I was out chatting with Mia Hamm and NTBD this morning and they shared some of their feelings about this time of year.
Mia began, "Well, we don't mind Christmas too much, although Thanksgiving is a little scary for us..."
"Worse for the turkeys though.", NTBD interrupted. We all nodded in agreement on this point. Thanksgiving is a dark day in the world of turkeys.
Mia stopped scratching herself against the fence post for a moment and said, " The holiday I really hate is New Years...both New Years Eve and New Years Day. I find them really depressing."
NTBD finished chewing in that open mouth, smacky way that pigs chew and acknowledged Mia's observation. " It is the Thanksgiving of pigdom. Worse than the 4th of July or Memorial day. Absolutely the worst holiday."
Now, I had a feeling where this was heading, but I played along. "So, why is this holiday worse than any other?", I asked as I wrestled with the easy open stringy thing on the feed bag. It broke off as usual.
Mia looked me in the eye as only a pig will do, "You are kidding, right?"
NTBD let the feeder cover drop with a clang. "And just what is on your New Year's menu this year...and EVERY year?"
I gave up on the easy open end of the feed bag and knifed it open...trying to avoid the pigs eyes as I dumped more feed into the feeder. " Uhm, well, we're going to have a huge tub of salad, monkey bread, baked potatoes, mac and cheese....slabs and slabs of pork spare ribs barbecued for hours over oak... ", my voice trailed off.
" We not only have a great sense of smell, we can hear pretty good too.", snorted NTBD.
Mia chimed in, "That's the New Year's Eve menu, what about the next day?"
"Well, it's traditonal to have Hopping John, rice, and collard greens." I threw the empty feed bag over the fence and waited for the inevitable question.
"Pray tell, what is Hopping John?", Mia stared at me.
"Yes, do tell", said NTBD.
" It's black-eyed peas ..." I began.
"...seasoned with HAM HOCKS!" interrupted NTBD.
"...and it is traditonal to sprinkle crumbled bacon atop each serving too!" tossed in Mia. " Ask him about the collard greens!"
"Yes, yes...what is the main seasoning in those collard greens?" asked NTBD.
"Ham hocks or good bacon" , I whispered.
" Well, there you go. Can't you see why we don't like this New Years holiday?"
" I'm sorry, I guess I was being pigheaded...oops!"
"WHAT?!" They both oinked in unison.
"I gotta go, I need to get the fire going and mix my special blend of barbecue spices." I backed out of the pen.
"Oh sure, sure...rub it in." said NTBD.