Last summer I met my bacon at the fair. I didn’t raise it. I just bought it. I was particularly impressed to see my bacon happily frolicking in a pen marked with a blue ribbon. (See: Bacon: My Happy Moment)
It was mine! All that bacon. Mine, mine, mine! When you’ve got a pig ready for the butcher you’re a bacon king. Also, my bacon was raised by an earnest 4H kid instead of a stinky corporate feedlot. I hung around the booth gloating over the improbable fact that I had all the bacon a man could want! It was going to my head.
This is when a kindly soul would talk me out of whatever scheme was bubbling around my head. The Foxinator did nothing of the sort. Seeing me in a bacon induced moment of weakness, she struck!
“You could raise your own pig.” She smiled, well aware she’d scored a direct hit on the combination of greed and bacon frenzy seething through my brain.
“I dunno’, that looks like a lot of work.” I looked around for Mrs. Curmudgeon. It’s her job to talk me out of such things. Where was she?
“It’s easy.” She waved at the ribbon, awarded to the 4H kid who did most of the actual work. “Even a kid can do it.”
I’ve met her kid, on a bad day her kid is more responsible than 80% of the adult population. Nor am I going to say which side of the 80% threshold I happen to fall on. I wasn’t going for it.
“Nah, you’ve gotta’ keep ’em all winter. It’s hard enough keeping the chicken waterer thawed. Forget it.” Ha! I was safe. I’d turned down the stupid idea du’ jour. Mrs. Curmudgeon would be so pleased.
“Oh you don’t have to do that. I’ll have piglets for sale in the spring.” The Foxinator, who can talk me into damn near anything, was on a roll. The mark had been identified. Me and my greed for bacon. I was in deep water.
“Pigs are a hassle?” I mumbled weakly.
I was doomed. My words lacked conviction. Even I didn’t believe them.
“Aren’t they cute?” She pointed to a nearby litter of piglets which, as a display at the fair, were cleaned and washed and brushed and looked nothing like the average farm pig laying in it’s own shit. They were positively cuddly. Aside from cats (which are evil) I like just about any critter. I’m tragically prone to that ‘aw’ moment when I see a baby critter.
“Awwww… they are cute.” Damn! I’d said that aloud.
Nothing could save me now.
Ten minutes later Mrs. Curmudgeon arrived. The boat had sailed. I’d agreed to purchase an unknown quantity of piglets the following spring at an “as yet to be determined” price.
The Foxinator couldn’t help giggling while I explained it to Mrs. Curmudgeon. Mrs. Curmudgeon had left me unattended in this, the barn furthest from the tractor displays, thinking this was safe territory. So I’d gone and bought livestock. There is no denying the power of bacon.
Then I ate a turkey leg; wrapped in bacon.
P.S. I don’t hate all cats. A small percentage of them are neither retarded nor evil. I’ve had two cats I really liked and several I didn’t loathe. You might say a cat with the right personality is just as cranky as me and therefore we get along. Of course dogs are superior, everyone knows that.
Piglets = bacon seed.
I look forward to the rest of the saga. We’re raising Bacon 3&4 at the moment, so despite the fact that Bacon will eat you if it has a chance, I am very much in love with my final product. I killed, butchered cured and smoked it myself, with suitable lack of skill so I look forward to curmudgeon tips. I’ve just got my Salami cure and skins… I’d be nervous if my name was Bacon…
There won’t be any butchering tips from me (I hope). Part of the attraction to pigs is that I can get them commercially processed. Butchering chickens simply nukes my workforce. I have high hopes for this new technology called “specialization”.
‘specialization’ – ah yes. Where it is no longer acceptable to say Dave is retarded or thicker than pig-shit. Now he’s ‘special’. Got it. Look, getting someone else to do it out here means putting it on a ‘plane. That nukes my budget, as much as I fancy the idea of a TSA official fondling the pigs. Fortunately, my neighbor is as useful as the Foxinator at burning off trash, at pointing me the right way in the hard yards of butchering. He has a meat bandsaw. I want. Do your tastebuds a favor though and try home smoking even if the butchering is a bridge too far. The dog will agree with me. I’m doing that more-or less right. It’s the pig raising I could use your choice wisdom about ;-/
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