Man, it’s tough to be a pig. Especially now, when the hot health button in the whole wide world is swine flu. From its name, you’d think that pigs are the big cause. But, as some Paris people pointed out the other day, the current disease shouldn’t have “swine” as part of its name. That’s because the flu also has bird and human viruses.
I guess misnaming a disease doesn’t matter a whole lot to the pigs. They end up taking it on the chin most of the time anyway. I mean, which expression have you heard more often, “pretty as a pig” or “you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig”?
And there are many more pig-poor phrases like, “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. Or, “pearls before swine”. Or, “crooked as a pig’s tail”. Or “don’t make a pig of yourself”.
Or any number of other sweet sayings – if you’re not a pig. In fact, can you think of one phrase about pigs that has a positive ring to it? I bet not even one.
O.k., on the plus side, Porky Pig was a big star at Warner Brothers back in the day. But, he was soon eclipsed by Daffy and Bugs. Besides, with a name like “Porky”, how much respect did he really get?
What I’d like to know is, what’s so bad about pigs anyway? True, they pretty much eat anything, no matter how disgusting. And, they do enjoy their mud baths, no matter what else may be in the mud. That can get really revolting so I’ll spare the details.
But, on the upside, pigs are very smart. Other than the mud thing, which they do just to cool off, pigs are clean. And naturally lean. Most people think of them as fat because most of the pigs we see are fat. But that’s because people fatten them. For food.
And there’s the fact that pigs are great hunters – sniffing out pricey truffles for their human companions to harvest and sell to other humans. Some pig people even have them as pets. In their houses. That’s right. Because pigs are easy to train and fun to be with.
So, the next time you think about pigs, remember the good stuff, too. And be sure to skip the flu, swine or otherwise.
See you in the mirror.