The Miss Piggy Sow Landslide of '78


This little piggy went to Jenn's house... This little piggy...

...Went to Jenn's house, too.

This little piggy should have stayed home, but in a desire to clean one's knicknack shelves while simultaneously regifting... it also went to Jenn's house.

And thus continued the parade o' regrettable pork in my possession.

Frankly, I blame Miss Piggy.

It all started at Halloween when I was about seven, when a current Muppet Mania dictated that I should make my holiday debut as that porcine puppet diva. A skinny, flat-chested porcine puppet diva, albeit. But, say... Miss Piggy spokesporking for Jenny Craig.

The costume itself consisted of a purple satin dress, long white gloves, a string of pearls, a faux-fur coat, a blond wig, and a homemade mask cleverly created by my parents of window caulking.

The window caulking mask inspired awe among my mother's friends and the Halloween Costume Contest Committee...

And gave off chemical fumes that probably will explain a lot about me to you guys.

For my younger readers, I should note that the 70s were not the days of Child Safety. There weren't things like child safety seats, Mr. Yuk stickers, lead testing, or child-proof caps.

If little Suzie flew through the windshield, drank Drano, ate lead paint chips, or got brain damage from inhaling caulking fumes for four hours on Halloween night... well...

That just meant you'd have to replace her with another one that looked just like her, and hope no one noticed.

Kinda like goldfish.

So that was the atmosphere of the celebrated window caulking pig mask. And with the widespread success of Mom's homemade costume under our snouts, I suppose it was really only to be expected that the image would eventually become confused somehow among my mother's friends and my own relatives.

The nice ladies, these friends of my mother, these aunts of mine, would sometimes send along little tokens to me at my birthday or Christmas. Thoughtful gestures mainly as a courtesy to Mom.

But seamlessly... silently... and without warning whatsoever.... my appreciation for the character Miss Piggy somehow collectively transformed in each of their minds into the idea that:

"Jenn loves pigs."

And, boy, once those little piggies dug their hooves in-- oh, there was simply no going back!

Suddenly, I started receiving plaster pigs... hand-painted pottery pigs... pig t-shirts.... and pig pens (seriously, it was a pen with a plastic pink pig glued to it that read "pig pen." A comedy classic).

Pigs for birthdays... Pigs from Santa... Even pigs in honor of the Chinese Year of the Pig! Yep- for a good three solid years, these fine ladies had me entirely covered in pig products for every special occasion.

There was the pig beach towel with the mysterious letters "MCP" printed on it. (Years later it dawned on me the letters were supposed to stand for "Male Chauvinist Pig.")

And then the most... unique... of all of my pig gifts-- a glass pig toothpick holder. Three playful little oinkers in different positions, and plenty of room to put a whole box of picks for my teeth...

Just the sort of thing all the cool kids were asking for!

Of course, now I see my pig collection really helped Mom's friends clear out a lot of unneeded stuff. So at least there was a plus side.

Still- by about year two of perpetual birthday livestock, I was pretty sick of pork. I was begging my mother, "Please-- can't you tell them I don't really like pigs? We're from New Jersey, fer Pete's sake-- not Walton's Mountain! I've never even seen a real pig!"

But Mom was understandably mum. It was too late. There was no way to say I wasn't pro-pig without hurting their feelings...

I would simply have to accept it whole hog.

The last of the Pig Posse arrived at my high school graduation... but thankfully, by that time the line of swine had dwindled down to the occasional pig sticker, the odd and assorted porkly tchotchkie.

It was with some relief, I admit, that I left for college as those little piggies stayed home.

And the moral of the story, my friends?

Well, I guess that there's no business like sow business...

And she who puts lipstick on a pig to become the sow who carries the silk purse, will undoubtedly be casting pearls before the swine really fly.

Er... something like that.

And thus ends this tail.

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Anybody ever decide you folks should collect something you weren't really into? I'd enjoy hearing about it.

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Humorbloggers
Humor-blogs
Bloggerella

27 comments:

Jami said...

haha... the only trophy I ever won was the time i dressed up as Miss Piggy, must have been in 1980 or 1981. my older sister told me to snort at the judges, i did, and i won first place.

and, yes, i've gotten a lot of pigs over the years as well!

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

No pigs for me....but this is a great story! oink oink!

Jenn Thorson said...

Jami- Ha, the snorting at the judges is priceless! Thanks for sharing your Piggy-related tale, too. People need to know that Miss Piggy does not equal pigs. In fact, I do believe Piggy herself would have been offended. :)

Olga- Well, gifting a bra has to be pretty difficult. I mean, what do you get the girl who has everything?

Tiggy said...

I wish my blog was called Piggyblog now.

Christine said...

She collected a couple of pigs, and then all of her friends and family started sending her so many pigs she was nearly drowning in swine... and if I remember correctly she had one of those "pig pens" LOL!

I have had trouble getting through to my oldest sister that I don't really WANT every star wars toy that comes down the pike, even though I do have a collection of them. But every christmas, she has to buy me some toy that I end up giving to my sons to play with instead of keeping it. She just doesn't get the idea of "collectible". :) OINK!

Jenn Thorson said...

Tiggy- A small adaptation of your avatar cartoon would probably work all right with that theme, too. :)

Christine- Oh, so I have a witness to the truth of the Pig Pen! Yay! (Though I'm sorry anyone else had to go through with that.)

Based on your Star Wars collecting, maybe collections are just things better not left to other people. Has anyone ever gotten you Star Trek stuff on accident, thinking it was the same thing?

Tony Single said...

Considering that my comic strip/blog is all about little piggies, it was a delight to read this hilarious post about... well, pigs. Bravo! :p

I know I used to collect Smurfs as a child. The only place they were sold were at BP service stations, so any time the family went on a long car trip, I'd demand and pout and sulk until dad finally caved and pulled into one. My parents put up with a lot of rubbish from me because of my addicti- erm, "love" of Smurfs! :p

ReformingGeek said...

It's pig's for my mom and she got me back by buying me little flute players starting when I was a teenager. I still get them occasionally. We've "kind of" called a truce as there is no more space to store them in our homes.

Such is the story with any collectible. The space runs out fast!

Jenn Thorson said...

Tony- Had I known, I could have sent my surplus-to-requirement pigs your way, where they could have lived happy together and free! :)

Reforming Geek- I can understand! As an adult, thankfully no one has decided I've needed some particular thing I'm not already collecting. I just couldn't live in Central Pork again!

Da Old Man said...

This just reminds me that everyone loves to buy me train stuff. I collect a very specific type, yet I have to pretend to be thrilled whenever I get anything train related.
It eventually reached the point where I begged everyone to please not buy me anything with stupid trains on it.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

My mom, aunt and grandma were all collectors. It was almost an insult to them if a person didn't collect some thing--remember there was no internet back then, so shopping for nic-nacs was the big deal.

I decided early on to go for Beatles' stuff. Next thing I know, I've Kiss dolls, Sonny and Cher, Mork and Mindy, R2D2 and C3PO.

We should trade some time.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Ah, yes! Because specific train stuff also means you want train ties, and train coffee mugs and train signs and... :)

Meg- AH, but I am pig-free now and livin' large! I've actually enjoyed seeing pics of your pop culture dolls. I had the Cher doll myself when I was a kid-- got it from a flea market.

ettarose said...

What a great story! I guess you know I collect miniatures, but a certain kind. Hard to explain. Anyways I have all kinds of stuff from gumball machines. I have kept most(a few) of them. Now I cringe when we are at the grocery store and have to pass those stupid machines coming and going.

Jenn Thorson said...

EttaRose- I didn't know about the miniature collection but I can only imagine facing the unending collection regularly cannot be easy!

Jessie said...

OMG. A towel with Male chauvinist pig...to a nine year old noless?
Thats hysterical.
Well,I dont collect things parsay But Ido tend to get geeky things.I did this to myself,because iliek geeky things,but Every Christmas Im guaranteed to get an MST3K volume*Not that im complaining),some form of Cd,This year it was Journey and QUEEN, Monty Python stuff, Rocky Horror Stuff,
Whatever the case may be.

That doesnt exactly equla popularity for the 14 year old.....



Hmm I should blog that,what do you collect.

I must ask,Were you in style and through all the circles with your pig tshirt?Cause that sounds so ubelievably cute

Jenn Thorson said...

Jessie- Yes, the towel, once I figured out what the initials stood for, seemed a little strange to me, too! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that. I suspect it was just cheap and had a pig on it.

You were asking about the pig t-shirt-- it didn't see the light of day outside my dresser drawers. As a kid I had a hard and fast rule that I did NOT wear any t-shirts with stuff printed on them, or else I would have been subjected to endless Freebie t-shirts my mother would have been getting with UPC symbols.

Now, of course, advertising t-shirts are really kitschy and cool, but in the 80s it just meant your parents couldn't afford actual clothes for you, and you'd be openly mocked.

I was kinda going for that sliding under the bully radar thing at the time. :)

Speedcat Hollydale said...

HA HAA!!! ... this so rings true in my life. I love golf, so people assume I like (and need) golf stuff, which I really do not.

My place is full of trinkets, pictures, statues, etc etc etc
I wish I could throw it all away but feel guilty because they were gifts. My next move will be a purging experience.

OK ... subcribing to comments now (((smile))) - saw your reply @Twitter

Jenn Thorson said...

Speedy- So you get not only items TO golf with, I'm guessing you also get... say... photo frames in a golf theme? Golf tee ties? What's been the most startling of the lot? (Morbid curiosity!)

Speedcat Hollydale said...

Equipment is too expensive, so I always get the frames, ties, tees, junky balls I would never use, and the classic of ALL golf gifts .... the tool and accessory pak. I went to play with my nephew last summer, and wore the giant plastic counter he gave me on my belt loop to count strokes.

You know what? He was so proud that I wore that contraption. THAT was the real gift, and the real meaning of family. I gave him a hug and told him it helped me out that day. BIG SMILES

.... and that's why I cannot get rid of the stuff.

Speedcat Hollydale said...

BTW ... "taking" in comments is my favorite. Much more personal than looking at HTML on my screen !!!

Speedcat Hollydale said...

TALKING .... not taking OOPS


HA HAAAAAAA !!!!!!!!!!!

Jenn Thorson said...

Speedy- AH, now when you get THAT kind of moment, that's priceless!

And I understood the "talking" :) I've seem some of the best, funniest conversations happen in comments. For folks not responding to them, really, they're missing out in a lot of fun and some excellent "conversations."

Jonny's Mommy said...

Alas I have no piggy tales. One time Brother gave me a frog. It was very nice, but other than that...no pigs or other collectors items that anyone thought I should have. Maybe some day you could sell all the pigs. There must be some other piggie collectors out there who are willing to make some bacon to bring home.

Ack. I tried.

Anyhooo....*oink* *oink*. Funny post!

Beetle said...

Ha ha! Yes, it happened to me too!

Just because I love (and have) cats, for some strange reason everybody started giving me cat ornaments, cat cards, cat everything! A lot of it was totally awful too! Cats everywhere, and I don't like ornaments at the best of times....but cats! I eventually had to tell everyone "No more cats!"

Jenn Thorson said...

Jonny's Mommy- Did Brother give you a REAL frog or a not-real frog? Being a brother, either seems possible.

Beetle- Oh yes, one of my friends has this problem, too. She would absolutely sympathize. I think it was an "I HEART my cat" t-shirt that pushed her over the edge. :)

JD at I Do Things said...

This same thing happened to me!

I don't remember why, but when I was in college, my mom crocheted me a big, pink stuffed pig. After that? Pig cakes, pig hats, pig T-shirts. It seemed rude to say, "Um. I don't really like pigs." Oh! And my mom even made bride and groom stuffed pig dolls for my wedding. I should blog about that . . .

Jenn Thorson said...

JD- Oh no! Not to you, too!! And the pig dolls for your wedding... my gosh. I feel for ya, sister.