I’m Trenton Melenki, and with me as always is Clyde Moore, the announcer says. Bradley “Embracin’” McPherson is squaring off with county champion “Lovin’” Lee Baxter in tonight’s main event of the “Try to Hug a Pig in the Predetermined Position” tournament.
I’ve never been to this city before, or to an event quite like this. It’s very strange.
I watch the challenger as he eyes the pig, pounces on it, and attempts to hug it in the predetermined position. He tries and tries, but he just cannot hug that pig in the officially agreed upon bodily arrangement.
There is something odd about this sport. I watch for a few more minutes as he struggles.
I just can’t take it anymore. I turn to the stranger sitting next to me, who is practically frothing at the mouth with excitement.
“Is that man wrestling a pig?” I ask.
“Hey, what the hell?” he whispers back at me angrily. “This is an underground operation. Don’t you know pig wrestling is against the law here?”
“This city needed to pass a law stating that its citizens shouldn’t fight pigs?”
“Well, duh. The owners of this place changed the name of the sport to get around the law. You see that bald guy in the front row? He’s in charge, and he’s the meanest man in the world.”
“I doubt that.”
“It’s true,” he said. “You know he actually goes around taping soda packaging back together so ducks can be strangled?”
“Good god!” I almost puked in disgust.
“Yeah, so don’t talk like that around here, OK? Or the promoters will lock you up with the rest of the screamers. You wouldn’t use the word ‘bong’ in a smoke shop, would you?”
“I wouldn’t be in a smoke shop. I’m asthmatic.”
“Dude, you can still smoke weed if you have asthma… I actually think it helps asthma.”
“I’m pretty sure you’re wrong,” I said.
“No, check it, I was reading Scientific American the other day…”
“Yeah… and I thought to myself, ‘Maybe this magazine would be less gay if I was high.’ So I called up my homie Eugene because I knew he was in town — We got high, and guess what? He has asthma!”
“Well that’s definitely… something,” I said. “But I still don’t think I’d ever go to a smoke shop.”
“Oh, yeah… Smoking’s one of those things.”
He paused for a while, ate some more Dunk-a-Roos, then said, “Damn it, man, you don’t even know heartbreak until you’ve been dumped for cigarettes.”
“That happened to you?” I asked.
“Yeah, my last lady smoked, and I said, ‘Hey, man, you stink like a cigarette.’ And she dumped me — just like that.”
He tried to snap his finger, but it had a lot of sauce on it.
Finally I had the courage to say it:
“I hate you. I can’t believe I’m sitting here with a bunch of jackasses who get all giddy watching someone WRESTLE a PIG!”
Within 10 seconds a gang dressed in black grabbed me from the stands along with the other guy, who was guilty by association because they thought he was my friend. They roughed us up pretty bad and yelled things about how we could have ruined their business.
Now I’m stuck in a dungeon with the worst conversationalist I have ever met. There’s nothing to do in here, but I am determined to hang on to his every word and make the best of my situation. He’s bound to enlighten me if I just listen to his soul.
“You know, it’s hard to imagine,” he said, after about a day of brooding silence, “that just a week ago I was in my warm, comfortable bed gazing at Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, almost moved to tears by the artist’s flawless portrayal of feminine beauty… and just wishing the goddess would move her hand so I could see her cooch.”