Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A Shill for Big Bacon

From such humble roots can a campaign be born.

When I heard about the Burger King Bacon Sundae a couple weeks ago, I sent a single tweet saying I'd hoped it would come to New Zealand. 
A week later, a reporter for the Herald on Sunday hit me on Twitter asking why I wanted to try the bacon sundae. I sent the reporter an email saying that maple syrup goes well with both bacon and ice cream, so it's not crazy to think bacon and ice cream could go well together. And, the bacon sundae had the added advantage of annoying the sorts of people who it's useful to annoy now.

So the Herald wrote:
Here, Eric Crampton from Christchurch has been campaigning on Twitter for its sale in New Zealand.

"I'd never thought of putting bacon and ice cream together but it makes sense - maple syrup makes bacon taste better and it goes really well with ice cream too," he told the Herald on Sunday.

"And a bacon ice cream sundae annoys all the sorts of people who really need to be annoyed from time to time."
I hadn't really thought I was campaigning. I hadn't sent pleading letters to BK, or stood outside BK with placards, or put out press releases, or put up a whole pile of blog posts with regression analyses purporting to demonstrate that the interaction effect of bacon and ice cream yields hedons* the likes of which would make all of Doug Sellman's nightmares of food addictions seem a pleasant daydream. But, the article was fun.

Then I saw Michele A'Court's piece in this weekend's Christchurch Press (not online).
Meanwhile, on the other side of the States, you can still get a fast-food chain bacon sundae – ice cream with bacon bits smeared with chocolate and caramel sauce, garnished with a strip of deep fried bacon. It’s been described by one appalled nutritionist as ‘‘15 teaspoons of sugar with some pig in it’’.
There’s a guy in Christchurch campaigning to bring it here. I admire his chutzpah – if that’s not an indelicate word to use when discussing bacon. He is quoted as saying not only does it sound like a great flavour combo, but its very existence will annoy ‘‘the sorts of people who really need to be annoyed from time to time’’. See comment from nutritionist above.
I may well try one. Or a small portion of one. And bring the rest home for this dude in my lunch box.
Hmm. While I want to try one, I think I'd prefer making my own to eating somebody else's leftovers. I don't even like eating stuff my kids have pecked at.

Then Colin Peacock at MediaWatch wondered how much of a campaign there really can be if it's just one guy from Christchurch and a student in Auckland. Indeed. Especially when the guy from Christchurch isn't even really campaigning.

But I still want a bacon sundae. If Burger King brings it to New Zealand, I'll even try one. But I fiercely defend my independence: if it doesn't taste as mindblowingly awesome as I expect, I'll tweet the appropriate meh.

* You can't actually count hedons. If I tried putting a t-statistic on that kind of thing, McCloskey should have me shot. Utility is ordinal!


  1. I will never try bacon and ice-cream, as you can imagine, but my 6-year old son assures me that ice-cream and olives is the most awesome combination you can have, so I might give that a go instead.

  2. And I thought you were just going to the dogs. It appears that you are in fact going to the pigs!

  3. Reminds me of this xkcd strip:

  4. We are not sure about you at all now Eric, you encourage drinking and smoking and McDonalds. This is not PC, please send a copy of your economic thesis to the PC board,
    Department of un Immigration Wellington NZ, there have been complaints about your attitude towards the truth, you go dancing inside Christchurch, and we have heard you sometimes talk about global warming with cynicism, I am sorry but we have to reconsider your residency credentials, we are not at all sure about Canadian academics at all now,