Porking Out in the Saddle - Bad News from the Palio dei Maiali

There was supposed to have been the Palio dei Maiali, where guys in medieval costume ride astride domesticated hogs for fame n’ glory to the finish line. Well, this year it was a NO GO! Unfortunately, the powers-that-be who grant permission for these sort of events (involving animals) denied the seal of approval. ~ Rubber Slippers in Italy

I love pigs. Ed McMahon never tired of telling Johnny Carson how smart they were. Now somebody, or a committee of somebodies, has decided that they know what’s best for the pig.

How do we humans deal with our mountains of arrogance? Shouldn’t we be ashamed? I mean, every time someone tries to tell you that God trumps science, they end up saying something like, “God doesn’t like it when people think they know stuff like gravity…” I mean, how is it that a supreme being is so transparent, so easy to figure out, when your own seven year old (and the equation for gravity) baffles you entirely?

It’s like the preacher who says, “I spoke to God last night, and God told me he wanted a Mercedes. And then God spoke again and told me He wanted me to drive it!”

But somehow I don’t think the cure for such arrogance is to start on Pigs. How do we know they don’t like to be ridden by tough guys in medieval duds? When is the last time you saw a four year old playing horsey with his dad, and you slapped the kid aside the head with a newspaper before yelling, “stop exploiting your father!”

Which brings up real horsies. Why is it that horses become legendary (“America’s Hero!) after some midget in colorful pajamas rides him around a dirt track, slapping his ass with a stick the whole time? I mean, few people think of exploitation at the moment they’re laying a wreath of stinky roses around the baffled horse’s neck. Why is that?

I hope there’s a sagra left when I get back to Italy, or at least I hope that the exploitation watchers don’t clamp down on animals as food. Then there would be little reason to live. Besides, what would a pig be good for then? It’s not like they can pull a plow or operate a cash register you know.

Porking Out in the Saddle - Bad News from the Palio dei Maiali originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com , updated: May 16, 2007 © .


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