Thursday, December 3, 2015

Communist Bacon

     Did the title catch your attention? I'm rather proud of it. I spent long hours thinking it over, mulling it over in my mind, honing it, polishing it, until it reached perfection...

     Actually, I thought it up during a late night writing session. By late night I mean anywhere between midnight and two in the morning, and by writing I mean spewing whatever comes to mind onto a blank page, hoping for the sake of retaining my image of sanity that what I'm writing is funny. In other words, NaNoWriMo.

     I didn't write much on the Wandering Typewriter about NaNo this time around; last time I tried to do that, I failed the contest miserably. Best not to brag about something until you've actually completed it, no? And so, I kept quiet. I think it helped; I completed the contest, mostly by losing a lot of sleep on the last night. Actually, I failed and won at the same time; I didn't do the "official" version (50k words); instead, I did the Young Writer's Program version (c. 30k words). Sylvester already came to call, I think; half of the story is from his POV. The other half is from Anastasia's. It was extraordinarily helpful to have them both as narrators, as far as my wordcount was concerned; my wordcount skyrocketed every time they had a snark-off. Which was quite often, I'm afraid.

     Explanation over, we return to the title. Odd things tend to happen whilst writing during the month of November. Most of the time, they're merely hilarious typos. Other times, one gets very strange portion of writing, especially if you have an odd (and snarky) narrator. In my case, Sylvester rambled for about a page and a half about a communist bacon utopia. Actually, I'm not even sure if he got the definition of communism right, but for a 1 a.m. piece of writing, I think it's close enough.

     Behold. The beauty of bacon.

     "Bacon is overrated. Yes, the Americans violently disagree; I wouldn’t be surprised if some future conflict would go down in history as the First Great Bacon War. (The word “first” most certainly implies that there would be a second. Most likely a third, too.) But bacon is far from as wonderful as everyone seems to think it is. One has a few moments where it’s piping hot and delightfully crisp; a few precious moments where one has to ignore whatever other food may be tempting your palate and give your whole, undivided attention to the grease-slathered delicacy before one. Once that golden window of time passes, one is left with a sad, limp, greasy shadow of what once was. It’s only good for dog treats or feeding to those you dislike. Not your enemies, mind, unless you poison the bacon first.

     Guild bacon, though, somehow managed to stay hot and crisp long enough for one to properly enjoy it. And they didn’t try to squeeze a few extra slices out of the meat when they cut it up; if they were slow in the paperwork respect, at least they weren’t skimpy in the bacon one. They weren’t skimpy on the price they charged us for it, either.

     You see, marketing people are brilliant. In writing this tale, I’ve come to realize that they’re probably more like villains than I ever was. They sit in their offices, twirling their mustaches and snickering, as they plot how to exploit the poor bacon-hungry workers of what they haven’t rightfully earned. The smells taunted us; we wondered yet again why money wasn’t free and why we had forgotten about Bacon Wednesdays again. Even the free (but tiny) slice they’d give us only whetted our appetite for that which we could not afford. We’d stare at those ones in the possession of that mystical thing called Cold Hard Cash, who had traded it for the delicacy of fried swine’s flesh. We stared at them with the cold fire of the revolution in our eyes as they chattered about such trivial things as Life and Goals and Going to Work, letting the precious bacon cool on their plates. Every Wednesday the sight was the same. But repetition only ground the firebrand deeper into our souls.

When they at last rose, cold, uneaten bacon lying wasted on their plates like fallen warriors, we’d look at each and strengthen the mute pact. Someday we would rise. Someday the revolution would come. Someday we wouldn’t have to be lucky enough to possess Cold Hard Cash in order to purchase a delicacy. Someday we would force the greedy, lucky ones to give us the bacon we hadn’t earned and never intend on earning. Someday we would take and eat and take and eat and take and… And then we’d all realize we were late for First Tasks and rush out of the cafeteria, knocking over chairs, tables, and innocent bystanders, and forgot all about our dream of a socialist bacon utopia. I think I suggested once that we call it the Bacontopia, but instead of being lauded for my brilliance I got a lukewarm pot of coffee launched at my head. I suppose that’s why revolutions nearly always fail; the true geniuses get their ideas crushed (physically and metaphorically) and assorted items tossed at them. Maybe that’s why they say it’s difficult to be a genius.

Of course, when we stopped daydreaming about getting all the bacon we wanted and actually starting working hard enough to afford all the bacon we wanted, the dreams of revolution faded bacon back into the darkest part of our minds; the part we kept drowned in caffeine at all possible hours. These sorts of things tend to balance themselves out; the lazy ones would devour their utopia almost as soon as they got it, but the hard workers subconsciously realize that it’s a really stupid idea to start a revolution over bacon. That’s probably why the ones who fire the first shots in the First Great Bacon War will be Americans."

     Anyway. There you go. I hoped you enjoyed my character's rant critique of communist vs capitalistic bacon. And do forgive his snide remark about Americans; he's British, after all. Well...sort of British. The novel kept switching genres (steampunk to comedy to fantasy to fantasy steampunk comedy), so I'm not entirely sure where the setting is anymore. Oh well; that's what second drafts are for, are they not? 

     (Fine print: novel excerpt copyright Elizabeth Dykes. Please don't repost it anywhere without my permission. Though I'm sure the quality of it makes it an unlikely candidate for plagiarism.)

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