First they came for cigarettes, which I thoroughly agreed with, then they demanded bottle not tap water which I didn’t. But now they are coming for my Irish breakfast.
In a stunning move, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared bacon, sausage, and ham cancer-causing agents leading to a definite personal crisis for me.
My greatest guilty pleasure every time I return to Ireland is grabbing a full-Irish breakfast. It is part of the thrill of being home. It is about 5,000 calories but, man, is it good.
There are eggs (are they next on the cancer list?) Irish bacon, not the poor skinny imitation stuff you get in the US, but old fashioned thick and tasty rashers, fat and smooth Irish sausages, not the half-starved links you get here, ham, fried tomatoes, black and white pudding, so exotic it never made the cancer list, and Irish tea and toast on the side.
Now it appears I have been tempting the cancer gods all these years with my big Irish breakfast.
Some prefer steak and eggs, but they are in trouble too as red meat has been named as a cancer culprit also.
So what do they expect full-blooded Irish people to have for breakfast? Veggie burgers and rabbit food like those rail thin models with no backsides I see slithering around on television?
Or perhaps they prefer the Russian breakfast which I believe is vodka with haddock rolled in vodka?
Are we not carnivores? Have we not existed all the thousands of years on red meat, starting off ingesting it raw?
I have tasted breakfast in many countries. In India spiced curry and various condiments made little impression. Occasionally I spied a hard-boiled egg and greeted it like an old friend.
In Scotland I once tried haggis and in the Southern states of America I once tried grits. I will be diplomatic and say neither agreed with me.
The English can’t get the sausages right. The French breakfast is a piddling little thing of croissants, fancy coffee and no fried food. In Germany bratwurst replaced sausages the equivalent of a bush leaguer replacing Daniel Murphy in the Mets line-up.
Why must everything that tastes good be bad for you? Surely comparing a steak to cigarettes as a cancer vehicle is truly absurd?
I feel like Charlton Heston when he said the last thing they would pry from his cold dead hands when he died would be his weapon.
I feel the same way about my Irish breakfast. Oh, by the way, people from the North tell me the real Ulster Fry outdoes the Irish breakfast both for calories and taste.
I have some advice for the WHO honcho, whoever he us. Put an Irish breakfast in front of him and dare him not to enjoy it. Then tell him it’s all a matter of consumption like everything else, you should not want one every day, but occasionally.
Then ask him to smoke 20 cigarettes and ask him which experience does he feel more satisfied after.
“Moderation in all things, including moderation” as Oscar Wilde remarked.
Now excuse me while I boil up some Barry's tea and throw on the last of the Irish care package, some Irish bacon, my sister sent.
God knows how long I’ll be around to enjoy it.