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Labor Day 2020

In 1882 AFL Vice President P.J. McGuire proposed Labor Day. In 1894 the first Monday in September became a federal holiday to commemorate “the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.”

By the late twentieth century our work ethic darkened with attitudes such as the phrase “Work buy consume die.” And Labor Day weekend has become a party which, this year, threatens a Covid19 uptick.

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, the last day on which it’s fashionable to wear white or seersucker (or in some places, chambray and khaki). Dang! I’ll have to work to find alternatives to clothes I don’t have.

Labor Day weekend is time for International Bacon Day. Now there’s the rub, a true labor. Think of any food that doesn’t taste better with bacon. Any. I tried for a while: none comes to mind. Doug Larson said, “Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”

Bacon is ubiquitous. In Ebenezer Cooke’s 1708 poem “The Sot-Weed Factor,” the narrator complains that practically all the food in America was bacon-infused. An eye catcher came when we visited a Bourbon bar: dozens of whiskey types. The appetizer? Jars with sticks of crispy bacon to dip in peanut butter. Yum.

Some TV ads begin with, “Attention!”—which is a guaranteed clue to hit “mute.” If they’d use, instead, “Bacon!” maybe—just for a few times—they’d garner attention.

Bacon! This year’s unofficial end of summer’s in the 90s, tomorrow’s low 70s, and Wednesday’s in the low 60s with possibilities of overnight snow. Shiver me timbers.

Meanwhile, Covid19 has left workers out in the cold, struggling to bring home the bacon.