The day of the pig

On the neighborhood website Nextdoor, most posts are benign—missing cats, suspicious people and parking problems are the norm. Garbage-rummaging pigs are not.

In early September, my neighbor, Luke Margaroli, a resident of The Circles south of Ohio State University and north of Victorian Village, posted an alert on the private social media site that shone like a beacon:

Hey there's a pig just eating trash in the alley between 6th and 7th close to battelle blvd

The news raised many questions: Who owned the pig? Where did it come from? And could it have escaped from neighboring Battelle Memorial Institute? “So you're saying it's a mutated test subject trash-eating pig,” a wiseacre said when I mentioned the animal on Twitter.

“I mean, if we're lucky,” responded another smart aleck.

Bob Geoghegan, a retired Battelle engineer and fellow neighbor, quickly dispelled the notion of a runaway medical prisoner. “They used to have pigs over there,” he later said, laughing, “but I don't think it was one of theirs.”

Geoghegan was among a small crowd of people gathered around the errant animal. The pig was docile, allowing onlookers to pet it. After a while, the situation ended peacefully, with the pig returning to his home—a nearby backyard, not a mysterious R&D facility. The discussion continued on Nextdoor, however, with one neighbor asserting that the real pigs in our corner of the University District are unnamed slumlords who don't cut the grass or trim their shrubs.

Maybe next time the pig breaks loose, it will be an OSU football game day. The hungry fella will find plenty of garbage to eat then.