates with a beautiful but seriously deranged lady, but then I figured it out: it was the applewood smoke! It was irresistible!
From that point on, applewood-smoked bacon wasn’t just a foodstuff to me anymore. I painstakingly filtrated applewood-smoked bacon fat with perpetually clogging pipettes in an attempt to make a homebrew cologne I called “Charnel No. 5” (also trademarked). When that led to outbreaks of fly larvae, I switched to simply dropping applewood-smoked bacon bits into rose water, which provided a close substitute to the natural aroma of applewood-smoked bacon sizzle but gave off an unfortunate and unmistakable odor of rose petals. Even the dried fat in my potpourri plug-ins and small-batch incense sticks weren’t doing the trick. Finally, I gave in and made the investment I had suspected I would need to make all along: a large outdoor smoker over which I suspended metal trays and a clothes rack. All my things would be applewood-smoked.
The rewards are enormous. I’ve been living high on the hog, quite literally—a carefree life that only other applewood-smoked bacon fans can understand, and that quickly drives hickory-smoked bacon lovers bananas. I’m not as young or blemish-free as I used to be, but I have no trouble picking up the choicest ladies at large-advertising-budget chain restaurants and taking them home for curly-tail time, if you get my meaning which is also quite literal here. But applewood-smoked bacon was only the catalyst; the real transformation was in how I felt about myself. I have what women want—confidence, and the bacon smell that goes with it.
I know this trend is going to play out, and it’ll be time to move on to something new, but all of this has taught me never to give up on improving myself. There’s almost nothing that can’t be changed for the better by food-infused clothing. In fact, I just came back from a speaking engagement at Applebee’s annual management retreat, and I’ll let you in on a little secret. Three words: Bourbon-braised eggs. I think you’ll be hearing a lot about it.