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.
“Oscar,” they declared, “this should be you.”
“Why so?” I asked.
“Watch this clip.”
“Turn that off and tell me why. You’re still capable of non-electronic communication, I presume.”
“Well,” said the lady while her husband grinned like a coyote, “we just wanted you to see how this incredible Texas hog chases big steers back into the herd every time they stray. You could do that for us.”
“You don’t have a herd.”
“We could get one,” the husband pronounced.
“There’s no room in this constricted canyon.”
“We’re looking to buy a spread near Malibu and live like Texas ranchers,” he said.
“I’m thirteen years old, which in pig time makes me a senior citizen, just like you two. I don’t want to chase cattle.”
“Where’s your porcine pride?” he said. “Squeaky’s only two and already a bodyguard. Won’t let any bulls get near her man. And when people drive up to his house and see four hundred pounds of wild hog, they don’t dare leave their pickups. You weigh a hundred less and never scare anyone.”
“Even so, Oscar,” said the lady, “if you do a decent job, we’ll buy you pepperoni pizza just like Squeaky gets.”
“If I’d been eating pizza instead of hog slop all these years, I could’ve perhaps replicated at least some of Squeaky’s duties.”
“We should tell you, Oscar,” said the husband, “that if necessary we’ll pay six figures for Squeaky and bring her on out here.”
“Go ahead. Any young hog already four hundred pounds’ll soon weigh twice that and won’t be able to move.”