Free Bacon!

Now that I have your attention…

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who was mad as hell.

His name’s Ruben.  He’s Jewish and lives on the north-side of Chicago.

He kind of looks like this:

Not really. I just like this picture.

Anyway, Ruben went to his favorite deli and ordered his usual, a corned beef sandwich and a potato pancake.  Everything was fine until the guy at the counter said, “by the way, your potato pancake comes with a side of bacon.  That’s why we had to raise the price.”



“Bacon? What? It never came with bacon before” responded Ruben.

“I don’t want bacon.  I don’t eat bacon.  I’m a Jew.  You know that.  What the hell?”

“Sorry, Ruben, everybody gets bacon.  Barry says so,” said the sandwich guy.

“Screw Barry! I’m not paying for any damn bacon.”  Ruben was getting really mad, “Tell Barry he can shove the bac-….nevermind….Look, just take the cost of the bacon off the bill.  The order is $9.78.  What’s the bacon cost anyway, $2?”

“Yeah, probably,” muttered the sandwich guy.

“Well, then take 2 bucks off ’cause I don’t want the bacon…and I’m not paying for it.”

“I really don’t…” started the sandwich guy.

Sandwich Guy

This is the best picture I could find when I googled "sandwich guy."

“Just do it!” yelled Ruben.

“Okay, okay, relax…I’ll ask Barry.”

Ruben was really steamed.  The line was getting long behind him.  He was hungry and he was starting to sweat while standing there by the counter.

The clerk came back and Ruben pulled out his wallet to pay the bill.

“Okay, the total comes to $9.78,” said the clerk.


“But sir, Barry said the bacon is free.  It doesn’t cost you anything.  So, you have to take the bacon.”

“%#&$  you!” said Ruben and left his favorite deli for the last time.

Patrick Thornton has a real job (sort of) and does not have a friend named Ruben.  He does, however, like bacon very much.  He realizes that this story might not be a good comparison to certain current events, but he doesn’t care.  The views expressed here may or may not be his own.  It depends who’s asking.



  • alex

    I want my meds free too! And my childrens. why do the women get all the free stuff from the government? Pills are pills right? How about when I need that little blue pill? free right? Equality for all! Isn’t the government being sexist just giving them women all the aide?
    My premium won’t go up if the insurance company has to pay for THEIR pills will it? right? right? ugh..anyone?

  • Toledo Bill

    This is beautiful Patrick – and spot on. I’ve been in insurance industry for 26 years. Health Insurance has many options an employer can buy or add separately to the basic plan. They can can add dental, RX glasses, or prescriptions to basic plan for their employees. They add the option – they pay for the option. Suppose we no longer have the prescription option but included it as part of basic plan. The employer paying the premium for health insurance is still paying for the prescription coverage even though the cost is buried in the premium and the coverage is buried in the health coverage plan. To say burying it in the premium is a fix to the conscience issue is sophomoric.

  • David Hart

    There is another flaw in your argument. Insurance companies save money by paying for contraceptives. They WANT women to take the pill. You can be certain that they were involved in this process. There is no hidden cost (or unwanted traif).

    • MAS

      @ David–see my above argument. there are increased costs to the contraceptives–stroke, cancer, blood clots. I see the women who suffer from these conditions, and the risk is much higher than stated in the birth control package insert. The data presented in the insert is very very out of date. I have asked our information researchers to check on this, and the problem is, unlike mandatory reporting for adverse reactions to immunizations, there is no MANDATORY reporting for birth control side effects, so very few of them are reported. There is no accurate national or international data base. The inserts, as noted, are skewed to the advantage of the manufacturer (surprise surprise), and they imply hardly anyone gets the side effect, but in my own practice of a few thousand patients, I see a woman EVERY MONTH who had one of these life-threatening problems from contraceptives and now is in the health care system for big bucks to the insurance company. i have only one practice and I don’t even prescribe them–I see the women who’ve gotten it from someone else. Imagine how many other practices have similar patients. Perhaps the insurance companies should re-evalute “saving money by paying for contraceptives.” Or maybe they already know that, maybe dead women are cheaper to care for than live women, so that is why “they WANT women to take the pill.”

  • J J

    I know right? Apparently, money does grow on trees. Apparently, that’s why the insurance companies can higher premiums on “everything else” to cover being forced to give contraceptives without getting any payment to cover it from the employers. Are they going to start having to have lemonade stands to cover it and stay afloat?

  • David Hart

    First of all,very few of us observe the dietary laws. My maternal grandmother did – I do not. Find another simile.

    Insurance is about pooled risk. Thus, if I see a psychiatrist and take anti-depressants, chances are pretty good that a Scientologist is picking up some of the cost. To them that’s the equivalent of your financing an abortion. Seriously.

    That brings me to the next point. Many states require health insurance to include psychiatric care. Do you want to give your Scientologist boss a waiver? Where do you draw the line. I can come up with a religious liberty excuse for just about anything.

    What bothers me most is the “war on religion” nonsense. President Obama really is a Christian. He is also a dedicated family man and someone who worked his way up from NOTHING. There isn’t so much as a hint of anything unethical or untoward in his background. This after two extraordinarily dishonest Presidents. Yet, he never gets so much as the benefit of the doubt.

    • toledo bill

      David – Didn’t you guys already gave him the benefit of a doubt. Knowing he was he most pro-abortion politician ever you still voted for him. You hook line and sinker believed he would protect the conscience provisions of the constitution because he said so at Notre Dame commencement? But he has time and again proved you wrong and you still want to give him the benefit of a doubt? Really? With all love David take a step back from the politics and look at what is really going on.

    • alex

      What???? no hint of unethical???? cocaine user, socialist? Abortion for anyone? Gay marriage? even partial birth abortions. He’s helped kill more people by abortions in one day in this country than 10 years of fighting in Iraq. Koolaide still tastes great. I see. you must by your toothpaste because of the hot chicks selling it. right?

    • CJC

      It might appear as if he worked his way up from nothing; however, I would describe it more accurately as appearing out of thin air as the polished and perfected candidate with the perfect credentials (Prior to his term as Senator none of his credentials can be verified through outside sources, and internal sources are sealed from inspection.) There is not so much of a hint of anything “unethical or untoward in his background” because he very simply does not have a background to search through to find anything unethical or untoward, or otherwise.

      I would also question the definition and understanding of the term “Christian” as applied to Obama. I would also ask for more concrete proof of such a claim than ‘he said so’. By thee fruits thee shall be judged.
      I will say he certainly seems to demonstrate what he wants ‘freedom of worship’ to look like: a person may believe and worship anyway they choose in private, but those beliefs may not interfere with any public discourse or policy decisions whatsoever. You could not convict Obama of being a Christian by the public actions he has taken – the fruit is rotten.

      He never gets the benefit of the doubt? I have observed the exact opposite. The MSM seems to overlook even the most aggregious faults and failures for fear of offending or being characterized as being too harsh, or worse – racist. Benefit of the doubt does not in any way imply we should stick our heads in the sand and hope for the best. Blind faith should be reserved for following Jesus Christ only. All others are subject to proof of inspection.

    • MAS

      @ David–Respectfully, I submit psychiatric care is not a good similie, either. Psychiatric care is an actual treatment for a medical condition. Birth control does not treat any illness or condition–it “treats” a normal body function, namely fertility.In other words, contraception and sterilization purposefully disables or mutilates a perfectly healthy body organ (or set of organs.) Yes, birth control pills are indeed used to “treat” other things, but these uses are all what is called “off label” use–ie, the FDA approves of birth control for BIRTH CONTROL only, not the other things it “treats”. The exception is a couple of brands are also approved for acne, but even these are clearly specified to be used in this manner “only if birth control is also desired” (quote from the Physician’s Desk Reference for prescribing meds–I am a physician.) The other conditions treated by the birth control pills invariably have other, safer methods to use, (ovarian cysts, etc., etc.) This is not to say that the other uses are illegal, but that thousands of physicians do this and don’t even give it a second thought because it is such a wide-spead practice. Hormonal birth control is also associated with an increase in health issues–i’ve noted it before, but I will note it again–breast cancer, liver tumors, strokes (in ever younger women), blood clots in legs and lungs (often fatal). All of these conditions cause suffering, not to mention LOTS of increased cost for the insurance company that now has to pay for the cancer treatment or life-long blood thinners, or rehabilitation of the injured woman with a stroke. To make birth control something that everyone must pay for is illogical. We don’t make everyone pay for someone’s cigarettes. Sure, some people get relief from anxiety from the cigarettes, but they are not an anxiety treatment, and they certainly increase risk of bad illnesses, just like cntraceptives do.

  • CraigJ

    I understand we’re all adults here, but a Commandment is a Commandment: Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain.

    I would appreciate either dingbats or special characters instead of the explicitly written curse in your post, Mr. Thornton. I don’t think you’d risk losing the point of your narrative by doing so, and you would do good for your own soul by acknowledging the Lord your God, in whose name we pray and bless others.



Receive our updates via email.