Facebook leaves unwanted trivia impressed on my brain leading to cerebral implosion. Don’t get me wrong. I love cute memes. I love keeping in touch with my friends. But dire warnings and impending doom and politics on hyper drive need to just go away. No one experiences a change of heart with propaganda on Facebook, so we could all just agree to drop it?
The latest attack on my psyche came with one of those benign little headers: Nine Foods to Avoid. And then this…Every slice of bacon you eat is 9 minutes off your life. Seriously? Number one, we’re talking about a food group here. And number two, with so many dread diseases threatening to end our lives, I hardly think bacon ranks up there with an airplane crash or a drunk driver or lung cancer. Bacon. Not bullets. Not nukes. Bacon, people–breakfast candy and flavor enhancer and appetizers-would-never-be-the-same-without it, service-to-humanity, simple bacon.
Kale without bacon? Ugh. Asparagus wrapped in bacon? Yes! Bacon improves just about everything. I admit to being a life long fan of bacon. Too little to see over the edge of the top of the table, I slunk from chair to chair and snatched bacon off plates as a toddler, or so the story goes. Yes, my love of bacon goes way back. So I wonder, why bacon? Why is bacon the recipient of so much disdain?
Bacon attracted foes and fans throughout the centuries. In the Old Testament it was banned. In the New Testament Paul accepted bacon into the menu. Bacon rashers fed pioneers, but now bacon subtracts life like a ticking clock attached to dynamite. Here’s the thing: prevailing winds shift. The status of poor bacon dances on each side of the line of respectability, and the line seems drawn in sand, not etched in concrete. Wait awhile. It will move again.
In the meantime, strictly in the spirit of public service, I offer you a better way to cook bacon.
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Lay slices in a baking dish. If bacon lovers populate your family, add a rack to the pan and another row of slices. Bake for about 30 minutes, to your desired level on the continuum between limp and crispy. My family likes it crispy, so we sometimes leave it an extra 9 minutes. (I bet you thought I’d forgotten about that nine minutes, huh?)
Nine minutes doesn’t sound all that significant in the scheme of eternity, but think of all the words people utter in just nine minutes. Couples exchange vows in less than nine minutes. A sincere I love you and hug take about three. Expressing sincere appreciation takes three or four. Use your lost nine minutes wisely, and you’ll never miss them. Inherent in aging gracefully lies the realization that the numbered days before us shrink with each circling of the sun. No one reclaims those minutes cast into the realm of a fourth dimension. Not one of us can truly add a minute, let alone nine of them, to a lifespan over which only the Creator exercises control. So eat bacon, don’t eat bacon…I leave that up to each of you. But do use those nine minutes to bless another person (and try to refrain from using Facebook as a soapbox). Aging gracefully is a choice. Choose grace.