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Dude needs a place to crash in Chicago. He can only pay in bacon

September 14, 2012|Mick Swasko, @mickswasko | RedEye

Tickets to a Jets-Bills game: six packs of bacon. A Civil War relic handed down for generations: one pack of bacon. A tattoo in Louisville: 200 packs of bacon. Finding out people are willing to do pretty much anything for a few pounds of pork product: For Josh Sankey, it’s surprising.

The actor and comedian has made it from New York to Chicago bartering with a 3,000-pound stockpile of Oscar Mayer butcher thick cut bacon. It’s part of a promotion for the company he auditioned for--make it from New York to L.A. in two weeks using nothing but pack upon pack of bacon as currency--he’s completely without cash or cards. So far, gas, food, lodging and anything else he’s needed on his trip has cost him a little under 1,000 pounds of swine.

 “I love bacon," Sankey said. "I didn’t really know how much America loved it. I’ve learned that first-hand really quick here.”

Currently, Sankey is hanging out at a co-op of 29 co-eds at Purdue University who saw he was rolling their way on Twitter. On Friday afternoon, he said the ladies made a banner to welcome him, and he’s been enjoying bacon-wrapped chicken nuggets while he’s bartered for them to wash the pickup that’s pulling his pork payload.

Sankey said he’s seen the weird and the heartwarming so far. In Louisville, he paid a guy named Kevin 200 packs of bacon to get a "Badass Bacon" tattoo. He got tickets for the Jets vs. Bills game on Monday for the low price of 6-packs of bacon. In West Virginia, a woman who made him a bonfire upon his arrival gave him a Civil War medal passed down for years in her family for just one pack.

“That honestly just touched me,” he said.

Like the rest of his trip, Sankey said his escapades in Chicago are completely planned by “going with the flow.” The plan is to possibly stay at a firehouse Friday, and plan out Saturday from there. If any Chicagoans are interested in putting Sankey and his camera crew up for the night, the best way to reach him, he said, is his Twitter handle @baconbarter.

He’s also been documenting the trip as he goes at baconbarter.com and posting photos to Instagram. He’s got until Sept. 24 to make it to L.A., and though he didn’t think it would work at first, he thinks the ton of bacon he’s got left will get him to the west coast.

“I’m confident we’re going to make it,” he said.

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