case of the runaway
(September 2004) The call came in early Friday
morning, Aug. 20 a scratchy voice crackling over the police scanner:
Calling all cars. Be on the lookout for a pink, plaid runaway
concrete pig. Could be traveling very slowly eastbound
on Third Street. Destination unknown.
by Don Ward
missing Scott Lynch Realty
pig at last years fest.
There was no terror in the dispatchers voice. In
fact, a few giggles could be heard in the background. But this was no
laughing matter. A blue ribbon in the third annual Madison Ribberfest
Pigmania concrete pig decorating contest was at stake, not
to mention a monetary contribution to the festivals scholarship
Yes, the missing pig was no poke... er, I mean joke. The stolen swine
had been rented last year to Scott Lynch Realty for $100 and then painted
pinkish plaid by Aimee Stovall of the Madison Area Convention and Visitors
Bureau in an apparent attempt at art.
Back in July the rented pigs were displayed at 35 businesses around
town to help promote the upcoming Madison Ribberfest.
This Pigmania, as it is known, is chaired by Kevin Watkins,
who on this fateful day had stopped by Scott Lynch Realty to pick up
his pig. Watkins planned to haul them all down to the riverfront for
viewing during the two-day event. But when Watkins pork
wagon arrived, the Lynch pig was missing.
This piggish predicament sent Watkins inside to inquire about the missing
plaid pig. But the Scott Lynch Realty staff was caught by surprise,
thinking their pig was still standing outside.
by Don Ward
Binzers first place
Fire in the Hog pig brought a whopping
$605 at the silent auction.
They went outside only to find some skid marks and a few
chips of plaid paint on the sidewalk.
And no pig.
I was a little ticked off, Watkins said. Its
beyond me why somebody would do that.
Perhaps an even more plexing question is how they would do it. These
300-pound pigs require three large men at the very least to move
one very far, unless they have a dolly, Watkins said.
You would have to be pretty ambitious to move that thing,
Pat Lynch added.
Lynch said he at first suspected that Pigmania pig-painting rival Chip
Binzer of Binzers Custom Framing might have had something to do
with the theft as a way of ensuring his second blue ribbon in as many
years. But Binzer, despite later claiming the first-place prize yet
again this year, vowed his innocence. Nevertheless, he was reportedly
heard muttering over a recent framing job, We dont need
no stinking plaid pigs around here.
Watkins called the Madison Police Department to report the pig-napping
in hopes it could be recovered before the weekend was over. A police
officer soon arrived on the scene and, while doing his best to contain
his laughter, filled out the report.
With no Scott Lynch Realty pig in the contest, the Pigmania contest
went on as scheduled with 34 pigs displayed on the riverfront. Binzers
Fire in the Hog swine earned the prized first place ribbon
in the Peoples Choice Award from six randomly selected judges,
all from out of town. At a Saturday afternoon silent auction of 10 pigs,
four were purchased by out-of-town guests. Binzers pig was bought
by a Muncie, Ind., couple for $605, far more than any other pig sold.
It was kinda cool, Binzer said later. It was like
having the winning bid at the county fair, and Ive never even
been in 4-H.
By comparison, Barnyard Stormer, a pig with built-in airplane
wings and made by Watkins Hilltop Animal Clinic staff, sold for
$185. Binzer had won the previous year with Pig in Heat.
by Don Ward
Barnyard Stormer pig sold for $185.
Wilbur, a pig from Charlottes
Web entered by the tourism office and made by Stovall, earned
second place in the judges voting. Third place went to the Paddle
Pig, which was dressed up to look like a steamboat and entered
by The Wharf restaurant.
In all, this years Pigmania earned more than $4,300 in combined
pig adoption fees, voting and the silent auction, Watkins said. Most
of the money is to be used for agricultural-related scholarships to
a 2005 graduating high school senior.
Each year, the businesses either adopt a pig for $100 or buy their pig
for $200 and pay $25 per year to enter the contest. Watkins said the
popularity of the event may lead to an increased field next year by
expanding to 50 pigs. Those businesses whose pigs were auctioned will
receive a free pig.
As for Scott Lynch Realty, I dont know yet what well
do about that one, Watkins said.
By now, that pink, plaid pig could be halfway to Hog Heaven.
Don Ward owns and operates RoundAbout Madison. Call him
at (812) 273-2259 or email: email@example.com
Back to 2004 Ribberfest