Bacon as Currency: Testing the Limits of What It Can Buy

So, you've been in a Kevin Smith movie, on Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and in Oprah’s magazine.

Source: Oscar Mayer | Facebook

Where do you go from there?

If you’re stand-up comic/actor/writer Josh Sankey, you hop in a trailer full of bacon and you drive cross-country.

This Great American Bacon Barter adventure is sponsored by — everyone act surprised — Oscar Mayer, which sent him off with no money, no credit cards — nothing but 3,000 pounds of bacon to barter for everything he needs to get from New York to Los Angeles.

When Oscar Mayer put the question to its Facebook fans: “What would you do for 5 bricks of bacon?,” they got all kinds of responses, including a Klondike bar, 5 garden tomatoes, my hat, my bicycle — maybe a secret handshake. There were a few offers for “cooking breakfast” — and then it gets weird. Someone offered their dog, another offered their son (so he won’t eat all the bacon) and a few offered husbands and wives.

Give new meaning to the joke: Take my wife … please!

It’s one thing to offer your wife in FarmVille, but what were people willing to barter in real life?

It’s gotten him a couch to crash on in more than one city, as well as breakfast, some empanadas and hot dogs. He got a first-aid kit, some Civil War artifacts, a John Wayne poster that says, “Courage is being scared to death — but saddling up anyway,” and a bottle of moonshine. In Louisville, Kentucky, some guy gave him gas money and the shirt off his back and, another guy, for 200 bricks, agreed to get a bacon tattoo!

He’s still got 2,428 bricks of bacon left — lets see if, like that guy a few years ago who set out on a cross-country barter with just one paper clip, he winds up with a house!

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  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.