This Little Piggy
Posted on September 26, 2012
Her name was Amy and she could dance. Well, in the promise of full disclosure, I never actually saw her dance. But I was told she could do the Can-can, and I never doubted her for a second. We fed her vegetables and popcorn so she would grow up to be strong and healthy, and we took her for long walks, because Amy loved the outdoors. She had short little legs, but man, could she run fast. I remember afternoons chasing Amy around the house, the two of us laughing with delight, ending our evenings together sitting side by side watching television. Amy loved Oprah. And I have a feeling, if Oprah ever met Amy, she’d love Amy too.
Oprah isn’t the only one who loved Amy. In fact, for two whole weeks, Amy was my best friend….ever. And our story goes a little something like this:
When I was of a young-ish age, my hip New York City parents decided it would be in our best interest to leave our street senses behind and move to a bustling suburban town where parents made chocolate chip cookies and kids played on sports teams. But being the big city family that we were, it seemed that suburban life was not something we were acquainted with. So, its possible that in the minds of my ever loving and endearing parents, they thought the best way to appease their youngest daughter was to provide her with a friend. Sounds about right. Right? Well, thank goodness they did. Because, this theory of love and friendship brought Amy into my life, and as I mentioned before, I sure loved Amy. I mean, we were certifiably best friends.
Now let’s get down to the facts. Amy wasn’t a dog, and no, Amy wasn’t a cat, and nope, Amy wasn’t a bird. Amy was a pig.
And as pigs do, when my mother and I picked up Amy for the long drive to Connecticut, she squealed and screamed from the inside of her crate, alllllll the way home. I sat beside her with my finger pushed between the grates whispering, “It’s ok little piggy. Shhhh little piggy. This little piggy went to the market, and this little piggy stayed home.” Now, Amy wasn’t “just a pig,” she was a Pot Belly pig. You know, the kind that’s tiny and grey and people keep them as pets. Yes, people keep them as pets, and I still believe this to be true. Who these people are, I do not know. But I do know, someone out there, somewhere, has a pet Pot Belly pig, just like Amy.
So, let’s review. I was the new kid in town. I had just moved from the hustle and bustle of life in Manhattan to the cookie cutter life of suburbia. Sounds pretty lovely right? Well, let’s continue. I wasn’t just the new kid. I was the new fat kid. And I had a pet pig. Who could dance the Can-can. I cannot tell a lie.
But there is more. Amy wasn’t just a normal pig (assuming that we all share a similar belief as to what a “normal” pig is). Amy was trained by a world famous dog trainer (yes, dog) who also happened to train Amy’s famous pig mother….whom you might have happened to see appearing on the Jay Leno show in the early 80s. So what I’m saying here, is that Amy’s mother, was a star. Hold your applause. No really. Hold it.
So here we were, back in cookie cutter Connecticut with the daughter of a world famous pig. Dreams do come true.
The first night that Amy the dancing pig slept in our home, she was traumatized. Having gone from sharing a bed with her previous owner, to being dropped off alone in a large living room in Connecticut, Amy was pretty scared. I’m actually getting choked up right now just thinking about that poor little piggy all alone. And that night, Amy let us know how she felt about it. The next morning I ran downstairs to love all over my new friend and found my father, on his hands and knees, gloved in yellow dishwashing mitts, scrubbing off what looked and smelled like Amy’s piggy poop all over the walls.
He was mumbling under his breath and I imagine he was saying things like, “this fucking pig,” cause my dad was not a pig guy. He was a stylish NYC man, and in fact he still is. A pig was not stylish. But, I was a fat kid who needed a friend, and who better to be by my side than Amy, the dancing pig.
But, my dad was not happy. Not happy at all. And after hours of cleaning Amy’s poop off the walls, he began to rally my sister for support in picketing for Amy’s removal. My sister had just started 9th grade in our new suburban town, how was she supposed to bring home friends to a squealing pig that ate popcorn and danced the Can-can?! She screamed, “This is so embarrassing!” as my father joined in with, “I’m the only one that will clean up its shit.” And in retrospect, they were both right. But I didn’t care at the time. Amy the dancing pig, was my friend.
And she stayed my friend for the next two weeks, squealing and snorting her days away during her Connecticut vacation, until it all quickly came to an end one fateful afternoon.
An unexpected knock on the door became Amy’s demise. The owner of the rented home we lived in popped by for a visit and was greeted, very unexpectedly, by Amy the dancing pig. Now, I truly believe that if Amy had danced in that exact moment, she would still be lounging under the Connecticut sunshine (not to mention a most likely appearance on Jay Leno, just like her mom), but that’s not how the story ends.
We were given an ultimatum. Either Amy was sent packing, or we were. And so it went. The very next day, as I wailed and screamed and cried my little heart out, my very best friend, Amy the dancing pig, was taken from me.
Maybe if she had stayed, my life would be different. Maybe I would be running a non-profit, stopping stigma against Pot Belly pigs. Or maybe I’d be living in rural Pennsylvania running a pig farm. Who knows? The possibilities were endless for me. But I do know one thing. Honey Boo Boo Child is not the first “fabulous” kid to own a pet pig. Amy and I were around long before reality TV, and this makes us, quite frankly, their forefathers.