Reader Request 2007 #3: BaconCat Fame

I was going to do something more substantial for today’s reader request piece, but I’ve realized my brain is like mush at the moment, so I’m going to do an easy one instead, from Ron Hogan:

“How do you cope with the fame of having taped bacon to a cat?

I think the whole thing has been pretty damn funny, myself. It’s also a perfect microcosm of How The Web Works, circa now. Andy Warhol famously opined that in the future everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes; he had the right idea but the wrong vehicle. People aren’t famous for fifteen minutes, they’re famous for one Internet meme. Mine happens to be BaconCat.

Now, I can afford to be sanguine about BaconCat fame for a few reasons. One is that, if I may say so, I am somewhat notable otherwise; enough people know me for things other than my ability to adhere breakfast meat to a domestic animal that I’m comfortable with being known for that, too. Another is that that I understand how complete damn ridiculous it is, and in being ridiculous, being also non-repeatable. I’m not in a rush to tape bacon to other animals, or place other foodstuffs on my cat, or otherwise try to bottle this bacon-scented lightning a second time. Finally, in an Internet where a guy is world famous for falling on his face, another is famous for practicing Jedi moves while chubby and yet another is famous for his ability to pull his posterior regions apart far enough to lodge the Great Pumpkin in his rectum, being known as “The BaconCat Dude” is delightfully benign.

Which is not to say that the joke doesn’t get old. Someone feels obliged to make a bacon and/or cat related joke here on two comment threads out of three. After a while, you know, I feel it’s okay for all y’all to stop. It’s not that funny. Now, I realize that most people are just doing it in good fun, so it’s not worth making a deal out of. But, folks, seriously: making Bacon Cat jokes at this point is like the Whatever equivalent of the dude who shouts out “Freebird!” at every single concert you’ve been to for the last 15 years. I’m just saying.

Having said that, it is a fun story. And when I do a live appearance and people ask to hear the BaconCat story, I pretty much have it all blocked out and choreographed. It’s like a little standup routine. When I’m on tour and you want to hear the story, go ahead and ask. I’ll probably be happy to share.

(Want to participate in Reader Request Week? Add your own question here)

18 Comments on “Reader Request 2007 #3: BaconCat Fame”

  1. Personally, I think finding a clever and original way to work BaconCat into the topic at hand is enough of a challenge that when done well it should be respected.

    (I take some tiny pride in my “Of course you velcro bacon to a sheep…”

  2. So, is bacon-cat fame better or worse than being most famous for having interviewed your coworkers about whether they’d prefer to hunt giraffes, or Newt Gingrich? And what animal they thought Newt Gingrich would taste like?

    My father (a fan of giraffes) still had that taped to his office door years later.

  3. Naomi:

    Well, that bit of fame got me my job at AOL, so I’d have to say that on a strict financial remuneration sense, Giraffe fame is better than BaconCat fame.

  4. Would you be willing to autograph my cat at your next book signing? ;)

    Who knows where memes or trends come from? One person’s idle silly moment can last a lifetime, and another’s passes almost unnoticed. My fave book on the subject – not to trumpet the competition – is the always effervescent Connie Willis’s Bellwether.

  5. I just thought bacon cat was bizarre, and pleasently off center. I didn’t know the thing about taping bacon to a cat, so I was completely oblivious to the “backstory” of it.

    I just enjoyed it until you started geting support for the baconcat from some other author or editor or something. That made me thing “this is a running joke that I enjoy for some retarded reason.”

    Whic means it’s even more cool.

  6. Okay Scalzi, I didn’t think it was possible, but I’ve officially lost all respect for you. “[A]dhere breakfast meat to a domestic animal”?

    Breakfast meat?


    Bacon is a suitable entree ingredient for all five* meals of the day.

    You lowlife freakin’ baconist…


    * Including the one Homer Simpson discovered between breakfast and brunch

  7. But, but, but I was able to tell the story last night to some family members who were clueless of the whole situation.
    They laughed, which is the best response, really.

  8. Ok, John, I need to know one thing:

    Are BaconCat and the line, “‘I’m saying that you might as well have taped bacon to your head and walked into a tiger pit,’ Rybicki said” from The Last Colony (Ch. 14) in anyway related at all? As in, is it supposed to be an inside joke for all of us?

  9. Pingback: The Bacon Cat Law of Internet Popularity | Cora Buhlert

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