Q: What do you call an unhappy pig?
I remember my Dad saying that he knew he had moved to the country when he went to the Pub and there was a man telling a joke about a constipated pig. The other night I kind of knew how he felt, the conversation I was trying to have with my friends was persistently invaded by a rather loud conversation about pigs. It stuck in my head so when I got home I jotted it down and the a few days later I inserted it into a story I started to write. Here’s the section:
“So that guy next door, is he the one that butchers pigs? I like the sound of that.”
Despite my best efforts, I find myself tuning in to the conversation. Turning, I find myself uncomfortably close to the speaker’s neck. He has that hairstyle where it’s clipped very close at the back, and it really doesn’t suit him. My vision is filled with stubble studded rolls of white flesh.
“Thing is” He continues, holding court from his barstool, “Some people don’t want a whole pig. I mean, that’s a lot of pork products”
His cronies nod at this gem of wisdom.
“So he goes round and finds maybe four people who want to share a pig!” He takes a self satisfied slurp of his beer, lager, I notice. I’m not surprised.
“I get yer now!” The wizened little man with on the next stool has bleached blonde hair, canvas deck shoes and a medallion. “He’s got that sign up outside his ‘ouse” He pauses, momentarily distracted by the barmaid’s cleavage as she leans over the bar. “I haven’t read it like” he finishes lamely.
“We got an extra freezer!” The barmaid clutches the empties and manoeuvres herself back behind the pumps.
“I had a chop!” The landlord shouts through by way of explanation. “I was like, what am I eating?”
“I haven’t been offered a pig!” The frizzy haired woman next to medallion man knocks back her gin and tonic with an air of resignation.
The characters are purely my invention, but the conversation is as I remember it. I felt quite satisfied, especially has I’d had a touch of writers block and felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, mainly because real life has been getting in the way again.
I think I’ve learned two valuable lessons.
First, I should get in the habit of making quick notes of things I see or hear, just like I will scribble down a quick sketch if I see a view I like and think it might make a good painting.
Second, I should spend more time in pubs.