Soon Taboo…To Tattoo…Your Cat, Your Dog, and Even Your Hog

I think everybody in this country should be aware that another American bastion of Liberty is being attacked by the US Government. New York is once again the dreaded keystone state that is going all out to take away another God-given right that has been established for centuries between a man and his beloved barnyard buddies.

Recently the New York governor and legislature have addressed the problem (as they see it). Up until now it has been perfectly legal in almost every state for good citizens (referred to in news reports as, “Narcissistic animal lovers”) to have their dogs and cats forced to endure permanent, decorative tattoos and body piercings. Pet pigs are bound to be next in the coming up mix.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is biting at the bit for the chance to sign legislation that will abolish the tattooing. Who is going to speak for the animals?” How can Governor Cuomo be so self-assured as to think he can decide whether my cat wants twelve nipple rings or not. He must be crazy.

You just wait and see. It won’t be six months before Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia is going to have spies out on every farm in our beautiful Southern state just peeking in barn doors checking our hogs for tattoos. I don’t know about dogs and cats but I know our pigs love their tattoos. If a rattlesnake bite can’t hurt a pig, a tickle from a tattoo needle may be more pleasure than pain.

Anyhow, we scattered all our tattooed sows and boars in the swamp bottoms along the Oconee River. We’ve got so many tattooed pigs in the swamps that many meth-manufacturing dope-heads are leaving the bottoms in droves. The sight of so many technicolored pigs have them going into hallucinatory convulsions.

It’s really sad. I can barely stand the thought of some swamp rat shooting one of our beloved pet pigs and then frying the pork skins down by the river. I keep having a bad dream that ends with an old swamp boy feasting on a multi-colored tattooed fried pork skin. The tattoo reads “Porky Loves Petunia” inside a big red heart.

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I’m getting a butterfly on my right cheek and a bracelet on my arm with “Frank Sinatra” on it.


The Demise of Hog Heaven.

And now it’s all over for poor old pigs like us (because we’re too old to tango..very much) and for poor old pigs like boar hogs. The romantic allure of hog heaven is no more. No more romancing in the pig pen. The sty has gone dry….for handsome hogs.

Hogs in love

He loves her true but all is lost in this modern day of artificial insemination.


You hanging around here this evening , big mama?

Back when being a papa pig was hard work, and a lot of fun too,¬† there used to be wonderful chances for a poor pig to find love right in his own backyard….sty. Those days are gone. Nowadays over 90% of pig farmers inseminate their sows artificially. This is up from less than 5% in the 1980s. Now one boar can do what 20 boars did back then.

pretty pig

Midnight madness with a sweet sow is no longer the same sweetness.

more laughing hogs

And then Susie said to me, “Horace, you are the most delightful hog I have ever shambled and galumphed with in a mud wallow.”







Don’t you just hate it. This is probably a lot more than you ever wanted to know but a single boar ejaculation can impregnate a whole heap of sows and the precious little piglets will all be pretty much alike especially in shape and size. Grocers and restaurateurs like for their pork chops to be uniform. One bag of boar semen can be transported by express package handlers or even a pickup truck instead of having to move the boars around to the sows. That one bag of semen can service 300 sows when it used to take 20 boar hogs to handle the same job. That’s cold-hearted, really cold-hearted, but true.

looking for mama hogs

Boy I wish they would hurry. I can hardly wait to be artificially inseminated. Maybe that cute FedEx driver will bring the bag.

grinning pig

Farmer Jim may have screwed up my love life but he ain’t going to be eating many pork chops while I’ve got his teeth.

A downside to this whole pathetic story is about China almost destroying the Spanish swine producing industry by manufacturing shoddy boar hog semin bags. Chemicals in the semin bags diminished the fertility of the semin.

Now consumer pressure is forcing hog operations to put their pigs in larger, roomier shared pens so there is a little relief being created for the poor porkers but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is ever going to replace the old hog heaven standards.

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Good-Bye Mr. Chops-World’s Oldest Pot-Bellied Pig Dies.


Mr. Chops loved to be hugged. He was a real ladies’ man.

PB Pig 2

Mr. Chops indulging in his two favorite pastime activities.

PB Pig

Nothing like a pot-bellied pig with his own kitchen but he had to have maids because he couldn’t reach the sink.






Mr. Chops has left us. He died June 1st which was a time that befit him because it was a Sunday and he usually consumed many thousands of calories each Sunday. His favorite day to eat from sunup to sundown was always Sunday.

He was even learning to eat in his sleep when he choked to death on a forty pound pig pretzel. He ran out of cold beer at the most inopportune of moments right when the pretzel kind of backed up on him. It is said he was the oldest pig to ever live but, as we all know, few pigs get a chance to live past the distinction of being a number one porker. Americans are especially fond of barbecued ribs and pork chops.

And by the way, how would you learn the age of a pig? Mr. Chops was intelligent but he could not talk. If you run up on a boar hog in a South Georgia swamp and you ask him his age he might say, “Who gives a rip?” Then he’ll illustrate a good rip to sensitive parts of your body with razor sharp tusks (this right before he laughs you under a cypress knee for trying to talk to a pig).

But Mr. Chops had witnesses to his age. He was just 17 days shy of being 22 years old and ever since he was ten years old, hundreds of people from miles around would gather for the “Annual Mr. Chops Birthday Bash.” The crowds would joyfully sing, “Happy Birthday” to Mr. Chops. Mr. Chops would oink back in sincere porker appreciation.

He had many talents. He could run figure eights around his owner’s legs on command. He loved watching TV. His favorite game was “Hide and Seek.” His owner would scatter Cheerios over the kitchen floor as a treat for him. He could find a treat in a towel and roll out a rug. He could dance left and then dance right. He could heel, sit, stay and count by nodding his head. He loved to sit in his owner’s lap for a hug. I think that’s a picture of her in the red tee-shirt holding him and I’m not really sure she has a lap ample enough to hold Mr. Chops but then somehow she seemed to manage.

He wore a red turtleneck sweater when he took walks in the winter. During his last year the owner’s hubby Mr. Wally prepared and fed Mr. Chops warm dinners.

I have been practicing to take Mr. Chops place there at the Critter Barn. I think I will be perfect to take his place. I’m trying to get Katie Mae to help me train.

Katie Mae is having a bit of a struggle while I’m training to take Mr. Chops’ place.

I have pretty much mastered all his tricks. She even prepares me warm evening meals and wearing a red turtleneck sweater on walks this coming winter will be a snap.

I sensed reluctance on her part when she said, “I am not letting a damned pig sit in my lap while I hug on him.” I’m pretty sure she means me and this morning when I scattered Cheerios all over her kitchen floor, she beat the hell out of me with a broom handle. You should see my right ankle.


Mr. Chops in happier days – Waiting on a cab for a dinner trip into the city.

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Vic and Ben Get An Exciting New Job.

I'm All Yours, Baby!I have come to believe that my old friend Vic Miller and I are not getting enough in the way of physical exercise and our mental attitudes are those of a couple of zombies. Our present means of communication requires only muffled and mumbled curses we learned in our youth.

Salvation may be at hand. I just read an article that might serve to save us both.

There are some guys out in Louisiana who are hunting feral pigs and hogs with a drone. That’s right. These guys have a drone equipped with a thermal camera. They claim they have killed over 600 pigs in the last six months. Feral porkers tear up over one and a half billion dollars in crops, farmland and and wildlife habitat each year.There is a huge need to control the feral pig problem.

These guys in Louisiana seek out the hogs with a camera-carrying drone and once they have spotted the pigs they chase them down and shoot them. They say they get paid tips because The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits them from charging a fee since they are using an airplane. I know it’s hard to believe but the FAA also controls drones. Since they can’t charge for the use of the drone the hunters will usually kill hogs for the highest tipper.

Vic Miller loves to stake out a likely pig wallow in the woods and to lie in wait for Franky the Feral Pig. He then pops Franky with a good dose of lead, steel, brick, limb, rock or other lethal weapon he has hidden in his deep pockets.

This new venture I have mapped out for Vic and myself involves much the same scenario as the one used by our Louisiana cousins. We are a little short on cash right now but my plan does not require as much money as you would need if you bought a drone and an thermal-imaging camera. Those things could run the cost over $10,000.00.

My plan will only cost us $3.14. I have taken a page from the Obamacare workbook and I have carefully plotted our strategy. Just like Obamacare it took me almost 37 minutes to complete the basic design.

I have been watching numerous buzzards fly over our house in Athens and I have discovered a buzzard roost at our friend Rose Hancock Kemp’s house that is perfect for the plan. There are several buzzards there at Rose’s place that must have at least an eight foot wing span.

Vic has successfully kept his weight down over the years and I think we could duct tape Vic to the legs of one of these big buzzards and arm him with a high powered rifle. We have to train the buzzard to skim the woods and swamps at the desired height of 400 feet. When Vic spots the hog he could shoot him instantly. He could sight the hog and shoot him at virtually the same time. I don’t think the FAA controls the use of buzzards in hog hunting.

This is a fool proof plan. I feel sure it takes little effort to train a buzzard. We could strap a stick to his back with a pig’s foot hanging from the end of the stick right in front of the big bird’s greedy eyes. We have to also train him not to be gun shy. If the gunshot scares the buzzard and he throws up on Vic they say it takes forever to get that odor out of your pores.

The $3.14 cost is for a few bullets and cheese, crackers and sardines for Vic and the buzzard when out on a hunt.

I think my job is to be the brains of the outfit and I will send out ATV’s to drag the hogs back into our base.

I haven’t seen Vic in a few weeks so if any of you happen to run into him please feel free to mention my plan to him. I might rather get the feedback from one of you guys than directly from O.V. in person. He’s still talking in those muffled and mumbled curses.

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The Prancing Pig Partner.

I'm All Yours, Baby!

I grew up dancing. My father was such a terrific dancer that the people who later feasted with him at a Fourth of July Bar-B-Q celebration were said to be as good as any professional dancer you ever saw do the Johnson Junction Pig Jig. Unfortunately after he passed away we had no one left to bring home the bacon and we had to move to the swamp and grub for a living. I never got to dance much after that because dancing shoes were so expensive and in order for me to really dance well, I had to wear two pairs at a time.