Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Opinion

August 26, 2013

The other white meat

Who doesn’t love bacon, a grilled double pork chop, a slab of smoked baby backs, or good roast of pork with gravy and mashed potatoes (The Little Woman’s specialty)? Yeah, OK, I know there are some who eschew pork for religious reasons or the fact that it is meat, but for the rest of us we are talking “yummoo!”

I just came across an article on “Mr .Computer” that really caught my eye. It was entitled “Plague of wild pigs has U.S. authorities squealing.” It seems that wild pigs are prevalent in at least 36 states and have been observed in about 47 states. I was not surprised to read that Texas is the most “pig-plagued” state, but I was disappointed to find that Florida is second in feral pig population. I had hoped that we moved away from this particular menace.

There are an estimated 5.5 to 8 million of these critters nationwide and the numbers seem to be growing at an alarming rate. They can live just about anywhere, they can eat just about anything, they have no natural predators, and they reproduce faster than any other mammal. Most feral pigs start giving birth at 6 to 12 months and have litters of six to 12 piglets twice a year. They are mostly nocturnal, they grow to about 200 pounds, they can run 30 miles an hour, they can jump three feet high, and they can climb out of traps with walls up to six feet high. Is that scary or what?

Do you know what you get if you cross a dinosaur with a wild pig? You get Jurassic Pork! What do you get when you cross a wild pig with an elephant? A very large animal that knows a lot of jokes.

We had quite a bout with wild pigs while we lived there in Grandview Estates on Golden Pond. When they started to develop The Shores next to us, a large population of these nasty critters was uprooted and migrated into the woods surrounding our little settlement. All of a sudden our neighbors found their established lawns and shrubberies being destroyed as the creatures came every night to plow with their snouts seeking roots and grubs.

It became so bad that many of our neighbors put electric fences around their property lines to deter the pigs. I resisted putting up an electric fence around our half-acre lot but I finally had to do it. It seems all the other electric fences were steering the pigs toward our lot! What a pain that fence was. The transformer plugged into an outside light fixture and had to be turned on at dusk and off the next morning. I had to break down a large section of fence every week when the mowing service arrived — and they still snagged it several times with the mowers. I had to splice the fence several times due to breaks. The yellow stakes every 30 feet looked ugly and I was darned glad to jerk them up about a year later when the menace migrated away.

What do you get when you cross a song bird with a wild pig? I don’t know, but when it perches on your wires and sings, all your lights go out!

The article goes on to say that the federal government is now joining the fight against wild pigs. It seems the Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (never heard of it) is preparing a national feral swine plan. Also, President Obama has proposed $20 million in his upcoming 2014 budget to support the plan. Fat chance! If Obama proposes it, the Tea Party will squash it or it will be sequestered. I guess the pigs will continue to multiply, tearing up crops and lawns, and wrecking cars on the highways.

Did you hear about the wild pigs that went on vacation? They had a wonderful time at Yellowstone National Park. They dressed up as bears and raided all the garbage cans!

What is the difference between swine flu and bird flu? For swine flu you need oinkment and for bird flu you need tweetment.

Then there was the wild boar who opened up a pawn shop — he called it “The Hock Shop.” Here is the wild pigs’ explanation of the creation of the universe — “The Pig Bang Theory.”

Do you know why wild pigs crash into the palm trees down here in Florida? To shake out the alligators. You say you’ve never seen an alligator in a palm tree. That’s because the pigs are doing a good job!

Well, this rant is getting sillier and sillier so I’ll shut it down now. Besides, I’ve got two huge center cut pork chops to fix with red beans and cornbread dressing for TLW and me. May all your porkers be processed, wrapped, and sold by the pound.

See ya.

              —————

Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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