Reader, grab a box of tissues because this is a tear-jerker.

After carrying on about Zingerman‘s — home of Camp Bacon for Chrissake — I sent a beloved relative (who shall remain anonymous) the birthday gift of a lifetime: A subscription to Z’s Bacon-Of-The-Month Club. Three luscious installments of Applewood Smoked, Kentucky Dry Cured, and Arkansas Peppered bacon, all delivered to the recipient’s front door with each package timed to arrive for “weekend frying.”

What’s more, said bacon eater — an up-and-coming triathlete, by the way — devours a few slices of good old hog-fat every morning along with egg-white omelets as a hearty source of protein. It’s the one thing he eats that even resembles an indulgence.

In fact, in the week prior to this particular relative’s big day, his wife, commenting on the fine work done by P&P, asked when we were going to test some high-end Internet-based bacon purveyors.

Ha, funny you should ask, I thought.

In a cheapskate masterstroke, I would enroll him in Zingerman’s Bacon-Of-The-Month Club and then play 20 questions about whether the stuff is really worth $30/pound. Everybody would be happy. P&P‘s content coffers would overflow with critical insight, while a bacon aficionado would enjoy a gift that keeps on giving.

So he received the first package and many nice phone calls and emails ensued. Wow, you shouldn’t have, how nice, and so forth.

Fast forward two weeks later and I get an email with the subject-line “Bacon.” Oh good, they finally ate their first delivery and now I can wring a few posts out of my so-called present. Heh, heh, heh — I’m so smart!

Sadly no. (Grab tissue box and sit down now.)

The email read, and I’m paraphrasing, Sorry to have to break this news to you, BUT WE NO LONGER EAT BACON. Perhaps we could mail the unopened package to you or something.

Weeping uncontrollably, I typed my reply: No…sniff…just set it out on the street or give it to a homeless shelter. And…wail, moan…I guess you can just do the same thing when future shipments arrive.

(I later amended my altruistic impulses to say stick that shit in the freezer and I’ll eat nothing but bacon when I visit you next time — which goes without saying, if there is a next time. Actually, he lives in NYC, so there will be a next time. But I digress.)

So back to square one. Time to get on the Internet and search out some new bacon sources. In fact, I think it may even entice us to try exotic species like lamb and duck bacon.

Oh, and next year, you’re getting a case of fucking Cliff Bars.