Speaking of Pig Roasts…

As stated in the previous post, we had a most excellent time at Howard and Ellen’s pig roast. Howard has a tried and true technique for the ribs and they did not disappoint. Tender, juicy, just the right amount of sauce – YUM! With all the delicious side dishes, there was enough food to feed an army. The folks who were staying over and heading to the next rally will be eating leftovers all week long. Lucky them!

I am not too worried about getting on the scale when we get home; we don’t eat like that normally and should be fine. My pants still fit, so that is a good sign. Once we got on the road, the metabolism rev-up takes over and next thing you know, we’re hungry again.

Attending the pig roast made me think back to last year, when we spent the holidays with our good friend Jon in Naples, Florida. He has a lovely place that he is busy transforming into a paradise. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and reveled in the sunshine, good food and company.

Now Jon is a sweet and good hearted soul and would do anything for anybody. Sometimes that can lead to some interesting circumstances. When we arrived last year, he introduced us to a guy who had been helping around the place, mainly chainsawing and helping transform the orange grove into the pool area. Nick was a down-on-his-luck type who had a little trouble staying sober. Well, actually, a lot of trouble. Every time I saw him, he was so drunk I couldn’t believe he was still standing. Jon had told him we were coming for Christmas and asked him to respect our time together and our space. Nick had a job, so that kept him out of trouble during the day, but it didn’t take long after work for the Twisted Tea to take effect.

Nick worked for a Mexican butcher down the road and desperately wanted to be part of the festivities and contribute something. So, with Jon’s OK, he decided he was going to roast a whole pig. Since it was Christmas, he wasn’t working, so he must have gotten started on the sauce early. He was gone most of the day and we enjoyed the sun and conversation on the patio. In the early afternoon, I was in the bus which was parked in front of the house when a truck pulled up with Nick. Nick can’t drive and definitely shouldn’t!

First sign of trouble: He and another guy emerged from the truck and took a huge board with the roasted pig and vegetables out of the bed. The other guy helped Nick carry it to the porch. I could see that Nick was seriously wasted, so I called Jon from the bus to warn him. He didn’t answer, so I just decided to let things play out.

I watched while Nick tried to manage the board with the pig on his own and things went downhill fast. Piecing the story together afterward with Jon and Jim, it seems that Nick came out to the patio and asked for help with the pig. Jon firmly explained that the pig was his deal and Nick would have to cope with it on his own. Nick came back out and after dropping the pig and most of the other stuff on the porch floor, then gathering it all back up again, disappeared inside. I decided right then that there was NO WAY I was going to eat any of that poor pig.

Everything calmed down and I think Nick went to sleep it off. No sign of the pig when I went back to the patio. We spent some more lovely time in the sun talking and having a wonderful day. Every Christmas should be so relaxed and laid back. Jon is an excellent chef and we knew we would be in for a treat for Christmas dinner, pig or no pig.

After a while, I started to get hungry. It was early afternoon and we had several more hours before dinner, so I decided to have some of Jonathan’s rosemary chicken salad for lunch. We are definitely on a “help yourself” basis in each other’s homes, so I went to the kitchen to fix myself a little snack. I had a taste of the chicken salad the day before and my mouth was watering just thinking about it.

I opened the refrigerator door and OH MY GOD! Apparently Nick had solved his pig problem by taking the entire animal, sans plate or wrapping, and shoved the whole thing onto the top shelf of Jon’s refrigerator! It was staring me in the face; I couldn’t believe my eyes! Blood was dripping everywhere, all over the frig and the floor. I yelled out, “JONATHAN!” and he and Jim came running.

What a mess! We all flew into clean-up mode. Jon and I sloughed the poor pig off the top shelf into a garbage bag and Jim and I proceeded to clean the entire refrigerator and its contents and the floor, all covered with yucky pig juices. Jon went to clean up the porch where the initial pig drop occurred; it was also a sticky disaster. Of course, Nick was nowhere to be found.

We made fast work of the cleanup and managed to save all the real food in the process. Now Jon is a very neat and tidy guy and his frig wasn’t dirty at all (before the pig, that is) but when we got done, it was spotless. Pine Sol is great stuff. By the time we wrapped it up, we all just had to laugh; it was so ludicrous and ridiculous. I felt bad for Jon; extending his help to this guy just to have him pull a stunt like that. Almost a year later, the image of that pig in the frig is still seared onto my eyeballs.

After a while, I recovered enough to have my chicken salad snack and Jonathan told Nick that he had to go the next day. I know he felt bad because it was Christmas but what can you do when somebody repays your hospitality by being a boneheaded drunk and engineering a disaster like that?

We did have a wonderful dinner of turkey breast, dressing and lots of delicious sides. Later that evening, I was in the kitchen and Nick appeared like an apparition around the corner of the room, watching me in a sort of creepy and very drunk way. He said something but there was no way I could understand what he was saying. I turned and said to him, “I can’t believe you did that; that is the most uncivilized thing I have ever seen.”

I’m not actually sure that was true, but it is way up there on the list of uncivilized things I have seen. Later that evening Nick went out on his bicycle and had a BWI. He managed to break his glasses. The next day he and the dog got picked up and rode off into the sunset. Now he is somebody else’s problem.

The saddest part is that the poor pig gave its life for nothing.

2 comments on “Speaking of Pig Roasts…

  1. What a time that was! And……..the adventure continues. You can assure all your friends who might like to pay me a visit that things have settled into a much more civilized routine here with no frightening food encounters on the horizon. Wendy, no wonder you’ve got such a readership following. You’re a very funny and entertaining storyteller. Thanks for sharing a reminder and slice of life here in paradise, pigs and all. xo

  2. quite a story glad I wasn!t Nick, I have been like that though. Nice that everyone helped clean up. Good reason To stay sober, Cardinals play on Wed…

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