Down to my filthy abode in a Calabasas canyon my owners last week did come, giddily shoving in my snout some overwrought device that bore the startling image of a wild female hog.
â€œOscar,â€ they declared, â€œthis should be you.â€
â€œWhy so?â€ I asked.
â€œWatch this clip.â€
â€œTurn that off and tell me why.Â Youâ€™re still capable of non-electronic communication, I presume.â€
â€œWell,â€ said the lady while her husband grinned like a coyote, â€œwe just wanted you to see how this incredible Texas hog chases big steers back into the herd every time they stray.Â You could do that for us.â€
â€œYou donâ€™t have a herd.â€
â€œWe could get one,â€ the husband pronounced.
â€œThereâ€™s no room in this constricted canyon.â€
â€œWeâ€™re looking to buy a spread near Malibu and live like Texas ranchers,â€ he said.
â€œIâ€™m thirteen years old, which in pig time makes me a senior citizen, just like you two.Â I donâ€™t want to chase cattle.â€
â€œWhereâ€™s your porcine pride?â€ he said.Â â€œSqueakyâ€™s only two and already a bodyguard.Â Wonâ€™t let any bulls get near her man.Â And when people drive up to his house and see four hundred pounds of wild hog, they donâ€™t dare leave their pickups. Â You weigh a hundred less and never scare anyone.â€
â€œEven so, Oscar,â€ said the lady, â€œif you do a decent job, weâ€™ll buy you pepperoni pizza just like Squeaky gets.â€
â€œIf Iâ€™d been eating pizza instead of hog slop all these years, I couldâ€™ve perhaps replicated at least some of Squeakyâ€™s duties.â€
â€œWe should tell you, Oscar,â€ said the husband, â€œthat if necessary weâ€™ll pay six figures for Squeaky and bring her on out here.â€
â€œGo ahead.Â Any young hog already four hundred poundsâ€™ll soon weigh twice that and wonâ€™t be able to move.â€