December 26, 2011
By: Craig Haugaard, Grain Origination Manager

A number of you have been asking me what my slow cousin Jimmy has been doing lately and so with the markets closed today in honor of Christmas I thought this would be a great time to catch you up to date on Jimmy.

I should probably start by telling you that Jimmy never married which is probably a blessing in a number of ways and to a number of people.  As a result of being single his house keeping does not meet some of the standards that society seems to deem necessary.  This has become even more obvious lately as he finally has the pet of his dreams.  Well, almost has the pet of his dreams.  For years now he has wanted a pot bellied pig.  In spite of that he never seemed to have enough cash on hand to get the deal done.  A couple months ago he called me up and said, “Cwaig, those pot bellied pigs awe $1,500 dollaws but I can get a Duwac for a lot less and if he is a cwappy pet I can eat him.”

At that point there was no talking sense into him and within a week he had purchased a Duroc and moved it into the house.  He jerry rigged an automatic waterer in the corner of his living room so “Dan the Duwac” can get a drink when-ever he so desires.  When I pointed out that the hog wasn’t house broken his response was, “Heck Cwaig some days I’m not eithew.”  Hard to argue with that.

Anyway, as luck would have it this year was Jimmy’s turn to host Christmas at his house.  This is a dicey proposition on a good day and with Jimmy now occupied with his new pet I had a sense of foreboding going into this event.

We got to his house to find that Jimmy had decided that the automatic waterer could double as a Christmas tree holder.  Unfortunately it didn’t seem too stable as evidenced by the broken Christmas ornaments scattered across the floor.  It was hard to tell if the tree had fallen over of its own volition or if “Dan the Duroc” had knocked it over in the quest to get a drink of water.

It was also clear that Dan was not housebroken yet although Jimmy had tried to cover the smell by spraying cedar air freshening spray all over the house.  I am not sure how many cans he went through although I did count five on them in the garbage can. 

The biggest surprise of the day was Dan himself.  Jimmy had hung a battery pack around his neck and then run a string of Christmas lights off of it which he had duct taped to Dan.  Beside the broken Christmas ornaments and the tree propped up in the hog waterer it was the only decoration in the house but I had to admit it was unique and very fitting considering whose house I was in. 

We placed our presents under the tree and in no time at all Jimmy announced that dinner was ready.  He had gone all out and prepared a baked ham, potatoes and gravy, lefsa, the whole nine yards.  We were in the kitchen dishing up plates when we heard a commotion out in the living room.  My wife went out to see what was going on and I heard her yell which brought the rest of us running.  The freakin pig was “investigating” the presents.  Wrapping paper was torn off and presents had been chewed on.  Jimmy grabbed a hog whip that was laying on the coffee table and swatted Don across the snout.  This caused Don to run into the dining room but in the excitement of trying to figure out which gifts were trashed and which were still OK we kind of lost track of him.  When that excitement died down we headed back to the kitchen where we all learned, if we didn’t already know it, that hogs will eat baked ham and potatoes.  Jimmy was so mad that he couldn’t speak.  He just stood there red-faced, shaking and muttering something about “powk chops.”

Long story short, most of the gifts were trashed and we ended up eating frozen burritos that Jimmy warmed up in his micro wave.  Dan the Duroc was banished to the garage and we spent the rest of the evening without his joyous presence. 

Early this morning Jimmy called me up and said, “Cwaig, would you like to come ovew for powk chops next Sunday?”  He didn’t say it but I don't think my slow cousin Jimmy has a pet pig anymore.