Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It's time to wake up to the clear and present danger of 30-50 feral hogs

Photo: Smith Collection/ Gado (Getty Images)

As if the United States wasn’t facing enough problems, it’s now awakened to the most serious threat of all. No, it’s not endless mass shootings and the mainstreaming of white nationalism. No, it’s not climate change or deepening class divides. It’s the fact that anywhere between 30 to 50 feral hogs are descending on backyards across the country to prey on innocent children, overwhelming our most vulnerable citizens within only three to five minutes.

After musician Jason Isbell tweeted about assault weapons on Sunday in response to the weekend’s back-to-back massacres, he was met with a response that seemed to stop the entirety of Twitter in its tracks.

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This is a perfectly worded and extremely “legit” question of how to suitably dispatch more than 29 but less than 51 feral hogs “within 3-5 [minutes]” once the herd bum-rushes a yard to snack on innocent children without military-grade weaponry. Unless, like Sam Neill, you’ve learned to live peacefully alongside the porcine menace, it’s likely that you, too, may need to protect yourself against not just the realistic problem of a few rural hogs, but the more likely scenario of a full-on, bloodthirsty herd coming for your own.

Twitter was so struck by this issue that it was immediately flooded with commentary on this important issue. Most of the responses mine the rich vein of the tweet’s wording, using song lyrics and meme templates as mnemonic devices so people will keep its warning forever in mind.

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Somebody also started an entire WeRateHogs page to rival the ever-viral (and weirdly controversial) WeRateDogs one.

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There are more of these tweets than can be easily imagined. Having tapped into the fear that truly motivates Americans to stockpile assault weapons, social media has turned into a steady stream of feral hog commentary.

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Even Simpsons writer Bill Oakley got in on the fun, sharing a page of a script touching on the plague of hogs. (Someone immediately turned it into a “Steamed Hams” bit, because of course they did.)

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This overwhelming response is probably because many Americans—and people from the rest of the world readings the latest, nauseating headlines about America’s neverending gun violence—are feeling powerless in the face of constant shootings that are not being counteracted in any meaningful way. No matter what the country’s citizens do, the horror continues. In the face of such a tragically ludicrous situation, memeing feral hog attacks through song lyrics, mocking tweets, and Photoshopped movie posters is a natural response.

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The guy behind the original tweet, despite now having been made fun of by Isbell directly, continues to assert his point and, most importantly, make clear that he’s “still a fan of [Isbell’s] music.”

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This having been provided, we can picture the man, Rambo bandana tied tight on his forehead, standing vigil in his yard. The children play behind him, a loudspeaker blaring Jason Isbell tracks while a rustle in the bushes alerts him to danger. Knowing he has only three to five minutes before all is lost, he unloads on the beasts, blasting through tons of pigflesh with .50 caliber rounds and screaming in paternal rage to drown out the attackers’ ground-shaking snuffling and oinking.

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Unfortunately for him, he wipes blood and guts from his face and sees the 30 to 50 hogs have only sustained surface wounds. The children cry out behind him and he wishes he had researched further, setting up a defensive perimeter that would have defeated the pigs properly. But four of the five minutes having passed, the acoustic guitar of Isbell’s “Cover Me Up” drifting over the yard-turned-battlefield, he knows it’s too late. The hogs have won.

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.