An attempt at viral fame ended in tragedy Monday when a 22 year-old social media intern took his love of internet humor too far.
Joshua Flaherty of New Brunswick, NJ passed away at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital late Monday night due to Sepsis, a bacterial infection resulting from a gastrointestinal perforation, following the rectal insertion of precisely 10 pounds of hickory smoked bacon.
“Josh had a really big heart, and he just loved giving people what they wanted,” said Flaherty’s mother Linda. “When he told me about the project, I thought to myself, Josh is a smart kid and he’s made good at this Internet thing so far. What could go wrong?”
“I blame Reddit,” stated Sheila, childhood friend and next door neighbor of the Flahertys. “Every time someone posts something with bacon on it, people act like it’s the greatest thing, like they’ve never seen obscene amounts of bacon before. It’s like, look, I get it. Bacon is good. That’s objectively true. No one is saying that it isn’t. It’s just that there’s no need to fake an orgasm every time someone posts a picture of bacon. But with Josh… you just couldn’t tell him when enough was enough. As long as the Internet patronizes this kind of behavior, showering people with upvotes for bacon, people like [Joshua] will take it to new extremes.”
Another friend who wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation from other message board members had this to say:
“Before going through with it, Josh confided in me that he didn’t even really like bacon that much. He said that if he had to choose between bacon and Werther’s Originals, he’d take the Werther’s. But what Josh really loved was internet memes. So in a sense, he loved the idea of bacon, and the Internet’s obsession with bacon, more than life itself.”
While obsessive bacon fandom is common on websites like Reddit, the practice isn’t exclusive to the web. The 1994 sketch comedy show The State famously featured a bit in which Robert Ben Garant stated “I eat bacon every day,” before donning a dress made of bacon, ending in a musical number about bacon.
Although the video of Joshua’s world record setting insertion of 10 pounds of bacon was taken down from Youtube before most had a chance to see it, many don’t see it as a complete loss. According to his mother, “[the video] may be gone, but Josh’s story will live on. And in that way, he’ll live forever.”Note: What you have just read is a work of satire, created for the sake of manipulating gullible media outlets into reporting it as fact, meanwhile voicing how disinterested the author is in the overzealous meme that bacon has become. None of this actually happened.