Tuesday, March 13, 2007


A simple life

It is not a well known fact but there was a period of time when I gave up the rat-race and opted, instead, for a simpler and, I hoped, less stressful existence. In 1984 with Thatcher at the height of her considerable powers, I felt that I had achieved quite enough and headed for the sticks.

I found myself in Suffolk with a farmhouse, a farmhand and pharmacy's supply of uppers and downers - I was absolutely positive I was going to enjoy this time even if it killed me. Alas it killed me.

It was one Thursday afternoon and we had just finished slaughtering a pig. Michael had kicked the pig for twenty minutes but this had had almost no impact on it. I threw part of a fence at the pig and then a car jack from a 1978 Ford Cortina - again, nothing. Eventually we drove the whole Cortina at the pig and that did the job. In celebration we popped what we believed were MDMA pills and treated each other to a lapdance.

My lapdance from Michael was pleasant enough and when it was my turn to dance for him I tried my best to make it as sexy as possible; easier said than done when you are in your late sixties. Anyway, something blew in my heart and I hit the floor at roughly the same speed the Cortina had hit the pig. Wheezing and snuffling I begged Michael for help but by now he was too far gone to be of any assistance. What to do?

I looked over at the pig... he was snorting his last breaths. A bad writer might have made more of the symmetry of our positions. I crawled toward the pig and grasped his head pulling my ancient, spasming frame to him. I pushed my mouth to his and took the animals final few breaths as it's legs kicked against my chest starting my heart once more.

I have never had a chance to thank that pig before but I'd like to thank him now. Thank you pig. You were delicious.

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