Lord knows I could've used a break this morning. I was on my way hustling to another out-of-the-way store, like I've been doing for weeks now, doing whatever I can to make myself indispensable to the company. I've been working for the same company for over 20 years now, working my way up from short order cook to Vice President of Human Relations. The chain has grown from three stores to over 40 during my time here. But now the boss, an otherwise great guy, wants to bring in some hotshot young B-school grad from Jersey to run the show. I hear through the grapevine that he's from the 'trim costs wherever possible to maximize profit' school of thought. He wants to go with cheaper, lower quality food sources. The only thing that separates us from Denny's is that our food is actually edible. He also doesn't see value in experienced managers. It's an easy job. Somebody younger and cheaper can do it. Hell, I barely graduated a small college, but it's easy to see that this B-school A-hole has his head up his ass.
Anyhow, this has me worried. I've got three kids, and a fourth on the way. Kids three and four are really gonna save this marriage, I tell ya. My wife is a public high school English teacher and I sure as hell don't make a fortune. I've got great people skills, but in this economy, who's going to hire a 50-something HR guy who's only ever worked in one organization? How the hell are we going to support this family if I don't have this job?
And so I find myself on the road early this morning, making the trip to one of our most distant stores, just to check in with the staff, make sure everything is okay, check the books, give some pointers to the new kid, say hello to some of the regular customers — all those things that keep a store running, employees and patrons happy — you know, all those things any young, inexperienced kid could do.
Anyhow, the trek to this store requires me to drive through miles and miles of farmland. And not just any farmland — this is the heartland surrounding the fair grounds for the Big County Farm Show. People here take their livestock seriously. So as I'm driving down this old country road, half asleep, my mind in a million other places, I catch something out of the corner of my eye. Before I can slam on my brakes, I hear a thump. I hit something, but at this point, I had NO idea what it was. I stopped and got out of my old Buick Century. A couple hundred yards back up the road there is a very big, very dead pig. I hit a fucking pig. The car wasn't that badly damaged, thank God, just a little dent and really not even any blood. I reversed back to the pig to check it out. Like I have time for this. I need to get to the store. But I couldn't just leave it there. I was hoping somebody would come along, so I waited for a few minutes, and nobody did. It was early in the morning on a mostly desolate road, so I'm not sure what I was expecting.
There was, however, a farm in the distance. For whatever reason, I thought it would be a good idea to take the pig to the farm house. The pig was fucking HEAVY, but I managed to get it onto the hood of my car. I slowly drove toward the farm house, VERY slowly up the long dirt driveway. I got out and went up to the door, knocked, but nobody was home. I waited around like a dumbfuck for a while, but nobody answered the door and nobody came home. I didn't know what to do, so I slid the pig off my hood and left a note that simply said "Sorry about the pig, if it was yours." I wasn't really thinking — I probably should have left my name or contact info or something, but I just got back in my car and continued on my journey to work.
About a mile or two down the road, after a couple of turns onto other small country road, my mind again in a million different places, I see the flashing lights in my rear view mirror. What. The. Fuck. Although I would be lying if I said I wasn't trying to think of a pig joke that wouldn't get me thrown in jail. Anyhow, I pulled over, already giving up any hope of salvaging this day. The cop slowly walked up and we did the usual 'Can I see your license and registration,' 'Yes, sir, what did I do sir?' After a long pause, he said 'Sir, I pulled you over because you hit a pig a couple miles back.' I immediately got defensive, and said 'Yes, sir, I'm so sorry sir. I didn't see it on the road, and I tried to find somebody...' and the cop cut off my rambling. He said, 'Sir, did you know that pig had won the blue ribbon at the Big County Farm Show two years running?" For no real reason, because what do I really care about a blue ribbon pig, I felt really bad about this. Something in the sad tone of the cop's voice I guess. Anyhow, I replied "No sir, I didn't, I'm so sorry." But then something struck me as not quite right about this situation. I said to the cop, "Wait a second. Nobody was around, I took the pig up to the farm house, so it wasn't left on the road. I even forgot to leave my contact information. How the hell did you know it was me who hit the pig?" The officer replied:
"The pig squealed."