ATLANTA -- Yesterday I called my friend at Emory University and he assured me that Atlanta is not the sort of place where one expects to see a pack of wild hogs running loose in the streets. He's a biologist so he should know about hogs and stuff, particular right there in his own town and all. But lo and behold what scientists don't know about hogs you could just about squeeze into the Georgia Dome because right smack dab in Hotlanta they've got themselves a veritable infestation of hogs and that starts with 'h' and that stands for Holy Jeezus it's a Peeg!
Reuters' David Beasley writes that:
"Wild pigs have descended on a suburban Atlanta neighborhood where they are scaring children, making a general nuisance of themselves, and acting as they if they own the place."
Rude, right? But then they're pigs so...
Mind you, we're not talking about some cute little pot-bellied porker from Margaret Mitchell's Peachtree Street Pilates Studio and Ornamental Pet Boutique. [Note to Atlantans: There is no such place but there darn well ought to be.] No sir. We're talking about several hundred pounds of big, bristly boar and sow flesh -- a snorting, stamping, hoof-borne feral menace that can go through a summer garden like Grant took Richmond.
I wonder why, it being the South and all, someone hasn't got a rope? Lassoing pigs shouldn't be much of a challenge. But then what do I know? I wouldn't know a pig if it snuffled my privates. Make of that what you will.
Whatever they aim to do about their hog problem in Atlanta, it remains to be done. It doesn't seem as though anyone's even got a plan. Not so in Dallas, where a cantankerous critter situation of a different sort just got solved for once and for all, by golly.
At the Dallas Zoo lives a 430-pound adult male gorilla who will not play nicely with his own ilk. According to Zoo officials, Patrick gets along well with humans but not with other gorillas. Despite repeated attempts at socialization during his 18-year residency, he has shown no improvement and is routinely hostile, particularly to females, having bitten one and spurned others confounding zookeepers' hopes that he might breed.
Said Patrick, "Yes, I bit them, but in my defense they were all ugly. Try being me for one day!"
Naturally they can't have that sort of thing at the Dallas Zoo, so officials have decided to do what one always does with an ornery, misogynist, violent gorilla -- they're sending him to South Carolina. It seems the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia is "known for working with gorillas with behavior problems."
Poor Patrick. They'll have him well-behaved and genteel in no time. He'll be wearing a houndstooth jacket and having dinner with his soulmate and asking about her day and holding the rope steady for her to climb and rubbing her calves and assuring her that tire swing doesn't make her look fat and there will be much rejoicing since, after all, a gorilla really should have manners, should he not? Any gorilla in this day and age should look good in a faux turtleneck, know how to slice kiwi fruit, know which side the salad fork goes on and not be afraid to talk about his feelings, but not too much, because he should be a really good listener too. "So tell us, Patrick, what qualities do you think are important in a partner?"
Poor Patrick. Poor, poor Patrick.