Thursday, July 29, 2010


Once upon a time, we went on vacation. We actually try to go on vacation every summer. Some years are more successful than others. Some are epic, others of little note.


On this vacation, we found ourselves in the city of Sioux Falls. And we wanted to see the falls. And perhaps have a picnic lunch there. So we wandered about lost for a little while, then pulled into a helpful motel where we were given a map and directions. Good directions. Thank you, desk clerk at moderately nice motel.

On to the falls.

On the way, we were tempted by the most lovely aroma. Ahead, we saw a large building with the words "John Morrell" on the side.

"LOOK KIDS! That must be where they make the bacon! Can you smell it?"

And we rolled down all the windows to better enjoy the lovely smell of bacon.

(I must remind you at this point that my childern are bacon freaks. Luke Skywalker once ate 12 plates of bacon at a buffet in Mesquite. He ate his actual weight in bacon.)

And then it all went horribly wrong.

The smell of bacon morphed into the most rank, foul, disgusting, horrible stench I have ever in my entire life encountered. It really defies words. Let me say then, instead, that what we had encountered was the bacon plant and slaughterhouse.

Yes, slaughterhouse.

We couldn't get the windows up fast enough. The stench had instantly permeated everything within the car, and still seemed to be coming in through the air conditioning vents. The childern were making retching noises from the rear of the vehicle. I drove like a bat out of h-e-double-hockey-sticks in my effort to get as far away as I could as fast as possible.

And then we arrived at the falls.

For some reason I cannot fathom, no one wanted to eat lunch.

"Ham sandwich?" "No, thanks."

Most of us have (three years later) finally recovered. Two of my children have been forever scarred, and have never eaten bacon since.

So if you're ever in Sioux Falls, and you see the Morrell Plant, TURN AROUND AND FIND ANOTHER WAY.

And for heaven's sake, don't roll down the windows.

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