A great pig like that…

A few simple searches failed to turn up one of my favourite jokes (heard frequently on the earlier episodes of Back to Work with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin), so I wrote a version below from memory. I hope it’s enjoyable (and stays true to the original idea)!

A man was driving in the country — dirt roads, huge fields and pastures, and not on Google Maps.

The man got lost.

Driving along the sixteenth dirt road in a row past a barn he was sure he’d passed before, he noticed an older, farmer-looking gentleman sitting on a chair at the next corner. The man looked nice enough — and he had a pet sitting next to him. A pig! A peg-legged pig.

The farmer waved at the man as he approached, and so the man pulled over and asked for directions to the highway.

OH SURE!” said the farmer. “The highway! You just go down past the corn field, there, and past ol’ Bennie’s silos (poor ol’ Bennie). After the third silo, you look for Chester’s barn — it’s the red one, looks kinda old — and take the second right. Drive out that way and look for the potato fields and you’ll find the on-ramp about fifteen minutes after.”

The man thanked him, making a few notes and asking for clarification… and then he turned to go. But then he paused, turned around again, and — saying he couldn’t help his curiousity — asked the old man why the pig had one leg.

The farmer told him, “This pig! Well, sir, this is the greatest pig alive.”

“About a month ago, he saved my family and me from our burning house. He smelled the fire burning — Sheila must’ve left a candle on — and woke us up in the middle of the night just in time to escape without any harm! Then, when we realized Charlie hadn’t come out with us, the pig went back into the house and carried little Charlie out with him!”

The man told the farmer that that was incredible; truly an amazing pig, but what about the leg? “Well,” the farmer replied, “This pig is really one of the family. He’s a really great pig.”

“A couple of weeks ago, our cattle were out in the fields, and we heard a commotion. We ran out to ’em but the pig was faster, and he went out and he snorted and he grunted and he chased that coyote right out of the field. Then he herded up the cattle and brought them right back to the barn! He’s the best pig I’ve ever had.”

The man nodded enthusiastically throughout the tale, looking at the pig with admiration. Now, he had to know why the pig was missing a leg, and he pressed the farmer again.

The farmer laughed, and he began again: “Last week, my boy Charlie — he’s always getting into trouble — he fell in Shallow Creek (which is actually pretty deep!), and this truly wonderful pig dove in after him and swam out with him! But the boy wasn’t breathing — Sheila was so scared — but the pig, he performed CPR, and saved Charlie’s life. He’s one good pig!”

“Then, just the next day,” the farmer continued, “I was riding my old horse and my foot got stuck in the stirrup. This pig here next to me galloped up next to the horse and me. He got my foot free and threw me back up on the horse, he truly saved my life. What an amazing pig. The best pig in the world!”

Losing his patience, the man finally shouted, “Okay, yes! He’s the most amazing pig I’ve ever heard of — a really great pig - a REALLY great pig! But what about his wooden leg?!”

To which the farmer replied, “Well now, a great pig like that - you just don’t eat all at once!”

    Next → Editorial Training | NPR ← Previous The university of the 21st century has three roles: to create knowledge, to share that knowledge, and to use and apply it.
    Latest posts
    Design management for wicked problems - ADMC 2020
    → Intuition is confident abductive-inferential thinking
    The Verge → Researchers detail huge hack-for-hire campaigns against environmentalists
    Conversations, cybernetics, and Theory of Mind
    → Why are we exceeding the Earth’s carrying capacity?
    IDEO U's Creative Confidence Podcast → Roger Martin, Bianca Andreescu, and systemic strategy
    Reuters → Systemic lessons from South Korea’s Patient 31
    Axle → Divide & conquer
    FSG → Can Snow Clearing Be Sexist?
    The Verge → As Lambda students speak out, the school’s debt-swapping partnership disappears from the internet
    The Talk Show → “Bring It On, Haters”, With Special Guest Ben Thompson
    Facebook → Starting the Decade by Giving You More Control Over Your Privacy
    Motherboard → Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data
    The Verge → Google’s ads just look like search results now
    MacMillan → Interference by Sue Burke
    Systemics and design principles in support of Tiago Forte’s PARA framework
    → Microsoft wants to capture all of the carbon dioxide it’s ever emitted
    → US announces AI software export restrictions for China
    → Science Conferences Are Stuck in the Dark Ages
    → This wireless power startup says it can charge your phone using only radio waves
    → Segway’s newest self-balancing vehicle is an egg-shaped wheelchair
    → Twitter announces Bluesky: a team seeking and developing an open standard for social media
    → Elon Musk attempts to explain Twitter to normal people in court
    → TED and YouTube launch global climate initiative
    → Embracing multilingualism to enhance complexity sensitive research
    → The ‘Amazon effect’ is flooding a struggling recycling system with cardboard
    → John Kerry, Arnold Schwarzenegger wage ‘World War Zero’ on climate change
    → Combining semantic and term frequency similarities for text clustering
    → Bad RCS implementations are creating big vulnerabilities, security researchers claim
    → 2019 Tech Trends Report — The Future Today Institute
    → Medical Crowdsourcing: Harnessing the “Wisdom of the Crowd” to Solve Medical Mysteries