Reminds me of, http://xkcd.com/169/
but then most of xkcd does.
Also something that irks me, I read the passage under the comic as being the right hand guy's thoughts at a later date, like he is re-calling this event, but then the confusion wouldn't have been there as he would have heard thebacon said and not had to have read it himself. So that's where I think the ALT text comes in, again right hand guy's thoughts, which suggests that the speaker didn't pronounce it right but instead pronounced it as 'the bacon' in which case maybe he meant the bacon as you are meant to assume at the start. But then that means thebacon as a drug doesn't come into the situation at all. Hmmm...
Perhaps, as an alternate theory, he heard the conversation, and assumed standard spelling. Then later, while researching something completely unrelated, he read about Thebacon
. Since the wiki article doesn't give a pronunciation, he may have just pronounced it the same as the bacon
. Then in the mouseover text, he admits that it may not be pronounced how he interpreted it.
Judging by the pronunciation of the chemical compound from which it is derived (Thebiane
), it probably is etymologically connected to the word Thebes
, a city in Ancient Egypt. This would likely make the pronunciation /thē'-bə-kən/ ( or in IPA symbology /ˈθi-bə-kən/).