Who doesn’t love the sweet, juicy flesh of swine? Well, a lot of people. Entire religions, in fact. But from where we’re standing the pig has fans worldwide - and for good reason. The pork chop recipes seem endless. Bacon alone is worth breaking any ancient sacrament, if you ask us. Not to mention pork chops, pork roast, pulled pork sandwiches, pork belly, pork chop recipe for your slow cooker, Chichurrones and, for the brave and adventurous, pickled pig’s feet. But did you know that pork has… a dark side?
That’s right. It’s not just a cholesterol heart attack bomb waiting to go off in your chest. Pork has been the cause, catalyst, or witness to some pretty heinous ways to die. Below you’ll find some of the worst ways to die at the hands of or in the presence of… the pig.
1. Tripping Into A Whole Hog Hole
It sounded like such a good idea! A whole hog roasted in a traditional cooking style - a giant whole in the ground filled with white hot burning coals. However, this is one hole you don’t want to mess with. We’ve all been there. After one too many G&T’s while sweating over the grill you get a little too excited when the next Toby Keith banger blasts forth from your Weekend Warrior Playlist. The next thing you know, you’re going toenail over Tanqueray into a fiery pit of death. So be careful, or that Hog Hole will also double as your freshly dug grave.
2. Bacon Grease Splattering Into Your Eye
Going blind due to fourth degree burns on your eyeballs, lashes, brows and sockets is not the same as dying but it’s a close second. Watch that bacon grease splatter when preparing breakfast meats on the stove. That’s why you may want to deploy some of your unused face shields. Another tactic is putting on a pair of Cool Joe sunglasses. There’s nothing more impressive than your guests waking up and finding you sporting shades while dishing out some tasty crackling pig strips.
3. Consuming an Insanely Large Quantity of Raw Pork
According to the USDA, pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees fahrenheit. But what happens if it's not? What happens if it’s not cooked at all and someone you knew from middle school suddenly shows up at your doorstep with a heaping portion of it? You know what’s going to happen next. They’re going to dare you to eat that insanely large portion of raw pork bits - and you know yourself! You don’t have the fortitude to turn that dare down. Not after what happened at Home Ec class in 8th grade you don’t! Eating an insanely large amount of raw pork is a surefire path to the bathroom, emergency room, or in some cases the morgue.
4. Electrical Fire Caused By Your Slow Cooker or Insta-Pot
BBQ Pulled Pork sandwiches are a crowd pleaser but they can also be deadly if you’ve got a frayed electrical cord or faulty wiring in the wall. If you like a good nap after dumping all the ingredients into one of these modern marvels, then be ready to evacuate when a slow cooker disaster strikes or, best case scenario, is burning your entire house down. If you’re like me you nap while clutching a fire extinguisher between your knees. That’s right, I learned the hard way that a useless throw pillow won’t put out the taunting flames of a kitchen inferno that’s gotten out of control. Next time you feel sleepy after overstuffing a pressurized time bomb full of pig chunks, make sure you too take your friend Amerex to bed with you.
5. Being Trampled By A Herd of Angry Wild Boar
Let me set the stage for you. You and your significant other book an expensive luxurious cruise around South America. But that’s not enough. No, your better half insists on partaking in shore excursions. Yep, the beach. Which means you’ve got to shed your layers and bare it all for strangers when all you really want to do is enjoy the complimentary cocktails at the Hula Hut a short stumble away from your state room. But of course, you acquiesce to your love because that’s what a relationship is… compromise. But some compromises lead to… DEATH BY PIG! The next thing you know you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time when a wild hog herd gets spooked by the red color of a distant hot air balloon and suddenly your better half is a widow and you’ve got a hoof print in the center of your cold, dead forehead.
6. A Texas BBQ
Look, if you are attending an authentic Texas BBQ any number of unfortunate incidents could occur resulting in your death. First of all, you’re in Texas; most-likely in the middle of nowhere as Texas is the 2nd largest state in America. Statistically speaking 86% of your fellow attendees are openly carrying a loaded firearm on their belt. Not to mention 97% of those folks love to drink large quantities of high quality (or super low quality - Four Loco, anyone) alcoholic beverages. Again, attend at your own risk or you risk tripping over someone's cowboy boot and chipping a tooth on a random Texan’s belt buckle. And if any of your BBQ landed on her bedazzled, rhinestone vest or her favorite cowboy hat, then be prepared for a turkey shoot where YOU are the turkey.
7. Choking To Death On A Pork Medallion
Sure, your spouse planned a fancy diner at the most expensive restaurant in town. But, being the cheapskate you are, you don’t order the lobster, you order the pork and it comes in the form of five or six medallions on your plate. Little do you realize, these little pork nuggets are sized just a little larger than your windpipe. Well, thanks to your nerves about the final size of the bill (after all, how many Singapore Slings does she need?) you’re eating too fast and the bed of cheesy polenta acts as a lubricant to getting a medallion lodged perfectly in your throat. She thinks you’re doing another one of your ridiculous Star Wars impressions. Meanwhile, your life flashes before your eyes before you succumb to pork related asphyxia.
8. A Mid Air Cuban Sandwich Collision
These aren’t the glory days of flying commercially of the 1960’s. In a pay-for-what-you-wish model, imagine you’re flying transcontinental in coach. There you are seated on the aisle with your work colleague. It’s time for lunch and you note you can purchase a Cuban sandwich. The flight attendant arrives with her cart and red scarf. She swipes your credit card, hands you your sandwich, and your Bloody Mary. She rolls on to the aisles behind you and, as you bite in, you realize you didn’t administer the mustard from the packet she gave you on the side. As you negotiate your cup of water, your phone, your Bloody Mary, pretzels and a napkin on your shaky tray table you inadvertently drop the mustard packet right in the middle of the aisle. The unopened packet is slightly ahead of your left shoe but, as you begin to slide it back to your reach ever so gently, a sudden bout of turbulence takes hold of the airplane. The cabin is thrown into immediate chaos. Luckily you’re wearing your seatbelt but everyone else panics as the flight attendant accidentally lets go of her cart. You glance behind you and you can see it barreling down the aisle, rolling faster and faster towards you. You are paralyzed with fear. You can’t move as you are stretched across the aisle like a suspension bridge with a packet of mustard held delicately under foot. Then, as you ponder how heavy a metal cart can really be, BAM! It smashes into your back and neck like a freight train T Boning a Pontiac on the railroad tracks. It all goes black and that’s it, you’re done. Pork claims another victim.
It’s hard enough out there without letting the other white meat take your life. So take your time, chew your food, and do your best to not become another pork death related statistic.
I am on a mission to get you traveling more often. As the host of the Emmy award- winning, nationally syndicated television television for PBS and the Create channel, "Beyond Your Backyard," I travel (on average) 25 weeks per year. I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet cool people, experience new places, eat delicious food and work with the best production crew in the world. Hopefully, through this blog, you will join me on my travels and be reminded just how exciting it is to be alive!