When I was in high school pep rallies were made up of dancing cheerleaders, cocky football players, squawking students, and knee deep confetti, most often made out of newspaper and more often made by me. Pep rallies were always centered around an upcoming game, usually against an in-town rival. Boy, have times changed.
Just yesterday a neighboring town’s combination middle/high school held a “fundraiser” pep rally. These fundraiser pep rallies have become quite common in our schools in recent years and are popular during Red Ribbon Week and United Way campaigns. Students pay a dollar or two to attend and for an hour or so they are entertained in the school’s gymnasium with whatever types of entertainment the school dreams up. Yesterday, Greenwood School District 52, in Ninety-Six, South Carolina held one of these pep rallies. As entertainment, they brought in a 60 pound pig, placed that pig in a hay filled pen inside the gymnasium, greased the pig, and chased her around trying to catch her. It was all fun and games until the shit hit the fan.
On Friday morning, my Facebook news feed was all ablaze. There were posts and re-posts and posts of re-posted posts detailing one woman’s account of the pig-catching party – the one that I will now and forever refer to as #piggate. I haven’t seen Facebook this pissed since Obama was re-elected. The woman’s account told the story of a “pig rodeo” where the terrified sow was chased around its pen and when caught was “lifted shoulder height and spiked like a football” with its head hitting the floor numerous times. The woman goes on to say that children attending the event were so horrified by the pig’s squeals of “terror and pain” that many were crying. To make matters worse, according to the woman, the children were held hostage in the school’s gymnasium and made to watch the animal be tortured by teachers who are obviously coldblooded and sadistic. And by the end of the event, according to the woman, the pig could no longer walk because its legs were seemingly broken.
Are you fucking kidding me?
Maybe I have too much faith in human nature, but you want me to believe that you have a gymnasium filled with enough teachers to staff not one, but two schools, and not one of them felt the need to stop the abuse they were witnessing? These adults are watching a 60-pound pig being “spiked like a football” and no one feels compelled to stop what is happening? Not a single one? You also want me to believe that upset students “were made to stay and listen to the animal being tortured”? Apparently Ninety-Six schools only employ cruel, merciless, insensitive education grads who take pleasure in petrifying young children.
Facebook bought the story like it was a Walmart Black Friday special. My little corner of Facebook is in an uproar over the tale. All day long people have made phone calls to local media, television stations, animal rescue groups, and PETA. Half of the people raising hell about the ordeal are parents of children who attend the school where the pep rally took place. And they paid for their children to attend. My guess is that parents received a letter from the school about the “pig rodeo” a few days in advance as a reminder to send money to school with their children. They paid for their children to attend the “pig rodeo” and now they are mad their children were subjected to the “pig rodeo.”
The other half of the people who are offended eat bacon. Those people should really shut the fuck up.
But what they are upset about is the story the woman told, not about what happened in that gymnasium. Granted, the story is gruesome and upsetting. The problem is the story simply isn’t true. What happened in that gymnasium is nothing more than what you see at your local county fair and nothing close to what you would see at the local meat packing plant. The school’s gymnasium wasn’t turned into a damn killing floor. There were no electric prods, no blood-soaked boots, no scalding tanks of water. There was no pig spiking, tortured children, malicious teachers, or broken pig legs. There were teachers and students chasing a greasy pig inside of their school’s gymnasium and that’s it. No one was making bacon, folks. No one was making bacon.
As it turns out, the pig is just fine. A check-up with a local veterinarian today found that she’s in great health. She’ll live the rest of her days at a local rescue farm where they’ve already given her a name – Charlotte. No doubt she’ll be well taken care of there – in Hog Heaven, I’ll even venture to say.