A thought for the day from the ever quotable Winston Churchill:
“I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”
I’ve never had a pet pig, so I wouldn’t know (though I’ve eaten many pigs’ worth of ham and bacon), but the quote sounds about right for cats and dogs. That Churchill was quite a guy; politician and statesman, saved England, Nobel prize winner for literature, raconteur, pretty good amateur painter, liked building stone walls on his estate for recreation. Didn’t like crowds of people he didn’t know, suffered from depression, liked his brandy and cigars in the bathtub. Made some big mistakes but made up for it with bigger successes. Did you know that his mother was American?
My other favourite quote from Churchill is in response to Lady Astor’s stating that “If you were my husband I would poison your wine”. Winston replied, “Madam, if I was your husband I would drink it!”
Back to pigs:
“I understand that the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made tones never equaled the purity of sound achieved by the pig.”
— Alfred Hitchcock
I like bagpipe music, but only in very small doses. And why does every song played on the bagpipes sound exactly the same? It’s like listening to the rock band Boston.
Where was I? Oh, right, pigs. A couple years ago I almost bought a flying pig weather vane for the top of my house (it was either that or a mermaid with large breasts), but I’m not sure that it wouldn’t have looked out of place. I should have done it; it would have made me smile to look at it. “When pigs fly” is the phrase used to signify an impossibility, but I don’t see why they shouldn’t be able to — other than that minor issue of their lacking wings.
The motif keeps popping up in popular culture. There’s the Monty Python skit (“They don’t fly so much as plummet” [thunk]), and of course there’s the Animals album by Pink Floyd, which includes the song “Pigs on the Wing” and has album cover artwork of a pig flying over London’s Battersea power station. During the photo shoot the pig balloon escaped before they could take the photo, and floated through air traffic corridors on the Heathrow approach. Lacking a proper photo of the balloon in flight they had to paste in the picture of the pig. The Floyd continued to use inflatable pigs as props in many of their concerts, and said props figured in the lawsuit when Roger Waters left the band; the remaining members of the band had to change the gender of the pig to make it distinguishable from the one previously used which Waters claimed was his idea.