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Pig in a Wig: A Story for the New Year

Miss Piggy was born during a drunken, pot-laden wig fight among Muppeteers following a filming of "Pigs in Space," so the story goes. When the hair started to fly, one defenseless voice protected himself with all that he had, a Muppet pig, upon whose head landed a blonde wig. Enthralled with the new concoction, the Muppeteer started mouthing off as a lady. The party was delighted. By the next morning, after sobriety set in, the Muppet crew, rehashing the night, realized they had something great on their hands: a prissy porker. And that's how Miss Piggy, the starlet swine, came into being.

But there was a catch.

From the start, it was quite clear that this was a pig who believed herself destined for greatness. Beauty contest winner, model, actress, country music star, tap-dance phoneme. And it was true. From her modest origins in the midwest, Miss Piggy would eventually take the world (and, most notably, Manhattan) by storm. However, as the Muppeteers watched this character develop they decided something quite critical--that no matter how big she got, no matter how famous she became, at the end of the day, Miss Piggy would never be anything more than a pig in a wig.

This of course says a lot about the importance of always remembering who you are and where you came from. It also raises questions about the role of destiny, and whether there are limitations to how far one can get in life. These are valid perspectives. But I like to think of it a little differently.

Putting aside some Orwellian interpretation, we're all bald pigs. Some of us are lucky enough to be given golden lochs. Some of us make our own. Most of the time, we're swapping out wigs one after another. They let us overcome our inherent limitations so we can take on new roles and new risks. Indeed, it may have been strange for a bunch of grown men to hang out in each others' basements, getting high and playing with puppets. But the fact is, they put on one hell of a show.

Looking at the year ahead, I'm wondering what wig or wigs I'll be wearing. Every year so far has been so distinct and so different. All I know is there will be successes and there will be setbacks. There will be karate chops and there will be kisses. There will even be hecklers in the balcony. As it all flies by, I'm ready to see what lands in my hands...or on my head. Like all the rest, I'm just a pig with potential.

And now, as they say, it's time to get things started.

Reader Comments (1)

This stirs memories of "The Rainbow Connection," Bob Hope and Dr. Bunson Honeydew. It's a new year and I'm ready to be a new pig.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArt Swift

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