Father’s Day Barbeque Goes Awry

When a Father’s Day traditional pig roast results in accidental burn injuries to a gentle boy’s hands, it’s fortunate that his parents had purchased a child’s policy from California Health Insurance agent Matt Lockard.

The Smuckers of Visalia didn’t make jams and jellies, but for five generations the family had purchased a piglet during the previous December from a local pig farm for roasting on the upcoming Father’s Day. Always the eldest Smuckers child would be charged with raising the piglet to maturity in order for it to be slaughtered on its appointed day in June. This festive and delicious tradition was eagerly anticipated by one and all, although the boy or girl raising the piglet usually had harbored mixed feelings amid a sense of dread about the animal to be inevitably sacrificed. Dan J. Smuckers had told his son Jeffy, age 8, not to get too attached to his piglet. “It’s not a pet Jeffy. It’s just your job to raise him so he gets nice and plump with good meat on him,” he warned.

But Jeffy was unlike other Smuckers children preceding him. “Yes Daddy,” the boy said, but he already harbored forbidden feelings of affection for his piglet, having secretly named him “Spot” because of a small brown birthmark on its little pink hindquarters. Jeffy was a gentle kid and loved animals, but he’d never been allowed to have a pet.

“Spot” grew up at a normal pace and bonded with Jeffy, often letting the soft-hearted boy scratch him behind the ears. His eight-year-old mind tried frantically to devise a scheme to rescue his porcine friend from its looming encounter with the spit. The pig, for its part, grew big and fat. Finally, it was June, and time for “Spot” to be executed in the shed. Dan surmised his son’s misgivings, and performed the murderous deed when Jeffy was at a sleepover one Saturday. While Jeffy cried and screamed when he found out, he was quiet on Father’s Day until the festive time had arrived, and “Spot” was appropriately spitted. But Jeffy appeared like an avenging little angel when the party was in full swing and the cooking had commenced, and when the boy grabbed the red hot pig to wrench it off the spit ….

Jeffy really cried and screamed as both of his hands were badly burnt. As the family’s SUV raced along to the local hospital’s emergency room, Dan reassured himself with words that he hoped would calm his tender-hearted (and tender-handed) son. “Don’t worry Jeffy. I know you’re sad because of that pig. But at least treatment in the hospital burn unit will be covered because we purchased a child’s health insurance policy from our California agent, Matt Lockard.” But Jeffy just screamed all the louder.

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