Once upon a time, I worked in a very badly planned museum and was forced to wear a polo shirt with an embroidered animatronic raccoon on it. The building was a former Southern Living home, and therefore most visitors wanted paint swatches and tile-maker business cards, not a ten minute long, standing-room-only slide show about the evolution of jug-ear pots in rural South Carolina.
The museum was so nonsensical and boring that it made children cry.
Seriously. Children walked in, sat down, and CRIED.
So I did what any seriously bored person with no power does: I drew an educational coloring book about the raccoon on my shirt. And then I won a grant to get it printed. And then they wouldn't let me buy any crayons with the grant money, so the kids just looked at the coloring book and sighed, so *I* cried.
Then one day, I stopped to save a turtle from the middle of the road and thought... YOU. YOU WILL BE MY NEXT ATTEMPT TO KEEP THE CHILDREN FROM CRYING.
I borrowed an old aquarium and set the turtle up as an exhibit. The museum was in a botanical garden, and we had a naturalist on staff, and the turtle was the most exciting thing that had happened in months. We named him Dozer and pointed to him proudly whenever children showed up. They didn't smile, but at least they stopped crying for a few minutes.
Then Dozer laid eggs, and we released her into the wild before she got depressed, and things got boring again.
And then one day, my husband called me at work.
"There's a pig in the road," he said.
"I'm sorry, I think I'm hallucinating. Could you repeat that?"
"A pig. There's a pig running down the street. What do I do?"
"Is it Cute? Big? Small? Miniature? Pocket-sized?"
"I don't know. It's pig-sized."
And I had another stroke of genius.
"BRING ME THE PIG."
It took him over an hour to wrestle that poop-spewing hog into his vintage Jaguar and drive it over to me. When I opened the car door to welcome the sweet baby piggie to the garden with open arms, it shot past me, spraying crap, and promptly dug up the heritage sunflowers and went to sleep in a corner of the garden.
That vile, antisocial pig was not the answer to making the museum less boring.
So I did what any self-respecting museum director does before her boss finds out about an illegally imported pig.
I called the police.
They directed me to animal control, where the operator laughed at me and said, "That's free bacon, honey. Welcome to South Carolina."
So I did what any self-respecting once-vegetarian would do.
I called the butcher.
No, just kidding. I called the local goat farm to ask if they were looking for a new pig. They weren't, but they were too nice to say so. It only took three hours to herd the pig into a dog crate, tie it shut with twist ties, and drive her over to her new home knuckle-deep in her own crap.
They named her Carolyn. She got really, really big. As far as I know, she lives there to this day.
As for the museum, I quit shortly after that.
The only thing worse than being bored is watching other people be bored.
The moral of this story?
The answer to your problem is rarely a pig,
unless it has been turned into crispy, crispy bacon.
Here's a page from my failed coloring book.
Do we see the seed of my future steampunkery?
Top hat. Pocket watch. Frilly dress.
I think we do.