Did I mention I love living in Hawaii? I hope I did. And this topic is not, obviously, limited to Hawaii. There are pigs everywhere in the world just about.
But here in Hawaii, people love their pig. They love ‘em bacon, they love ‘em ham, they love ‘em sausage (Portuguese style preferably) and most of all they love ‘em roasted in an underground oven called an imu. Extra super tasty and cost effective too, especially if the pig is home raised.
My mom lives out in a very rural area. She’s big on gardening, has a real green thumb and raises orchids. She took all my orchids in since I was killing them; my house on the dry sideof Haleakala (see previous blog entry on topography, Rainbows) was not optimal for them and let’s face it, I just don’t have time. I carried my pots of orchids into the greenhouse and we were just settling them into the right spots when the air was rent with an unearthly, harrowing scream.
“What the hell is that?” I whirled around, my crime-writer instincts honed for sounds of violence. And yes indeedy, it sounded like murder was being done.
“Oh, it’s just the neighbors killing a pig,” Mom said. “Try to ignore it.”
OH GOD. It went on and on. I seriously don’t want to know where my pork chops came from let alone be reminded. I broke out in sweat.
“How often does this happen?”
“Every couple weeks. They have a big family and they’re always raising new pigs, so…” Mom was nonchalant.
I opened my mouth to scream at the neighbors, “FOR GOD’S SAKE MAKE IT STOP!” when mercifully, it did. My lurid imagination supplied gory details. It’s good at that.
“You’d think they’d clobber it on the head or something,” I said with shaky bravado. I’d witnessed a pig killing as a kid and still got grossed out and talked to my therapist about it.
This charming little vignette is how I knew about my mom’s neighbors’ pigs.
Today she told me about how the pigs escaped from their pen next door and got into her yard.
“Were they like, little cute pigs?” I asked hopefully.
“No. Big-ass pigs, big as this dining room table. All hairy. They were digging up the garden. I yelled at the neighbors that they were in our yard and grandma came over with the two year old and the daughter and they tried to herd them out. But we just chased the pigs around and around the yard. Over an hour, round and round we went.”
My mom laughed so hard her eyes teared up. Apparently no progress was made on the pig-herding project until the menfolk got home from work and finally chased the pigs out of the yard with profuse apologies and promises of bacon.
I don’t know what my point here is, except that I really wish bacon didn’t come from pigs, but instead descended from Supermarket Heaven sanitized and wrapped in plastic. Because it’s really really hard to resist bacon, even knowing it was running around the yard not too long ago.