Hair of the Pig

The Pig Book

Just in time for the weekend, I thought that I’d add a little levity to your party plans. You may remember a popular party game called “Pictionary” that was big in the 80s. It even made it into a scene from “When Harry Met Sally.” (“ Oh, but ‘Baby Fish Mouth’ is sweeping the nation?”) Is it just me or does it seem that some of the fun associated with a drinks party has gone out of the window with the all too real dangers of DUI, excessive fines and the like? These days, noone seems much in the mood for poking a little fun at himself after a well-lubricated evening.

Years ago in the 1960s, when my parents and I were stationed in The Canal Zone, they instituted a party tradition. At the end of the night, as guests were making their goodbyes and getting ready to toddle home, my folks would produce “The Pig Book.” Usually a stylishly tooled and leather bound notebook of blank pages, The Pig Book stood on an end table by the front door. Each guest would be lead to the book and blindfolded. A pencil or pen would be put into his hand and the instruction to “draw a pig” was given. The results, even these many years later make me laugh so hard I cry. The inscriptions and signatures under the sketches are unsteady, but always good-humoured and usually thank my parents for a wonderful party, dinner or whatever. Represented in the pages are diplomats, foreign officers, collegues and friends. It was a different era, to be sure. One that conjures up that great party scene in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Today, each slender volume stands as a testament to evenings well-spent. And as a tradition, it beats those party pictures that will soon wind up on Facebook.

This weekend, try making a few great memories the old fashioned way — with pen, ink and tongue planted firmly in cheek.

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