word of mouth piggery

The moment Linford Christie pulled up in the 100m semi-final on Sunday and his hand went to the back of his thigh you could tell he was hamstrung. After that it was plain that pigs might fly before he'd be in shape to run in the final, however hard the physios tried to save his bacon. Some pig-ignorant people say he was pigheaded even to try, but anyone who wants to knows that Linford is always going to go the whole hog or he's not going to go at all.

That's the problem with this country. If you're on the pig's back and you're starting to get the sow by the ear, before you know it people are saying you're as independent as a hog on ice (which means, inexplicably, very cocky) and you get caught playing piggy-in-the-middle between the hogwash in the press and the pork-barrel politics of all the people who have helped you get where you are.

Nothing would be more appealing than to cut training and pig out for a week living high on the hog-in-hog heaven. Just to lie back as happy as a little pig in shit, stuffing your face with pigs in a blanket (oysters wrapped in bacon) would be a relief, or just for once to put on your pork- pie hat and go and get absolutely hog-whimpering drunk for a change.

But all that's in a pig's eye. It's no use sitting on your hams. You've got to go out there and bring home the bacon or before you know it there won't be anything in the piggy bank and the money-grabbing swine will have you hog-tied while the ham-fisted lawyer you hired to get their snouts out of your trough and the pigs off your case, makes a pig's ear of the whole business and digs you in deeper with his pig Latin. He leaves you high and dry and bleeding like a stuck pig.

So you ham it up a little for the cameras and let others piggyback on your success, and if anyone gripes that they've bought a pig in a poke, well, that's their lookout. Let them try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Why should you cast your pearls before swine?