A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea
by Michael Ian Black, illus. by Kevin Hawkes
Here, in top comic form, Michael Ian Black warns against the temptation to mount a pig parade. “Like most children, you have probably thought to yourself at one time or another, I bet a pig parade would be a lot of fun.” Artist Kevin Hawkes makes the perfect match for this fantasy run amok. As the narrator (who is never pictured) describes the fun of “gathering a few hundred pigs together for a grand parade,” the illustrations depict the porkers as Looney Tunes–style characters hoofing it like the Music Man and his minions, complete with fireworks and a porcine float. But on the next page, when the narrator states, “The only problem is, a pig parade is a terrible idea,” the picture shows a realistic image of a sow sucking on a corn cob, eyes closed, slobber dripping from its maw. Next, the artist depicts the pigs on the trail of the parade route’s remnants—gum and lollipops stuck to their snouts (“They prefer to snuffle, which is kind of like walking with your nose”). Other reasons a pig parade is a terrible idea: they “absolutely refuse to wear majorette uniforms,” they don’t care about floats—not “Wilbur the Pig from Charlotte’s Web” floats, only “root beer floats, which they love” (the artist portrays them bellying up to a root beer bar). Hooves-down, the best reason against parading pigs has to be the music they play: “sad, sad, country music ballads with titles like ‘My Tears Are Wet ’Cause my Mud’s Gone Dry’ and ‘I Just Wanna Plop into This Bucket of Slop.’ ” Black and Hawkes take the natural characteristics of pigs and transplant them in a human context for maximum humorous effect. If you’ve never thought of putting a pig in a parade, you certainly won’t stop thinking about it now.