The warped nature of the internet means it’s possible for a post decrying the ubiquity of assault weapons after they were used in two mass shootings in one awful weekend to spawn a meme that is somehow political, absurd, and poetic (seriously) all at once.
It all started when Jason Isbell, accomplished musician and great Twitter follow, posted a fairly standard pro-gun control take to the site Sunday morning. Its message boils down to this: “Why on earth would anyone need an assault weapon?” A fair question, given their role in seemingly every mass shooting, including those in El Paso and Dayton
Twitter user and Libertarian William McNabb had an answer.
Legit question for rural Americans – How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?
— William McNabb (@WillieMcNabb) August 4, 2019
There’s a lot to unpack there. The tweet starts fairly tame. “Legit question for rural Americans” is a fairly standard “city folk don’t take away our guns you don’t know our way of life” thing to say.
Then the hogs come. “How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard.” A Pamplona-esque mass of wild pigs, technically related to their docile domestic livestock cousins but feral — untamed, vicious, dangerous — is coming. It’s quite the image to consider, particularly if you are one of those city folk who hasn’t seen much of El Dorado, Arkansas, where McNabb lives according to his Twitter bio.
The kicker: “within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?” Here, now, are the stakes. Do you, award-winning songwriter Jason Isbell, have a better way to protect my kids, exercising their sacred right to play in the yard, from a marauding gang of dangerous animals? Would you rather my children, my small, helpless children, become swine feed as I look on, helpless to do anything without an AR-15?
Setting aside the veracity of McNabb’s scenario, which seems dubious at best, and the fact that fences exist, his was the tweet that metastasizing into a trend that, briefly but definitely, distracted seemingly all of Twitter.
For a tweet about such a hot-button issue, it’s surprising that the political dimension wasn’t what made it go viral. It was the insanity and, let’s face it, the poetry of the tweet that attracted plenty of similarly entertaining responses. First up: 30-50 feral hogs left the yard and made their way into some classic memes.
“30-50 feral hogs” day is one of the great days in the history of Twitter. pic.twitter.com/RJTGrqXO8R
— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) August 5, 2019
the sweet sweet relief I felt at logging on and seeing 30-50 feral hogs pic.twitter.com/72caugvifm
— 🌙The Desert Prophet Returns💀 (@camillagluh) August 5, 2019
— Sega Genesis EvINGelion (@ingdamnit) August 6, 2019
— kathleen (@kathleen_hanley) August 6, 2019
Me with an AR-15
preparing to shoot directly 30-50 wild hogs:
into the area where my
children are playing, thereby
endangering them: pic.twitter.com/HmFyN0OryP
— Kairus (@KairusSnep) August 6, 2019
As it turns out, that many feral hogs also fits nicely into a variety of TV shows and movies. Who knew?
When you see 30-50 feral hogs in your yard pic.twitter.com/7Kw40w2ZBk
— Will Kellogg (@Will_Kellogg) August 6, 2019
has this ever happened to you? you bought a house and it was not disclosed to you 30-50 feral hogs would run into your yard within 3-5 mins while your small kids play?? HAS IT EVER HAPPENED TO YOU pic.twitter.com/JB0Iz9JZUh
— Jill Krajewski (@JillKrajewski) August 6, 2019
30-50 feral hogs outside ebbing, missouri pic.twitter.com/I1GqDrp6Bu
— robert franco (@responsiblerob) August 6, 2019
30-50 Feral Hogs & Shaw pic.twitter.com/iTmaNhxunf
— Sandy Honig (@sandyhonig) August 6, 2019
me watching 30-50 feral hogs pull up in the yard pic.twitter.com/x1SDehPgRK
— Jill Gutowitz (@jillboard) August 6, 2019
This is what we call a pun for the ages.
What idiot called it “fighting 30-50 feral hogs” and not “serving in the Boar War”
— Matt Ford (@fordm) August 5, 2019
And while we’re not really sure what to call this, it’s definitely…something if you click through to see the rest of the thread.
*I take a long drag from my cigarette as I stare out of my foxhole, hollow eyed at the treeline. The distant sounds of oinking coming nearer and nearer as the sun sets. The cold steel of my AR-15 the only thing that stands between those hogs and my kids behind me.
— Red Dave (@RedDave92) August 5, 2019
They didn’t quite rise to the level of “Weird Al” Yankovic — and honestly, what could? — but the song parodies also began to write themselves.
my milkshake brings 30-50 feral hogs to the yard
— summertime vibes dante 🌹 (@videodante) August 5, 2019
let’s talk about hogs baby
let’s talk about yard safety
let’s talk about 30-50 feral porkers
— will. (@upsidedowntrash) August 6, 2019
If you’re not ready to let feral hogs fade into obscurity, there are plenty of other examples out there that are sure to delight until the next viral tweet sweeps us all away.