1. My parents have been together almost 50 years. They have an on-again off-again relationship. Probably because they're both pretty weird.
  2. They lived in Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh in the '70s. My dad was a librarian. My mom was a stay-at-home mother.
  3. Gradually, my dad became interested in subsistence living. He got a subscription to Mother Earth News and started keeping chickens in the backyard.
  4. My mom didn't like the chickens, both because they were a pain in the ass and because they were a harbinger of what was to come: a move to the country.
  5. One day, my dad brought home an enormous pig.
  6. My mother begged him to get rid of it. He refused.
  7. So my mother got some epoxy paint and used it to write "fuck" on the side of the pig.
  8. She then called the police. Pretending to be a neighbor, she complained about the pig and the foul language painted on it.
  9. She says she got switched around a lot and had to talk to a lot of people. Finally, she was connected with someone who told her that the only rule on the books regarding animals in the city of Pittsburgh was this: You can't ride a horse down the Boulevard of the Allies.
  10. So she was stuck with the pig. And with my dad. And with the eventual move to the country.
  11. Oh and my mom also says that while she was painting fuck on the side of the pig, their Russian neighbor came out and exclaimed, "Zat is a beautiful pig!"