I owe a few people a pig story. I said I was going to write that up before the new year. Here it is, only January 6, and already I am a liar.
New Year’s Resolution: Stop lying so much.
It’s good to have goals.
And here it is: What happened with the pig.
Many of you know that I moved to the boondocks about 6 months ago. After adjusting to the darkness, the strange crashes in the night, and the possibility of amphibians showing up in the nooks and crannies of your car at any given moment, I learned to embrace this new life. I found the best possible pest control, learned to break the zero turn mower just by walking past it, and haven’t killed the garden. We got chickens, lost some chickens due to a hawk that I hate with a white-hot passion, and then got more chickens. We are up to 13 now. Only 3 are layers. The others are poopers and stinkers. We hope they’ll lay when the manner of hens comes upon them.
I guess all this chicken business, and the fact that people can’t understand why in the world we’d move out here, makes people think we are running a petting zoo. So we get contacted for odd things.
I received an email early in December with the subject line “Weird request.” If this had been from an unknown source, it would have given me pause. But from the writer, it seemed perfectly reasonable. Here was our initial exchange:
Hope all is going well for you and your family. I have a weird request for our school and thought maybe you could help or one of your country neighbors. We are doing a fundraiser at the school to buy livestock for impoverished communities. As an incentive, the principal has agreed to kiss a pig on the morning show. One problem…we need a pig!! Any chance you guys have a pig or you have a neighbor who does???? Let me know.
I responded with the following (baloney edited out…):
Well, hello there! i don’t have pigs, but i do have a friend with a mini pig named Daisy. I will check with her. What is the date for this? We are doing well, thanks!
Blah, blah, blah. More baloney. More texting back and forth with the pig owner…let’s call her Fribby…and then I sent this final email about the pig.
Good morning! What time is the morning show? Will 8ish work? The pig is harness-trained and Fribby can walk in with it. It’s a small(ish) black pig. Pretty cute, but I’m not sure I’d want to kiss it. Anyway, let me know if this is okay. I’ll probably meet her there, to introduce everyone and to entertain myself.
In all of this emailing back and forth, the principal was never directly involved and the two people emailing really had no precise pig or principal knowledge. It was the perfect real-life example of “have your people call my people and we’ll do lunch” except that it was “have your people email my people and we’ll orchestrate televised farm animal smoochery.”
The date was set for December 19. Fribby and I parked next to each other in the school parking lot. She had her pig. I had my daughter. My daughter was cuter than her pig, but her pig had on a nice sweater, so it was all good. It took us about 2 weeks to cross the schoolyard because of all the acorns. Did you know pigs are nuts for acorns? Sheesh. That lawn was like Golden Corral for her.
Entering the front office of my old school with Daisy the pig was the closest thing to a celebrity I’ll ever be. For some reason, I imagined that it mattered that I was there. It did not. No one looked at me. No one in the office really knew me anymore. From this point forward, it was all about the pig. You may recall from a few paragraphs up that I called this pig “smallish.” ISH leaves so much room for personal interpretation. When I said smallish, I was comparing Daisy in my head to a potbelly grampa pig and it all seemed perfectly accurate. When the kissing principal was relayed the message of “smallish pig,” she compared that to the size of a cabbage patch doll. And a soft, fluffly piggy cabbage patch doll is what she pictured in her head.
That is not what she got.
She was quite obviously flabbergasted.
“Well. That’s a BIG pig!” she said, her words just dripping in the shock. “A really big pig. I was expecting a cute little tiny pink Charlotte’s Web pig.”
Lady, that’s fiction. Those pigs only exist in Hollywood. “Not that your pig is not cute in her own way.” She continued to talk, obviously trying to pep talk herself into the task. “Can we clean her nose a bit?”
Lady, it’s a fundraiser. It’s one kiss. It wasn’t our fault the school yard was full of acorns and the animal is an animal.
It was time to go into the media center with this pig. She couldn’t drag her onto the elevator, so she lifted the pig’s fat hairy self up and hoisted her up two flights of stairs.
I did nothing. Total waste of space at this point, it seemed.
There was a lot of blah, blah, blah in the next few minutes. Tweaking this microphone. Adjusting that audio level. And Fribby put her pig up on a table so the principal could reach her smoking hot pig lips.
Lights. Camera. Action.
The cameras were rolling and the principal began to talk.
“Hello boys and girls! It’s the big day you’ve all been waiting for. I’m here with Daisy the Pig, who is waiting for her kiss. Isn’t this a BIG PIG, boys and girls? Don’t you think it would be better if I just shook her hoof?” People chuckled and then kids starting streaming into the media center as messengers from their classrooms. There was no sound in the classrooms. The kids could all see the principal, but they could not hear her. There was some confusion in the audio booth and I was hoping they were going to fix the problem.
It is at this point, that I accessed my gift to the world. It is my gift to the world to tape boring things with my cameras or cell phone. And then, as part of my extraordinary gift, when I STOP TAPING, something amazing happens. EVERY TIME. So, I guess by the transitive property of math, we could conclude that I cause most of the world’s excitement.
So I stopped filming on my cell phone and waited for them to fix the audio. Except they didn’t stop rolling and apparently could not fix the problem on the spot.
The principal leaned down to kiss the pig. She barely touched that pig. I mean, it was hardly a kiss. If it’d been a striking King Cobra and she’d kissed it the same way, she wouldn’t have been injured in the process. But however unromantic the smooch was, it seemed to satisfy the masses and the ones gathered in the booth let out a loud “YAY” with some applause.
That’s when everything changed. (Remember my gift.)
At the sound of the hooplah, Daisy freaked out. She lunged off that table and ran toward the door like a pig in a circus race, squealing louder than anything I have ever heard in my life. Somebody must have poked her with an icepick.
I wish I had video of the sounds. Get in your shower, suck in all the air in your body, and scream like a pig. That will give you an idea.
Daisy ran out of the morning show room, through the media center, and into the Copy Room with Fribby running after her and my daughter clinging to my leg and now screaming, too.
“Grab the pig, Missy!” Fribby yelled toward me. I think I made a valient effort to grab the leash and the pig as it rushed by me. Fribby’s account of what I did is quite different. She says I hardly moved except to stick my right leg out…as if to trip the pig. I don’t think she’s calling it straight. That doesn’t sound like something I’d do. I don’t trip pigs.
It’s not my fault her pig isn’t morning-show-trained. I mean, come on.
So, all that happened right in front of my eyes and all I got was this stupid picture. Actually, I do have some boring before and after footage, but Fribby would slay me for posting it. And if she kills me, all the exciting stuff in the world will stop.
We can’t have that.