By Baxter Black: PNT columnist
Many of us took a meats course in college or have dressed wild game and have a basic understanding of how it gets from the pasture to the plate.
Harry is not one of us, in that regard. Thirty years ago he and two fellow “city-boy” college students embarked on a venture to add pork to their larder.
“We’ll buy a pig at the livestock auction,” said Harry. “Then we’ll butcher it and have enough meat to get through the winter.”
With the help of a shrewd local sale barn operator they managed to purchase a 600-pound aged sow for a mere 10 cents a pound. A spectacular bargain, the auctioneer had exclaimed. Harry was thrilled.
As soon as the cash had exchanged hands our boys faced their first dilemma — how to get her in the back of his dad’s old station wagon.
Struggling to contain the beast with ropes proved futile. She could neither be pulled, pushed or lifted.
IDEA! The ubiquitous answer to all restraint — Duct tape!
Amidst the screaming and gnashing of teeth, front and hind feet were taped together. Harry straddled a narrow ramp with the back of dad’s station wagon to load the hog. She wouldn’t roll so the resourceful trio moved her end-to-end like you would a chest of drawers filled with lead ingot.
When Ms. Hog eventually loaded she dropped the frame down on the rear tires so it looked like a low-rider fixing to jump the border wall.
Awash in squealing and pungent porcine perfume they debarked to the intended harvesting place. They had considered and discarded the dormitory shower, the dean’s driveway and the fountain in front of the sub. They wound up north of town at one of the boy’s uncle’s cabin on the lake. Using an apple and a .22-pistol, Harry humanely euthanized the sow while she was still inside the station wagon.
The cutting and wrapping process was worthy of Eskimos attacking a beached beluga. Using a box cutter, two dull knives and a carpenter saw they managed to slice it into two large pieces … front and back.
This is where his story got vague. He said they skinned it, which would be like peeling the paint off a submarine. The meat was reduced to seven big pieces the size of a truck tire, which they took back home and froze.
A week later they resurrected the meat. Using a saw and a diagram from the Safeway meat counter, they tried to cut the frozen chunks into the shape of cuts they recognized; like a pork chop, sausage, barbecue rib and knuckles.
According to Harry, they never could find the ham or bacon, so they concluded that these cuts appeared only in male pigs.
Harry is still in agriculture … a commodity broker I think, but I believed his story. Of course, I believe WWE Monday Night Raw! Professional Wrestling and political promises are real too, but what do I know.