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Priscilla
Slops getting into it!

Photo courtesy australianbeers.com

Priscilla is a beer-swilling pig

Pyengana's Pub in the Paddock in Tasmania is training a piglet to drink beer, Australian radio listeners were informed the other day, in a news item we wrongly suspected was a delayed April Fool story.

"The pub is world-famous for its beer-drinking pig, called Priscilla, who can scull [gulp] a watered-down stubby [375 ml (12.5 oz) bottle of beer] in seven seconds," said the news reader. "Priscilla is getting old, so a mischievous successor, Priscilla Babe, is being trained as a replacement. Tourists from all over the world travel to Pyengana just to buy Priscilla a beer."

David Downie, editor of Australianbeers.com has written an amusing story about Pyengana's porcine performer, but, confusingly, the pig he drank with was a boar named Slops, instead of a sow called Priscilla. Here's part of his story:

Slops started drooling in anticipation, his filthy mouth slurping helplessly mid air as he sought to satisfy his cravings. We obliged, holding the stubbie out to see if he was interested. Slops surged forward, lips stretched, and started sucking on the neck with all his heart.

"Hold it closer", exclaimed Wild Man. "We don't want him hurting himself on the barbed wire to get to the beer!" Within seconds, Slops had slurped down the whole stubbie, beer running down the sides of his face, along with other mouthly fluids and assorted filth.

The first bottle empty, he seemed even more agitated as he stood there, his lips twitching and black eyes squinting as he tried to seek out more of the amber nectar. He had the taste. We had all been there, and quickly put forward another stubbie to ease his pain. This too he slurped down like a pig possessed.

We asked David whether Slops had changed his name and gender. He replied, "When I visited the pub, Slops was the master and Priscilla was the apprentice. Slops has since died however, with Priscilla taking over."

Tasmania isn't the only island to boast a beer-drinking pig as a tourist draw card. An internet search revealed that half a world away at St. Croix, in the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, they have not one (or perhaps two) but six beer-swilling swine.

"The famous beer-drinking pigs of the Montpellier Domino Club, located in the middle of the rain forest on Mahogany Road" reads a promotional webpage (it's probably just a happy coincidence that the first two syllables of Mahogany are Ma Hog).

"The beer the pigs drink is non-alcoholic, but YOU have your choice of a full bar and local food. There's a $1 fee to see the pigs (there's 6 of them), $3 to video them, and you buy their beer. Say hi to Norma the bartender and tell her Ed and Molly from SCUBA sent you."

Writing this story reminded us of an ancient comic song we used to sing to our sons and grandchildren when they were young and easily amused. We think it was called "Suzanne is a funiful man," and was interspersed with frequent pig noises - grunts, whistles and very ripe raspberries (Bronx cheers). Does anyone remember all the words?

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Story first posted May 2006

Copyright 2006

Eric Shackle

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