Friday, April 11, 2008

Monthly Clubs

Some years ago, I was flipping through discarded magazines for collage material, and stumbled across an ad for "Bacon of the Month Club. I think having a monthly club dedicated to pork is hilarious.

Who would've thunk that a monthly pork offering would take off? "A different artisan bacon delivered to your door each month for twelve months!" and "Be sure to view the Bacon Collection!"

In January 2007 All Things Considered did a spot. "There's nothing quite like the salty, sweet, smoky smell of bacon frying in a pan. The smell is so seductive that it can vex even the vegetarians and kosher-keepers among us. And imagine how much better it will smell if each month brings home a new artisanal bacon. John T. Edge, our culinary curator, tells how his life has changed since joining the Bacon of the Month Club, which sends a different bacon each month, along with recipes and toys, from a bacon T-shirt to a rubber pig nose. And club poobah Captain Bacon tells how he tracks down all those gourmet bacons." Listen at the link.

Speaking of monthly clubs, the funniest "Everybody Loves Raymond" episode was the Fruit of the Month club. A different fruit would arrive each month at Marie and Frank's, which promptly freaked them out. "What? Did you get us into some kind of cult? I can't talk any more. There's too much fruit in the house."

Did you ever join one of those monthly clubs as a kid? I used to belong to Columbia House Record Club. Takes you back, doesn't it? "In 1955, an executive at CBS Records formed a new division of Columbia Records, one of the record labels owned by CBS. The purpose of the new division, which was named the Columbia Record Club, was to test the idea of marketing music through the mail. To attract interest in the concept, Columbia Record Club offered one free monophonic record to those who joined the club, offering its new members a wide selection of jazz, easy-listening, and Broadway show titles from which to choose. The response from the public confirmed the legitimacy of club membership and direct-mail marketing as an effective means of selling music. By the end of 1955, the Columbia Record Club boasted 128,000 members who purchased 700,000 records."

An idea whose time had come. I remember waiting for The Beatles, Neil Diamond, and Jimmy Buffett. I am still a Buffett fan.

In this Wikipedia entry for Columbia House records, "Weird Al Yankovic, in the song Albuquerque, implies that joining the Columbia Record Club is a much larger commitment than getting married or having children. The character in the song, not ready to make this commitment, divorces the woman of his dreams and never sees her again." Yeah, I remember that getting out of the club membership was pretty hard, especially if you were a kid. Maybe Marie Barone had a point after all. "Get us out of this Raymond! Please!!"


Christie said...

Someone in our building is a member of the Bacon of the Month club. We figure that's someone we would want to know, particularly around delivery time. :)

Elizabeth Prata said...

I looked up the "plans". It's $120 a month for the lowest plan! That's a lotta bacon!