December 16, 2004

Why a Pig is Not An Ass

Requests--of course we take requests. And so, it's time for a pig update.

I thought of you, dear pig enthusiasts, when I saw Pig out back today frolicking in the leaves. In case you wonder, pigs, or at least this pig, love to run and kick up leaves.

It's funny--today was about 40 degrees--the nights have been very cold. In the 20s. And I've been wondering about Pig. I wondered how pigs handled cold weather. What special provisions they need. Really, I have no idea. But I can tell you the techniques of our pig-owning neighbors.

It appears that the first technique, which I observed as the leaves gave way to an unobscured view of the pig owners' yard, that they have constructed a pen for Pig.

A pig pen, I guess.

Now, the thing is, we've been after them to fix the stockade fence that separates our backyards for a decade now. They claim they don't have the money for that, but they obviously had the money to install a new, ten-foot-tall, 12x12 chain-link pig pen in their back yard. I was unaware pigs could climb. So why 10 feet? I don't know.

It is perhaps the ugliest feature within their very ugly yard.

Anyway, a tip for all of you who may one day own a pig in the winter, the pork-savvy neighbors have now padded the entire square pig pen with hanging blankets. First one appeared. Then another. Then a few days later, the pig pen became a tapestry of thick, hanging, dirty blankets.

I finally figured out it was to protect Pig from the cold. Pigs don't have much hair. So I guess hanging blankets ten feet in the air makes sense.

If you're an idiot.

Anyway, the lady neighbor let Pig out from his pen yesterday to romp in the yard. She stood on the deck. George was at the window in our kitchen watching the touching scene. "He's running right over to her and nuzzling her leg!" he told me. George admires pig. But just about every other day he says, "It's time to call on them. It's just not right."

Problem is, Pig is really the best pet in the neighborhood. Pet? Hell, he's the best neighbor, period. (Except in August when it smells like a zoo at our house.) The majority of the time he's great. He doesn't bark. He doesn't climb on the fence. He doesn't mall children. All he does is push the ground around with his snout. He seems happy. I envy Pig.

Pig isn't an ass--his owners are.

These stubborn, hot-tub-and-pig-pen installing, nasty-mouthed neighbors refuse to replace their now-half-fallen back fence. If they'd just do their neighborly duty, so that animals and at least some of their odors would stay in their yard, we wouldn't mind Pig a lick.

Last week I was out on our back deck when I saw the husband and wife back there fashioning more junk between the holes and missing planks that speckle what's left of the fence. A table leg here, a dining room chair bottom there.

You know you're in redneck territory when...

I said, "HI THERE!" They tried to ignore me. "When are you planning to fix the fence?" I asked.

"When we get the money," said Mz. Personality.

"Well, with the pig and all, it seems like the right time to find the money to fix the fence."


"We've been here ten years now, and the fence hasn't been fixed," I continued.

"We've been here 23 years!" said Mr. Insurance Salesman, proud of his subdivision longevity for some reason.

"Well, 23 years seems like plenty of time to fix a fence then, huh?"

After that, they ignored me. Stupid Boxer had come home for a visit, and I guess they had other things on their very small minds. Like watching the dumb dog bark and leap at the pig pen for the next three hours.

Yep. If I could have it my way, I'd let pig stay and call the County Code Office on his owners.