The hideous Pigman awoke from the depths of his den along the Mississippi River to the smell of sweet corn, his favorite nosh.
Though the nose that twitched curiously was a pig’s, his eyes and thus his soul were unsettlingly human.
As he peered from his hole, the Pigman saw a man, Jeff, gently cooing for him to emerge and accept the corn. A rare smile broke across the Pigman’s pink face, twisting it into an unholy contradiction of swine and man.
He crawled towards from his hole and reached his hoofed hands to the sweetcorn. “A friend?” Pigman probably thought to himself, “Pigman not alone?”
Dramatically interpreted, that’s how Jeff, a retired pipefitter in Otsego who preferred not to share his last name, describes his encounter with the mythical rare river Pigman. Their meeting produced the photo now matted, framed at 13”x10”, and for sale on Craigslist for $250.
“This may be the only picture in existence of a wild Pigman,” reads Jeff’s humble description.
Though Jeff has had a few damn ugly possums crawl up from the river in his backyard over the years, the Pigman photo is a joke, he admitted in a phone call.
“I don't remember if I bought [the Pigman photo] somewhere or if someone gave it to me as a gag gift, but it's been stored away here forever,” says Jeff, who found it again recently while cleaning the house. “It immediately cracked me up. The first thing I thought of is the Seinfeld episode with Kramer and the pig man. So I thought I'll put it on Craigslist, just for fun, and see what happens.”
So Jeff wrote up an ad and posted it on Craigslist.
“Some of my friends got a big hoot out of it ... most just thought it was so ugly they couldn't stand it … I told a girlfriend that it had crawled up on my deck when I took the photo, so now she’s afraid to go up on my deck,” he laughed.
There’s been a few semi-serious inquiries on the posting -- including one guy who wanted to buy the Pigman because he said it looked exactly like his father-in-law, who went missing along the Mississippi River a few years ago -- but what surprised Jeff most is how long the joke has gone on.
“I've sold quite a bit of stuff on Craigslist and you put it up and people will flag it for removal. You're never informed why, people thought it was priced too high or not in the right category or just being jerks. I’ve posted [the Pigman] in photography, general, and collectables -- and I even renewed it three times in each -- not a single time has been flagged,” he mused.
Following a reverse-Google image search thread through a few janky Chinese-language news sites on human and pig relations, the City Pages Pigman Internet Research Squad was able to track the the source of the Pigman to Australian hyperrealist artist Patricia Piccinini.
Jeff’s Pigman is member of a lovingly grotesque set called “Nature’s Little’s Helpers.” The Pigman (which is probably actually a Pigwoman) is named “The Surrogate,” and fosters a lot of hairy mammals in her large back pimples. It’s great stuff. (Below, see Jeff's "Pigman" at about the 1:00 mark.)
Through his experience with the Pigman photo, Jeff admits he’s grown attached to it. He avoided the question of whether he’d actually part with his little buddy if someone showed up with $250 in-hand.
“I've got sort of gotten re-attached to the picture… I’m not sure whether I even want to sell it. Maybe I’ll hang onto it out of spite and whoever comes to clean out my house once I’m gone can rediscover it for themselves.”
The legend of the Pigman continues.
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