Fictoid: some pig

a pig like this you know the routine // car breaks down backroads Arkansas // driver [salesman] gets out/curses // miles from town/between cell towers

follows red clay road miles back to ramshackle farmhouse // knocks on door

two-legged pig answers it: “Yes, sir?  How may I be of assistance?”

salesman blinks/mumbles: “My car broke down…I was wondering…phone…?”

“Certainly, sir.  Right this way. But if you like, I am rather handy with various farm machinery. Perhaps if I looked at your car first…?”

“…uh…yeah…okay…”

“Splendid!  Well, come in and let me introduce you to the rest of the family.”

in the living room // old farm couple [stringbean & pumpkin] watch TV // pig explains situation to them // they grunt/barely acknowledge salesman

pig disappears into kitchen // returns with trays of snacks // and lemonade balanced on nose // “I’ve taken the liberty of making some refreshments for you, sir, while I pop down to inspect your car. Please, have a seat on the couch while I go take a look.”

salesman sits between stringbean & pumpkin they ignore him

finally: “Uh, that’s some pig you’ve got there.”

“Yup.”

“Had him long?”

“Ever since he was born.”

long silence “Most people don’t have talking pigs.”

“Yup.”

“Or pigs that can fix cars.”

“Yup.”

“Or make food.”

“Mister, you gonna jabber or you gonna watch teebee?”

“Sorry, I was just curious…”

other spouse speaks up // “That ain’t the half of it. Why, that li’l feller can do anything. Balances our checkbook, does our taxes. Does vet work on the other animals. Helps our kids with their homework. Ain’t nothing he can’t do.”

silence watch “teebee” a bit

then: “I’m curious, why does he have only two legs?”

“You just don’t eat a pig like that all at once.”

pig returns // car is fixed // deal hammered out

family agrees to sell pig for ten times the going rate // salesman tells pig to sit tight // rushes into town // maxes out credits cards // rushes back // cash changes hands //pig eagerly hops into car

off they drive “Where are we going, sir?”

“Good question. Haven’t worked it out yet, but I -- rather you, have some options.

“First off, you are safe with me. I’ll look after you as long as you live.

“Second, we can take the high road or the low road.

“High road is we run you to the nearest university. Let them research you. I’ll see to it that they do nothing invasive, but I’m sure they’re going to want to study you at great length.

“Judging from the way they treat gorillas that use sign language, I’d say you’d have a pretty cushy gig: A place to stay, food to eat, some toys and books to keep you amused.”

“I see.  And the low road, sir?”

big toothy grin “Show biz.”

pig stares silently out window a long long time // then: “Sir, I am deeply appreciative of what you are doing for me, and I am glad to be away from those ruffians who were willing to carve off one of my limbs any time their larder fell low.

“But I really don’t see how my situation will be helped by going into show business. Presuming I attract attention as an intelligent talking pig, won’t it be a mere matter of time before someone attempts to steal me for extortion purposes, or some religious fundamentalist tries to kill me because I violate his theological boundaries, or some team of scientists endeavor to seize control of me regardless?”

another big toothy grin “Relax.  I’ve got a plan.”

…..

everybody knew it was a trick // the host/the crew/the stage hands/other guests

other guests were nice // they had their brand/image to shill // so they would help somebody // who would help them

always pretended the pig was real when they were on camera

pig makes a big sensation // booked on dozens of shows

salesman always arrives early for set up // lots of computer/remote control gear

pig is wheeled in // careful to shoot him only from waist up // don’t reveal the big aluminum tub where hind legs should be // tub with blinking lights/access panels

everybody plays along with the gag “pig” can “really” “talk” but everybody really knows it’s a trick

pig gets regular guests shots // co-stars in an indie-prod comedy // lands family sit-com // marketing galore

salesman buys nice big house // hires illegal immigrants who will keep their mouths shut for fear of deportation // pig gets to live the lush life

everything is good // for a couple of years

then stringbeam & pumpkin show up // lawyer in tow

scream they have been cheated // want more money // salesman attempts to cut them a deal // they’re greedy // go to press // go to court

get laughed off the stage/out of court // everybody “knows” pigs can’t talk // everybody “knows” it’s just a really super-sophisticated audio-animatronic // [What are you, crazy?  Who thinks pigs can talk? Who thinks pigs can do all the things you say they can do? Hell, we’re human beings and most of us can’t do all the things the pig can do!]

salesman deftly positions it // so people will think it’s a p.r. stunt // works // works too well

media folk start to murmur the pig is getting tiresome

then somebody breaks in // tries to steal pig // narrowly avert tragedy // but pig is terrified/paranoid // massive security system // big ugly dogs // pig wants a gun // salesman says no // pig relents // but pig remains nervous/wary

stress shows sit-com falters/fails

pig moves on // kid show on Disney channel // then hosting Mr. Ed/Green Acres re-runs on low rent cable // then self-financed web series // then bit part as movie studio head in sleazy Skinnemax movie

time's up // pig retires // but hey they done good // salesman made great deals // pig invested wisely // nothing to worry about // financially

salesman grows bored/restless // picks up side projects // still lives with pig

pig grows moody/depressed // watches YouTube hog farming videos // not happy

wants to do something about it

salesman agrees // [why not? pig got them their lush life // he owes pig]

donations spokespersonpig for animal rights groups

pig insists on going public // nobody will listen // salesman did his job too well with cover story // only media that buys it is supermarket tabloid // pig/salesman credibility vanishes

pig tries to contact various researchers // offers himself as test subject // uniform response: stop annoying us with your petty publicity stunts

pig grows more depressed // now only fringe animal rights groups accept his public support // their political opponents start hammering pig on airwaves // anti-farmer// anti-capitalism // anti-American

pig announces he will no longer be known by his “livestock name” // refer to him now on as Khenzeer X // [yeah right // whatever]

and still hog farms thrive pig slaughter continues

now pig is negative influencer // he shows up/voices an opinion // brickbats begin flying from opposite direction

salesman finds excuses to travel // likes pig // but pig is difficult to live with

on a trip he gets a frantic call // rushes right home

somehow pig got his trotters on a gun // found somebody to customize it so he could hold it // fire it

pig brains all over the wall

salesman has body put in storage locker // no funeral home will take a pig, of course

has head removed // sent for study // response: what, are you kidding? somebody put a bullet right through the brain pan -- we can’t tell you bupkis.

authorities couldn’t care less: pigs is pigs // not people

what to do? // there’s a pet cemetery // but pig wasn’t really a pet // besides who would visit the grave? // pointless

well, the solution is obvious // and while the salesman is grateful for all the pig had done for him // pigs is indeed pigs

and you just don’t eat a pig like that all at once

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© Buzz Dixon

The Words Of The Prophets...

Lou Scheimer (1928 - 2013)