Sometimes you just need a break from politics. Yes, we need an engaged and educated populace, and we all need to write our senators and call our representatives and speak up and have hard conversations with people who disagree with us. But sometimes, in between all of that activism and respectful discourse, we need to step away from the fray and just look at pictures of baby animals.
And since two friends of mine, newlyweds Will and Ashley Glass, recently adopted an adorable tiny piglet, Hank, who is rapidly becoming Instagram-famous, now there are even more quality baby animal pictures out there for your consumption.
Fortunately, because I knew-them-when, I was able to finagle an interview with Will merely by offering him the extra bag of salt and vinegar chips I added to my Jimmy John’s order after my initial order total came to $13.30 and I had to find a way to make it more because I hate the number 13.
So here we go — I’m putting my two journalism degrees to good use by asking the real hard-hitting questions that we need answered in these troubling times:
Me: So why a pig? Why not a cat or a dog?
Will: I don’t know, actually. I’ve wanted one since I was a little kid. Just always loved them. They’re a really pleasant color, and they’re very smart. My mom would never let me get one, but I just got married and bought my own house, so no one could really stop me except my wife, Ashley, who also really wanted the pig for some reason, so.
Me: How has adopting a pig changed your life?
Will: So many ways. Pigs are really smart and will try to manipulate you into feeding them or snuggling with them. It’s really hard to resist the latter, obviously. But you have to try not to give into tantrums or the pig will run the house. Ashley’s better about it than I am. I end up giving in a lot, and some days I feel like Hank is training me to do his bidding in some kind of Orwellian nightmare. He still knows I’m the boss, but he’s feeling me out, and it’s a little scary.
Some day-to-day differences: I wake up earlier but take longer to get out the door. I go on more walks and just go outside more in general. I’m more social because so many people want to meet him. I use my phone camera more. I get a TON of Instagram notifications. I worry constantly when I’m not home that he’s found some way to break out of his pen and pull the refrigerator down on himself or that he's smothered himself with his blankets. I’ve had to learn how to open my pantry door very quietly so Hank doesn’t wake up and start begging for Cheerios.
The biggest difference is that I’m in a constant state of joy over the fact that my favorite kind of animal in the world lives in my house. I mean, some people’s favorite animal is the elephant or the giraffe. They’ll never get to live with their favorite animal. I do, and I’m constantly grateful for it.
Me: His Instagram bio describes Hank as “a mini-pig growing up in the Big Easy.” What makes Hank a “uniquely New Orleans” piglet?
Will: His general demeanor, which is social, a little awkward, a little weird, and prone to throwing fits over innocuous things but sort of ignoring major grievances. Also, his favorite food so far (he’s only three months old) is King Cake, no joke. He loves it so much. We’re going to let him try beignets next time he gets a big treat.
Me: Speaking of King Cake, what is Hank going to do for Mardi Gras?
Will: He’ll obviously eat a lot. He’s really looking forward to Fat Tuesday because he’s a pig. And we’ll have to get him a stroller, but hopefully we can get his spotted pink butt to a parade! I don’t know which ones he’s ready for. Like, he’s a little too young for Krewe du Vieux still, but I think he’d be a hit at Muses. He needs some shoes. Superkrewes like Endymion might be too big for him. We might start him at some smaller Metairie parades to see how he does and let him get used to the noise. And we’re thinking about throwing a dog costume on him and going undercover at Barkus. We’ll see what he feels like doing. As long as we have snacks, he’ll be fine.