Restaurant Removes Bacon Sign, Ignites Culture War

This is it, folks. This just might be it. Your love of bacon will bring you to ruin, our ancestors said, but did we listen? Did we heed? No we did not. And now: Here we are, careening bacon-scented over the precipice of disaster. "My grandfather was alive in 2014," they will say, huddled furtive over a smoldering waste-fire in the ashen hellscape to come, sharing a meal of stewed hair and shoe leather: "He remembered the start of the Bacon Wars."

A restaurant has removed its bacon sign, and unleashed hell.

In Vermont, there is a town called Winooski. In the middle of the town of Winooski, there is something called the Winooski "Rotary," which is basically a place where the roads go in a circle around a little grassy park with some benches and flagpoles and needless sets of concrete stairs in it, because Vermonters prefer sitting on benches and looking at flags and watching cars drive in circles and walking up stairs for no reason to the neat efficiency of a four-way intersection.

In this dumber-than-hell Rotary, there was a sign. It read: "Yield for Sneakers Bacon." It was an advertisement for a local restaurant named Sneakers Bistro and Café, which, if the sign is any indication, serves magic walking bacon, which sounds pretty gross to me. Like, does it walk down your throat or what. Not the point.

There was a sign. Was. That was before a Winooski resident who described herself as "a vegan and a member of a Muslim household"—we'll call her Gavrila Princip—took to Winooski's Front Porch Forum (a community-message-board type thing) to complain that "given the large number of Muslim families in Winooski, as well as many others who do not eat pork for a variety of reasons, it seems unnecessary for this insensitive business sign to be at the city's main crosswalk."

Which, I mean, [10 minutes of tortured shrugging and indecisive noises and doing this weird palms-up balancing-the-scales pantomime dance thing and grimacing and hopping from foot to foot and saying "but" and "eh" and "I mean" and "yeesh" and then finally slouching and exhaling deeply and lighting a cigarette], but, whatever, man. In any case, in an uncommonly accommodating move, the restaurant responded to this rando internet post by removing their bacon sign from the Winooski Rotary.

Which, hey, however you may feel about the initial request, surely we can all agree that this is a commendable example of neighborliness on the part of Sneakers Bistro and Café: Its staff recognized, and took, an opportunity to make a fellow Winooskimerican happier via nothing more than the minimal effort required to remove a silly sign. (A sign that, given that probably 99 percent of Sneakers Bistro and Café's business was coming from locals who already knew of its existence and the curious ambulatory nature of its magic bacon, likely wasn't exactly driving business for the restaurant in the first place.) And now there's one happier vegan member of a Muslim household in Winooski, and all it cost was a dumb sign. Surely we can all feel good about this! Pip-pip for Sneakers Bistro and Café! Surely all shall commend that good-ass restaurant's easygoing customer service, yes?

Actually, no. Actually, hell fuckin' no.

Here's what folks are saying on Sneakers Bistro's Facebook page, where the restaurant has received many hundreds of one-star reviews, many from people who've never even been to Vermont, since it removed its bacon sign:

Jerome Carl Vanditti Jr I am not even from Vermont, no where near Vermont, but I will NOT frequent a place that is afraid to advertise for Bacon. Does a hamburger joint have to apologize for their beef because hippy vegans don't eat beef? Ridiculous!

"I will NOT frequent Mars. Take that, Mars!"

Michael Swaggerty Sneakers Bistro, well they say bad publicity is better than no publicity. You sure as hell have plenty of the bad kind now. Way to buckle under to Islamic bullshit. Next they will be bitching about bacon in our stores, and Jimmy Dean ads on TV. Thanks for setting a precedent against consumerism.

Y'know, Michael raises a good point. Far too many of our nation's crosswalk signage decisions are made with total disregard for Jimmy Dean TV ads.

Jean-Louis Boers The decision to take down the sign is sad. It's not about bacon. This is about the cancer that is Political Correctness (PC). PC has ruined this country. Shame on you and those that perpetuate PC.

[Sobs] — John Hodgman.

Deb Lynn Freeman Piscitella I will make sure that I post this on mt Facebook page and this Will make sure that no one that I Know will EVER eat at your restaurant. Im sensitive to the fact that a business owner would cow tow to some single complaint about bacon, bc they are Muslim and not have any regard for the laws of this land that give you the freedom of owning business. Im really hope that there is enough Muslims in your area to keep you in business. Bc it looks like you wont be getting any from anywhere else

In case you ever wondered what it'd be like to live in a world in which "Can you please take down your bacon sign?" represents a dangerous incursion against free expression, but "I will drive you out of business for removing your bacon sign" represents a bold stand in favor of free expression, the answer is: It's weirder than hell.

Here's a representative sampling of the commentary on Facebook's " Tell Sneakers Bistro How You Really Feel" community, which is a thing that exists:

Janeen Thompson Rice Have you lost your freaking minds??? What next, the lactose intolerant won't allow signs picturing ice cream? Get a backbone!!!! Tis is OUR COUNTRY!!!!! You don't hear kosher Jews complaining!!!!

"We, the Bacon-Eating People ...."

But what does Marine Todd think?

Steve Thomson It's people like you that will let go of all your freedoms and cause people like me to fight to get them back for you.

"This is my husband's fourth deployment to Vermont. He says they're close to finding the bunker where the libturds are hiding Our Freedoms, but who knows?"

Lisa Dugo it's a shame that any American or any American business would have to remove something out of concern for their safety just because someone was offended by it. I'm sure many vegetarians, Jewish people and other religions do not consume pork, but out of respect for others keep their mouths closed. After all, this is a FREE COUNTRY!!! She does not have to eat in this restaurant! Her attitude offends me, so I think she should be removed from my country and go back to hers!!!!

Yeah, y'know, if anybody can model keeping their mouth shut out of respect for others, it's the lady on Facebook calling for vegans to be deported.

Stephen Bennett Gutless, spineless, pukes. Anyone eating at this cesspool of a food establishment may as well join the rest of the jihadists trying to destroy this nation from within. May their faces and bodies be burned and seared with boiling bacon grease!

Cool, cool. I was wondering what Hacksaw Jim Duggan's take on this would be.

Jackie Guarino Grande This is America, where Americans do as foreigners tell them to. DON'T YOU SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THIS COUNTRY ? NO ONE IS STICKING TO THEIR GUNS....PUT THE SIGN BACK UP !!!! WE ARE GIVING INTO EVERY NIT-PICKING THING. WE ARE AMERICANS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The last 473 exclamation points are pretty persuasive, imo.

And so on. Breitbart dot com, the psychotic far-right news and opinion website, posted a reasonably neutral news post about the bacon sign fracas—notably, wrongly, and hilariously, under its "Big Government" vertical. The headline refers to "Muslim opposition," leaving aside the original complainer's veganism, which I suppose illustrates something of the order of operations in turning a small-town news item into a Pussification of America/PC Totalitarianism/Terrorists Are Comin' for Our Freedoms cautionary tale.

And finally, here's poor Sneakers Bistro, explaining on its Facebook page the actual reasoning behind its decision to take down its bacon sign. You'll be shocked—shocked!—to learn that it has nothing to do with bowing before our new ISIS overlords:

We are here to serve people BREAKFAST, not politics. We removed the sign that was located on public property as a gesture of respect for our diverse community. There were also concerns raised about safety. Removing it was not a difficult decision. We still love bacon. We still love eggs. Please have the political conversation elsewhere.

Huh. So they did it to be nice. The Facebook post has been deleted.

Don't ever do anything. Anyone. Ever.


[ Burlington Free Press]

h/t Same Sad Echo

Image by Sam Woolley