To the Editor:
OK, so I thought I had seen everything, but apparently I was mistaken. This morning I am innocently flipping through the pages of The Times over my morning coffee when I am stopped dead in my tracks by the headline phrase “Swine & Dine.”
At first, granted, I thought that one of the newly renovated theaters was having a Vincent Price retrospective, but on closer examination I realized that I was looking at the Vineyard’s Up-Island version of an afterschool special, complete with all the blood and gore of a Freddy Krueger movie.
Swine & Dine is apparently our Island’s way of helping our kiddos connect with their food on a more — how can I put this — personal level through interactive activities reminiscent of the Black Dahlia Murders. Here is the schedule of events:
Tuesday, Oct. 27: “Participants are welcome to gather eggs and partake in a farm slaughter of Large Black Berkshire pigs. The afternoon will include a demonstration of primal and butcher basic cuts.”
Really? Little Suzie is going to start out the morning gathering sparkly Easter eggs and finish off the day slaughtering a piglet? Who on earth is the social planner, Eva Braun? But it gets better.
Thursday, Oct. 29: “A demonstration of the breakdown of a whole hog. Head cheese will be cooked, cuts will be deboned, and participants will begin to cure and make stocks and lard.”
OK, so let me get this straight. Johnny will complete his father-and-son three-legged race, and then learn how to break down a whole hog? Where does this happen, at the local House of Horrors? Oh my God, what are we talking about here, people? But let’s continue.
Friday, Oct. 30: “Grinding techniques and brining will be covered, along with the preparing of meats for smoking for the family-friendly Swine & Dine Local Pig Out.”
In case our little ones have missed anything, on Friday we will be teaching them to grind down any remaining parts of Wilbur the pig into smithereens and to brine the remaining Wilbur-goo before sitting down to a good old-fashioned family-friendly “Pig Out.” What are the non-family-friendly “Pig Outs” like? Jonestown?
Now look, I’ve lived here for 16 years, and am no stranger to our local oddities and quirks. One time, I kid you not, I attended an up-Island potluck where they actually expected me to eat a bowl of weeds with lemon vinaigrette, and where the soup tureen had a full-grown hydrangea shrub growing out of it, but isn’t this a bit much, even for us? Oh, I even turned a blind eye the year those up-Island summer tots had a car wash to raise money on their $50 million compound using bottles of Evian water and imported French soap made by chanting Franciscan nuns, but this was shocking even to my jaded Island senses.
I mean, after this, what is next? A Christmas interactive village called Gingerbread and Genocide?
I just don’t know what this this world is coming to, and I thank God every day that I am gay and don’t have to worry about raising kids in such a bizarre and uncertain environment.