by Duane Hammond
Artist, author, humorist and creator of Pigs ina Poke™
As told by him...
When I was but a young lad, between the ages of 6-12, and my parents had to go on a trip for a week or so, my younger sister and I would spend this time at my aunt and uncle's farm in Hudson, NH. They raised pigs for a living and it's where I was introduced to these incredible animals. I learned they're intelligent, personable and behave much like humans. For example, as my uncle filled their trougths with garbage, the once half asleep slumbering pigs would get up out of the muck and mud and race as fast as their short little legs could go, to stake out a place at the trougth. This scene resembled a bunch of teenagers at a rock concert, pushing, shoving, squealing and showing little respect for each other while trying to find the best spot. They'd gorge themselves on all kinds of garbage, while flicking their ears to ward off flies, fart and grunt as they gulped down their meal. I'm still talking about teenagers here. Really!
As my interest in pigs began to grow, I learned a lot about their heritage and characteristics. The first artistic representation of pigs were found in the caves at Altarmia Spain, carbon dated to 13,500 years ago. Some of my friends believe I am the reincarnation of the caveman who first painted them. Of course this is nonsense, but I must admit, whenever I go into a cave I get get this strong urge to paint a pig. Really!
Pigs love beer and enjoy getting drunk. I attribute this to the fact that Ireland, once recognized as the pig capitol of the world, included beer in a pigs diet. There is nothing funnier than a shit-face pig stumbling around the pig pen, squealing and looking for the remote. Really!
In China, the pig symbolizes good luck in business. Every 12 years, it is the "Year of the Pig". In the USA, March 1st is "National Pig Day." I celebrate this day by pigging out on Chinese food and taking my annual bath. Really!
Did you know, the closest relative to a pig is the hippopotamus? However, hippos are not easy to raise, eat too much and taste like chicken. Enough chicken tasting meat already. I learned that the pig is the only animal other than man, capable of thinking through a problem to a rational solution. They are also smarter than a dog and learn a new task in a shorter time. Where a dog will bark and whine when it encounters a dangerous situation, a rational thinking and skilled pig will whip out his cell phone and dial 911. Really!
Pigs have the same digestive tract as humans, and pig heart valves are used in repairing human hearts. Sometimes, human hearts are used to repair a pigs heart, and both humans and pigs need to take TUMS now and then, Really!
There are a lot of other things I could tell you about about pigs, but please recognize I'm mostly about humor and the juxtaposition of pigs with humans. I illustrate humorous and satirical pigs engaged in human-like activities and situations. As my four-line poem illustrates:
Pigs is the subject
Humor the goal
The gift of laughter
A joy to behold.