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By Pam Burke 

View from the North 40: A pig by any other name could have less irony


Last updated 5/13/2022 at 11:34am

Here’s the thing about Vladamir Putin, he’s a fun-suck, a joy-killer, a joke-hole, the place warmhearted laughter has labeled on its maps as “Here there be dragons,” and like all narcissists, he especially does not like to be on the laughed-at side of a funny situation, so it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be amused that a German wildlife park renamed its Russian wild boar from Putin, in the Russian leader’s honor, to Eberhofer, because almost anything is better than Putin at this point.

The pig formerly known as Vladamir Putin is no back-strap-bacon butchering-pig-gone-feral. Park operator Eckard Mickish told Reuters for an April 19 article that this pig is a bonafide, pure bred wild boar purchased directly from Russia, and at 441 pounds is as much as three times larger than the boars typically found in Germany.

With its thick, wiry, dark hair and long tusks, this boar could’ve burst right out of a 14th century European tapestry, complete with horseback hunting party on the chase.

However, this porcine being is very tame and loves the visitors, which is kind of a problem. Mickish said that ever since Russia invaded Ukraine Feb. 24, he’s felt so guilty telling park visitors that they would be seeing this very special, magnificent wild boar that whenever he has said the name “a shiver went down his spine.” He also has worried about how any Ukrainian visitors might feel.

This bad feeling had to be compounded when visiting groups would go to the wild boar area where tour guides would call the pigs in for viewing. I don’t know how this translates into German, but I’m sure they have some from of “Suuueeeeey, pig-pig-pig! Suuuuueeeey! C’mon Putin. Suuuuueeeeey, Pute-Pute-Putin!”

Mickish quickly came to the conclusion that no pig deserved the humiliation of being named after Vladimir Putin, so wildlife park officials ran a social media contest searching for a new name and chose from the 2,700 entries.

April 19, the park held a special pig re-naming ceremony, complete with a giant marzipan and biscuit cake for the wild boars, and the pig formerly named Putin was christened Eberhofer.

Ironically, the last time the Putin still known as president of Russia had a good laugh, the source of humor involved pork.

At a televised state meeting back in October 2017, Russia’s Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachov suggested Russia push to expand its pork exports into Indonesia.

EuroNews.com reported Oct. 10, 2017, that Putin interrupted Tkachov to say that “Indonesia is a Muslim country. They do not eat pork there.”

To which Tkachov said he meant South Korea, before adding, “What’s the difference?”

A glimpse of Putin before the cameras cut to a different angle shows him laughing so hard at Tkachov’s blunder that he had to cover his face with both hands.

A common trait of narcissists is that they find humor in things that are derogatory to others, but other humor doesn’t click with them and humor or even simple comments and facts at their expense will infuriate them.

The U.S. has its annual Whitehouse Correspondents’ Dinner and at each dinner for the past nearly 100 years the sitting American president has delivered a speech, taking the opportunity to roast reporters, politicians, celebrities and themselves, just before the evening entertainer roasts all the same people, including the president.

For example, at this year’s April 30 dinner, President Joe Biden joked that his ratings among Democrats were OK, but “Republicans seem to support one fellow — some guy named Brandon,” having fun with the anti-Biden phrase “Let’s go Brandon.” And featured speaker comedian and talk show host Trevor Noah joked to Biden that “ever since you came into office, things are already looking up. Gas is up, rent is up, food is up — everything.”

I imagine that the entertainment at a Kremlin Correspondents’ Dinner would include a firing squad rather than a good natured, give-and-take. American-style comedic roasting.

Still, I’m afraid that if Putin the politician knows anything about American culture, he may yet get the last nasty, ironic laugh.

Despite the wildlife park’s good intentions — and with all due apologies to America’s law enforcement — the wild boar, Eberhofer, is now named after a policeman from a popular Bavarian book series.


Sometimes you just can’t win at http://www.facebook.com/viewfromthenorth40 .


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