Apr 20
Pig’s Arse!
icon4 Apr 20th, 2009 | icon2 Bric-a-Brac |

Yesterday we went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. It was a lot of fun, we saw animal displays & woodchopping, ate too much food, and so on. One event, however, stands out above all others. I am talking about the racing and diving pigs.

I was very excited to hear that there would be diving pigs at the show. It has always been my dream to see a pig dive from a great height into a shallow body of water. And I have no ethical concerns – surely the pigs wouldn’t dive if they didn’t enjoy it, right?

Of course, human nature being what it is, the diving pigs are a huge crowd puller, and one of the most popular events at the show. Long queues form an hour before each exhibition, and in fact we were lucky to get in at all. The audience was crushed into the small arena. I sat cross-legged on the ground in the blazing midday sun along with dozens of others unfortunate enough to miss out on a seat.

Before the pigs came out to do their daredevil stunts we had to sit through the warm-up act. I forget the guy’s name now, but he was a somewhat grizzled singer-guitarist who chugged his way through a couple of toe-tappers (“See See Rider” and “Midnight Special”) with the aid of a backing tape. Talk about padding! I counted three separate guitar solos in the first number alone before I momentarily blacked out. I don’t want to contemplate how this guy feels when he looks in the bathroom mirror in the morning. “Is this what my life has become? Opening act for a diving pig.”

The racing pigs were next on the bill. A U-shaped sawdust track, about 25 metres long was the course for this display of porcine speed. Each section of the audience was given a pig to cheer for, so all my hopes were resting on Pig #1. After a poor start from his inside barrier, Pig #1 clung to the rail and hammered down the finishing straight to win by a snout.

The diving pigs were the headlining act, and so were last to perform. I’m sure the rest of the crowd, like me, were on the edge of their seat (those who were lucky enough to have a seat). Soon we would witness the absolute zenith of animal aerobatics, a plethora of pirouetting pigs, the Greg Louganis of the barnyard.

Let’s just say I was underwhelmed. Two pigs waddled out to the end of a gantry and tumbled into a small pool a few feet below. The first one looked decidedly freaked out by the whole affair, but the lure of food a few feet away was more powerful than its fear of a watery death. The second pig didn’t even pause before its jump, clearing most of the width of the pool in one leap.

Exciting as it was, it did not live up to the blurb on the Easter Show’s website, which promised that Smokey the diving pig would jump from a “platform 4.5 metres high”. As you can see from the video below, the platform is barely above head height, and the pool is only a few feet below that. Those lying bastards.

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