Friday, November 27, 2009

Smelly Pig, Smelly Pig--What Are They Feeding You?

"FLATULENT PIG SPARKS GAS LEAK SCARE." That was the arresting headline for a wire service story today about a farmer in Australia who summoned emergency services when he smelled something awry. The subheading reads:
A suspected gas leak at an Australian farm, which led to 15 firemen in two fire engines to rush to the scene, turned out to be the work of a flatulent pig.
There seems to be a bit of prepositional befuddlement there--a superfluity of "to"s. I would suggest axing the second "to" and making "rush" into "rushing."

Not a particularly interesting violation, I grant you, but I just couldn't pass up an opportunity to reference a story about a spectacularly farty pig. The nut graphs of the piece, if you're interested--and who wouldn't be?--go like this:

Fire captain Peter Harkins said: "When we got there, as we drove up the driveway, there was this huge sow, about a 120-odd kilo (265-pound) sow, and it was very obvious where the gas was coming from. 

“We could not only smell it, but we heard it and it was quite funny." 

He added: "She got very excited when two trucks and 15 firies turned up and she squealed and farted and squealed and farted.

"I haven't heard too many pigs fart but I would describe it as very full-on."

Indeed. And trust the Aussies, by the way, to give their firefighters the cutsie nickname, "firies."