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This article first appeared in issue 34, and was written by Christopher Rowe.
Based on personal experience, I offer you this very serious advice: If you are ever offered a choice in neighbors, choose the sow over the senator.
I currently live in a rented mobile home (older than me, as it happens) set on the edge of a farm outside of Columbia. My previous home was an apartment in a building (considerably older than me, as it happens) directly across the street from the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The apartment building, which had a name I can never remember, is the closest residentially zoned property to the U.S. Capitol building and was home to exactly the type of people you would expect to live in such a place, plus me.
As fate would have it, in both places--the trailer in the town of Columbia and the building in the District of Columbia--my neighbors have been pigs. I first met the biggest of my pig neighbors not long after I moved to the District. He was and is the senior senator from a state somewhere between the Commonwealth and those square states out west. Beyond that, I would prefer to leave his identity a secret.
The night I met him he was wearing boxer shorts and a tuxedo shirt, trying to figure out how to start the coin operated laundry machines in the basement. He was having difficulty because (a) he didn't have any change and (b) he was, to put it delicately, drunk.
The day I met the pigs next door here on Creek Bend Drive was much more pleasant. I was a bit disconcerted to find a half dozen hogs lounging in my front yard when I arrived home from work one afternoon, but it was a fine day for February and I passed a pleasant hour keeping an eye on them until our shared landlord could come pen them up. Unfortunately, the landlord I shared with the senator never came to pen him up.
The pigs next door never wake me up in the middle of the night when they can't find their keys. More importantly, I'm sure that they're as uncomfortable with the idea of pork barrel politics as I am.
They're another reason I'm glad I came home.
This story was posted on 2001-04-15 12:01:01
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