Fuck You Friday: “People Suck”

Written by Music, Popdose

Not just a pig, but a pig with two wooden legs.

There’s a joke I heard from a former colleague of mine which goes like this:

A man is vacationing somewhere in the Midwest, and decides to go swimming in a lake a few miles from where he’s staying. A few minutes into the swim, and he’s already halfway across the lake. Suddenly, he gets his foot caught in the knotted roots of a dead tree at the bottom of the lake. He can’t extract himself, and the harder he struggles, the more he seems to get trapped up within the roots. Finally, out of sheer exhaustion, he seemingly gives himself to the God of the lake, and starts to sink under the surface.

Just as his head goes under though, he feels a grip on the back of his neck, and is yanked with tremendous force away from the tree and back above the water. The man finds himself slowly being dragged back to land by the unknown rescuer. Finally, upon reaching the beach, he is able to look up and see who miraculously saved him, and discovers….a pig.

But not just a pig, but a pig with two wooden legs.

Almost at the same time as this discovery is made, a farmer emerges from the woods, and calls to the pig: “Ha! There you are Bernie! Found another one, did’ya?”

The rescued man, still panting, but able to start speaking again, asks the farmer “Is this your pig?”

“Yup,” says the farmer. “Quite a pig, Bernie is!”

“I’ll say!” Exclaimed the man. “He just saved my life! I was drowning, and he made his way out to the middle of the lake, grabbed me, and dragged me back to the shore. All by himself.”

“Not surprising.” replied the farmer. “You’re far from the first he’s rescued here. He’s saved my own life a couple of times in fact. Once he pulled me out of a burning barn. Another time he pushed me away from an oncoming thresher after I fell off my tractor.”

“That is amazing!” said the man. “Is that how he lost his legs? From the thresher?”

“Nope.” replied the farmer, packing his pipe and lighting it.

“Well, if it’s alright for me to ask, how did he end up with the wooden legs?” wondered the man.

“Sir, you see” answered the farmer, taking a pull from his pipe, “a pig that special…you don’t eat all at once.”

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If there’s anything the human race enjoys more than heroes, it’s that little feeling of superiority when those deemed heroes get taken down a peg. If we can’t do what someone else can, we’re just as likely to try to debunk or poke holes in their story as we are to celebrate it. In fact, we’ll quickly vacillate between the two extremes. We might feel guilty after we’ve “killed” them, either literally or metaphorically, but that usually doesn’t stop the amount of schadenfreude that creeps up from inside of us. If we can’t rise, it’s often a half-decent substitute to see others fall back down to our level-maybe even below it

In all honesty, most of us don’t want to attack all  heroes–just those who don’t expressly agree with our worldviews. That’s why Reagan is still a god to the right, and FDR to the left. Yes, we recognize that there are some amazing people and things out there. That’s why we don’t all want to eat all of them at once.

But eventually, we all still do.

Toxic Narcotic – “People Suck” (click song title to open YouTube link in a new window)