It’ll Do – Hogs is Hogs

30 Nov

It'll Do

It’ll Do
Copyright William J. Conaway, 1989

Episode 14 – Hogs is Hogs

Hogs aren’t something to be taken lightly in Cherryville. We have too many of them and a good part of our revenue comes from them. They may not give Cherryville a very good smell but they pay the bills.

Some of the local boosters decided to have a greased pig festival. There were others who said that it was cruel and moved to stop it. Personally, I didn’t see anything cruel about a buch of folks slithering around trying to catch a greased pig–if anything it would be worse on the people than on the hog.

Of the regulars in the It’ll Do, only Alice Mae was against it. But when Alice Mae was against something it had an impact.

“Don’t you think we have enough cruelty without tormenting one of God’s creatures, Sully?” she asked.

Sully didn’t have an answer for this. Nor did anyone else at the bar, but I don’t think anyone felt that what she said made any sense. It couldn’t be any more ridiculous than picking a Home-coming Queen, and was probably less cruel.

This is how Vera and Sully almost broke up, because Vera took up for Alice Mae, and Sully couldn’t see any sense to it. Sully is anything, if he isn’t smart. So he says, “Why don’t we have a Pig Beauty Contest?”

It was a good idea–maybe better than the time we tried to start the Union Navy. We have plenty of pigs in Cherryville–and it just makes sense that some of them are more beautiful than others. Doesn’t it?

Sully was wearing that sliding grin that he gets once in a while, but he was right on the beauty contest. Why not?

Now, everyone got into the spirit of it and those that didn’t have any hogs were supplied one by Thad, who had plenty. Some of them were pretty too.

The city council thought it was a good idea, and the Chamber of Commerce put up three prizes from some of the local merchants. The radio picked it up and made a big thing of it.

Now, Sully started this. You might say it was his fault. If people hadn’t started naming these pigs after people it probably would have gone all right, but it didn’t.

The Governor was “honored” by one of the ugliest pigs you ever saw. That was all right. Reverend Thame’s wife also got an ugly one. “Rosemary” was really an ugly pig. It just went on building.

Mavis from the library, tried to put a stop to it. “Why don’t we,” Mavis said over her dark beer, “just have a people beauty contest, rather than hogs, they can fight back.”

We elected to go with the hogs.

Vera had this puppy that she was really fond of, and she entered it. It wasn’t fair, of course, because everyone knows a puppy is better looking than a hog. When Sully protested, Vera threatened something terrible and he didn’t say anything more about it. Then Old Man Williams said, “No.” and Vera backed off.

The fair grounds were not in use so the contest was held there. We had a good crowd of people and pigs. We had to take all of this seriously because about twelve kids had entered their pigs, and we couldn’t very well tell them that the whole thing was only bar-talk.

Would you believe it?–Senator Flogg was there expecting to award the prizes. Mrs. Seltz from the Chamber was there, and Pettybone from the Mayor’s Office. There were about twenty-five hogs of various sizes, each with an owner or renter.

When it came down to the judging, it didn’t take very long. If you like hogs, there were some really fine ones there. Yet, only one could win. So they drew straws, in secret, behind the stands.

The winner belonged to Alice Mae and she named it “Elvin”.
The real Elvin sticks pretty close to Cherryville these days, here is a story he told at the bar one day:

When he was a young man he left his farm home and went West. The funny thing was, he had a twin brother, Edwin, who left home about the same time. There were seven other kids in the family, and it wasn’t like they were abandoning their parents–I expect they were glad, in a way, to see them go.

Elvin went up to Oregon and found some work logging. Then he drifted back to Montana and tried to figure out how to stay on a horse and do something useful. He admitted that he wasn’t very successful at that. He tried Arkansas, working in a saw-mill. By that time he was twenty or so. He hadn’t been back to see his folks or his brothers and sisters in about three years. He hadn’t seen his twin brother either.

Right down next to the Bus Station there’s an all-night cafe. Now, how Elvin ended up in Cherryville is somewhat of a mystery–even to him. He was just drifting, he said. One night in November, he thought it was, Elvin stopped in there for a bowl of good hot chili. Who came in the door and sat down on the next stool? Uh-huh, Edward.

“Hi, brother. Those darn busses will give you hemorrhoids, don’t you know?”

“Yeah well, I’ve been on quite a few, been lucky so far”. “This chili is pretty good, though”.

“You talked to home?”

“Nope”.

“Me, neither,” Edward said. “Be seeing you, I expect.”

He never did.
We figure that Elvin has the strength of two. So does he, at times. He’s President of our Chamber of Commerce. If he had a mind to, he could be our next State Representative–but I don’t think he wants to get that far from Cherryville. I’ll tell you one thing though–if we have anything to say about it, he will be our next Mayor.

cartoon pig 3

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