by Regis Boff
Pigs are convincing evidence that humans do not care about the feelings of food if it tastes good.
What follows is a joke which is more than what it seems. In the grand scheme of things, generosity is a time-waster.
I first heard this joke when I was very young, guessing now, maybe nine or ten years old. I have never heard it told again by anyone but me for fifty years. Johnny Carson told it on, “The Tonight Show,” when first I heard it so long ago.
This joke has a sibling coursing around but I will not tell it right now. So now, here is the joke.
This guy is walking on a country road and comes to a farmhouse and on its porch sits a farmer on the front steps. Next to him, is this big pig and the farmer has his arm over the pig’s shoulder and they are both looking at a book. The pig sits snuggled tightly next to him with his snout in the farmer’s lap intent on the book.
The traveler comes up to the stoop in a neighborly way to say hello. That done, he takes a closer look at this animal and realizes he has a wooden leg. Unable to control his interest, he asks the farmer how this pig came by such a leg. The farmer tells him this pig is like a member of his family and that the pig saved he and his wife on two separate occasions. He goes on in his slow country way, “ my wife and I were asleep upstairs in this house when the entire downstairs caught fire trapping us. The farmer paused for effect, “ suddenly this pig”, he drew the pig closer to him, “races through the flames, runs upstairs, grabs my wife and carries her outside then turns back into the flames and does the same for me.” The traveler, let it be safely said, was astonished, and wanted to understand “how this pig was able to carry you with such a mangled leg?” “No, no, the farmer insisted, “ he didn’t hurt his leg at all.”
The farmer, warming to his story, continued, “ But you know the damnedest thing happened after that. I was out fishing in my boat and this terrible rain and wind knocked me right off and into the water. I ain’t never been much a swimmer and I was making a ruckus but I figured it was over for me, when suddenly this pig arrived at the shore, jumped into the water, and swam back with me, my collar in his mouth, saving my life”.
The farmer sat quietly for a minute or two after that and just stared ahead of him like country people will do. The traveler respected the quiet but soon could not contain his curiosity and said to the farmer, “You know you never told me how this pig got that wooden leg.” The farmer looked at him with kind of an odd condescension and said to him, “ you know son, you just can’t eat a pig like this all at once.”