love that pig more than me!" he shrieked - accenting his drama with the obligatory
door slamming exclamation mark. Technically he was right - obviously it wasn't
always like that. But unlike the little pig, he'd stopped bathing, started making
some odd snorfing sound when he ate, decided he was above the working sort, and
had become a space invader. Cruel bitter words of a scorned ex housewife? No,
just the end of a relationship - you know the signs; the telltale fights, and
that blossoming distaste for his "unique" idiosyncrasies (after the
initial rabid Rhesus monkey-sex stage). Now they grate upon your nerves like a
Belgium on an un-tuned accordion - and visa versa.
back to the pig - that's a way more interesting story
met the little pig, who was to become the apple of my eye, just as she was to
become the main entree at a Fiesta-styled BBQ in a state park I frequented.
the ex and I'd been foraging for all kinds of fruits and berries, I heard this
hideous scream through the serene woodscape. Always the budinski, I went to see
what could cause such a howl in broad daylight, on a Sunday in suburbia, while
hundreds of families continued - obliviously - frolicking to bad FM music.
couldn't believe what I saw. There were about twelve really drunk Latin-style
men tossing a piglet back and forth (as it screamed in terror) in front of a roaring
fire - one presumed a fire it was to be roasting over in a few moments. These
beasts were wailing in glee each time the little animal squirmed and begged for
them to relent.
fought back all kinds of desires to start a full-scale lecture on animal rights
after scanning the area and counting (at least) six cases worth of empty generic
I had to do something. I mean for crimeny if you're going to bring a creature
to your festival of ribs and brewskis, at least let it arrive de-lifed and with
an apple in its mouth, or in non-guilt inducing non-descript shapes of flesh mounds
- and if you come from that culture where it's got to be alive - PLEASE don't
ex says, "Don't start. There's nothing you can do Ms. P.E.T.A." Even
now, I can almost hear your mind clicking in acknowledgement we were ill matched
from the get go. I asked him to get the truck and meet me on the service road
just over the hill. He walked away like a bad cartoon character - slowly - and
muttering something about bleeding hearts and, "Next it'll be vegetarianism"
- like these were bad things.
I had to think quickly and assume the role of generic drunken picnic-goer. I knew
I had to save that pig. She looked like she weighed about 15 pounds - tiny. Assimilating
into the brood, I called to one of the drunkards to throw her to me. At this point
they were trying to get a beer can to pop by placing it in her mouth. Still, they
fell for it - and here came the pig. She did not weigh 15 pounds! She was at least
30 pounds and like a rock - err - boulder. After gathering up super hero strength
of determination, I bolted up and over the hill like a deranged rugby player with
a pinch of gazelle. The alcohol delayed their reactions just long enough to enable
my get-a-way, "She's playing tag football
no she's goofing around
she stole lunch!"
the ex had the truck in position. I leapt in with the still shrill-crying piglet
and we sped away. No. We didn't speed away. Mr. "Can Never Bend the Law,"
said the speed limit in the park is fifteen miles an hour and he refused to get
a ticket, or get stopped and have to explain this whole scene.
Braveheart is "speeding away" at mach 15 MPH as a loud, and very drunk,
and progressively angry, group of men is gaining on the crawling vehicle - pig
wailing away. The rearview mirror memory of this is so Ben Stiller meets Benny
Hill it often still makes me have to pull over with laughter when I think
to say, it was only as the running caused one of the Neanderthals to projectile
puke, thusly causing a dominoes effect of venomous vomiting from the lot, that
the marathon of carnivores instantly stopped - and we made our lethargic get-a-way!
The pig was saved and hundreds of on-looking small children, their eyes now shaded
by parental hands, would be seeking psychiatric care for years over what they'd
bizarre sitcom scene behind us, the pig literally screamed all the way home -
people in cars beside us seemed to think we'd abducted someone - as the covered
squiggling thing sounded not unlike a harmed child. It was a very very long ride
route we passed a campy BBQ joint called "Dixie's BBQ." The ex said,
"We can still get out of this
" Pointing to the restaurants ill-thought-out
billboard of a robust smiling southern gal pig (complete with pigtails and the
obligatory checkered apron) holding a fork and knife with her lips watering, apparently
in anticipation of dining on her family members succulent parts.
consoled the piglet from Mister Meany, and named her Dixie (admittedly this was
half spite) on the spot.
Dixie out-lasted "Husband Two" by over nine years. She had the greatest
life a pig could have dreamed of. She had her own pet cat, a ritual of Saturday
strawberry shampoo baths, and her own Christmas stocking. Dix grew to be an intimidating
165 pounds - she was a Scottish Hybrid (white with black dots - like a Dalmatian).
She lived over 11 years, and each of those years we celebrated her "Liberation"
with a "pig out" of pies and whole watermelons
I still get all
teary when I think of Dixinheimer.
So, yeah, I guess ultimately I did
love that pig more than him.