Monday, August 01, 2011

Pig vs. Pig: The Standoff

It's no secret that I liked taking pictures of animals back in my newspaper days (see here and here, for starters). For one thing, they never called to complain if you spelled their names wrong in the captions....

The call came in on the police scanner next to my desk in the newsroom of the El Reno Daily Tribune: a large pig was loose on Foreman Road. I don't remember if they called it a 10-54. That would be livestock on the highway; this was more residential.

I grabbed my camera, got in my car and raced to the scene (this is the very definition of a "slow news day"). Foreman Road was on the north side of town, kind of on the edge, but dotted with small houses.

And, suddenly, there was the porcine assailant:

My city-boy analysis told me that it was, indeed, a pig. Fairly large. Covered with mud.

It must have escaped from a nearby farm, and was making its way down the road, stopping occasionally to scratch an ear on a nearby telephone pole.

I hopped out of the car and started snapping pictures, hopeful that something weird might happen. Maybe someone would come running out of their front door and chase the pig with a frying pan. Maybe a dog would chase the pig. Any of those things would be good.

What I got was (almost) pure gold.

As I followed the pig down Foreman Road, an El Reno Police cruiser rolled up and stopped just ahead of me. The officer was the one who had been called to respond to the 10-54 (or whatever). I could see that he was preparing to get out of the car, when he looked in his side mirror and saw me - and my camera.

I could see the indecision. He knew that if he got out of the car anywhere near that pig, I would take dozens of pictures. He knew there was a great chance that the caption (or headline!) in the paper might say something like "Pig vs. Pig." Maybe even a bacon reference. And you know what: he was not wrong. That's exactly what I was thinking at the time.

So the officer did the only thing he could do. He slowly drove away.

The pig was last seen headed west on Foreman Road. He remained "at-large."

Postscript: You're darn right we ran those photos...but my eminently wise editor resisted the temptation of the "Pig vs. Pig" headline.


Friar said...

Perkins! Get in here!

TodBryant said...

Smith! It was Smith! I had forgotten until just now...