Monday, May 10, 2004

When I was about 6 my parents bought a pig. No, not one of those cute little pigs you see at the end of a very fashionable leash. No, we are talking a 400 pound snorting, shitting, smelly, bacon factory.

Now being the neo-hippies that they were, Mom & Dad had absolutely no idea how to raise a pig. I’m sure they read something about it in a back issue of Mother Earth News, but for the most part I think they were making it up as they went. (remind me to tell you the potato bug and gasoline story sometime) The mammoth swine had come to us via a friend of a friend, for what ever reason the beast was to be ours.

I called him, “Wilbur, the Death Pig

So what do you feed a 400 pound pig anyways? Well what ever you feed them, it is going to be a LOT. We would buy bags of day old doughnuts from a friend who worked at the local Winchels doughnuts. Every day we fed that beast a giant trash bag’s worth of stale doughnuts. That pig ate more maple bars in a day than most cops will in their entire life.

All things considered this was not too bad of a deal, we got to pick through garbage sacks of doughnuts and pick out the not so stale ones for ourselves. My brother would make it a point of finding the EXTRA stale ones and chuck them at me as part of his own twisted re-enactment of that week’s episode of “Bah, Bah Black Sheep”. Do you have any idea how much it hurts getting hit in the melon with a stale apple fritter?

Then Wilbur began to show his true colors.

When not consuming stale pastry items, what does a giant pig hopped up on sugar do during the day? Why they break out of pens. Of course it was not too hard. Somewhere along the line Dad thought that a picket wooden fence would hold in a 400 pound pig hyped up on crème filleds. Right, I’m still not sure if pop was growing more than just potatoes out in the back 40, if you know what I mean. The pig would escape by leaning it’s massive bulk against the fence and supplement his all lard diet with some of the other livestock. That's right, Wilbur ATE the other animals. Well did not exactly ‘eat” them, he would more ‘suck” them down his gullet and all we would find later would be a tell tale feather or bit of fur stuck to the massive thing's snout. At first there only a few small chicks that strayed too far from the coop. Then one of the rabbits went missing.

And now you know where the name came from?

Of course being the tender age of 6 I was a bit scared of the beast. Go out for chores in the morning and there are a dozen chickens in the coop. Come out after school and find a pile of feathers, and 8 really freaked out chickens. My dear brother, sensing my fear of the beast and its eating rampage took me aside and gave me this warning. “You know what he is doing don’t you? He is stretching his stomach out, eating bigger and bigger things till... till he can eat you.”

And I believed him. Hook line and sinker. Every time it escaped, more livestock would disappear into its wrinkled pink maw. The sacks of doughnuts no longer held any joy for me. Each morning as I drug another one down to the pen, the beast would stare at me with it’s dull black eyes. Shaking like a leaf as I emptied the day’s food into his trough I knew what that pig was thinking. He was wondering how I would taste with gravy. The beast’s reign of barnyard terror continued until the pig ate an entire goat. It was a SMALL goat yes, but it was a goat none the less. Being the next largest mammal in the farm food chain, I knew then that the pig had reached his goal. I was next on the killer’s hit list. No more would he be satisfied with mere chickens or rabbits. Wilbur wanted man flesh and I was at the top of the menu.

The next time I heard the all too familiar ruckus of a pig on the rampage I ran like hell into the house, up the stairs and into my room where I barricaded myself in. I reasoned that even if the pig figured out how to work the front doors, the sheer climb up the stairs would surely cause it massive heart failure. Refusing to leave and near hysterics, my parents did what any concerned parent would. They grounded my brother for a month.

Eventually the creature met it’s fitting end… around the same time I discovered just how good fresh bacon tasted.