Tuesday, March 31, 2009

He may thank me when he is older

A few months ago I wrote about traumatizing my child with a visit to Santa Claus. Spring has arrived in San Diego county, and the Easter Bunny has his official digs at the mall, complete with mechanical bunnies-in-waiting and pots and pots of artificial plants. Perhaps this is the company's disclaimer that everything about the Easter Bunny is fake, because it is pretty easy to get a real looking Santa, but a person who looks like a rabbit, complete with ears and a fuzzy tail usually works for Hugh Hefner and that is simply not age appropriate. Business has been slow in my walks by the hassenfeffer throne, but I am sure the throngs will be out this weekend and next with Easter just around the corner.

I have pretty much made up my mind that I will not be taking Lucas to see the bunny, and I blame it all on a costumed pig at the Memphis in May BBQ cooking contest. I wasn't present for the festivities, but my brother attended with several of his friends. For those of you unfamiliar with Memphis in May, it is the city's way of recognizing and honoring a chosen country and an excuse to get drunk and eat roasted pig flesh. And then cap it all off with a symphony on the banks of the Mississippi River. You have to class up the event somehow, and nothing says class but the Memphis Symphony Orchestra playing Mozart to legions of drunken rednecks, frat boys, and families from the 'burbs venturing into the big, bad city. I say that out of jealousy, as I will probably be sunning myself with a glass of chardonnay on my tiny patio and longing for a taste of 'cue when they start to sing, "Ole Man River."

One year, my brother attended with several of his close friends, and they were able to get coveted tickets inside one of the competitor's tents, courtesy of friends of my parents. Drinking and eating ensued, and given the pictures I have seen and stories I have heard, more drinking than eating occurred. During the night, someone was making the rounds to the tents dressed in a pink pig costume, which looking back, I find to be a bit grotesque, sort of like Porky Pig being named the official ambassador of a festival celebrating the slaughter and devouring of his people. Given that Memphis in the month of May tends toward the warm and humid, I can only imagine how uncomfortable the person inside the costume must have been. Also, May can be a rainy month, and those who venture down to the event know to wear comfortable shoes and clothes they don't mind getting dirty (except for some women, who insist on open toe sandals and their best summer short/top combo, it is an occasion, you must remember). The pig, or rather the pig costume, looked to have been on the receiving end of a puddle, or perhaps in drunken revelry, the wearer decided to get down in some slop. Whatever the reason, one of Joel's friend eyed the pig and very blandly stated, "That is one dirty ass pig." That statement became a catch phrase of our group of friends, and sometimes, in the middle of a conversation someone would randomly drop the catchphrase and chuckles would ensue.

In the past ten years, I have been unable to look at anyone in a costume of that nature, whether it be a team mascot (sorry San Diego Chicken), a company mascot, or a costumed character from a children's show or a cartoon and not be transported back to a hot Memphis night with a bunch of my friends, listening to them tell me the story of the dirty ass pig. SO, maybe, just maybe, one day when Lucas is old enough and he asks me why I never took him to see the Easter Bunny, I may just tell him the Easter Bunny is a dirty pig.

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