So I'm sitting there happily munching away on the pig I roasted in the Caja China and I was sitting next to my friend Scott, who I work with. Scott had brought his two sons to the party and they were behaving like perfect little gentlemen. His oldest, RL, was sitting next to Scott and asked me about the pig's head. "Can I have the head?" he asked.
A bit puzzled, and more skeptical really, about why a 10 year old would want a pig head I said "Well, if it's OK with your dad" while glancing at Scott.
Scott says, "It's for a school project it's fine."
"OK, RL" I say "You can have it, but what's it for?"
"We have show and tell every Monday about something we did over the weekend and I want to tell the class about this."
"Pretty cool, OK, I'll wrap it up for you."
So after wrapping it up I tell Scott how to clean it before his boy took it to school.
Tuesday at work Scott tracks me down and tells me "You have to hear about the pig skull."
The story goes something like this.
Monday morning RL strolls into his class with something in a big plastic bag. Curious about this the teacher asks "RL, what do you have there?"
RL happily responds "It's a pig skull for show and tell."
"Bring that here." the teacher commands. "I want to see that." So RL walks over to her desk and proudly opens the bag revealing the cleaned skull in all of it's glory. The teacher turns pale white in a bit of horror but understands that this could be a good lesson for the kids. "OK" she says "you can show that."
So, show and tell time comes about and when it's RL's turn he gets in front of the class and tells them about this party he went to with his dad where this guy roasted a whole pig. He tells them about the Caja China and then, after building up the story, tells the class he came home with a souvenir. Then, he opens the bag and lifts out the skull.
Now, in a fifth grade class the girls screamed, and the boys hooted with glee. They couldn't get enough of it. The commotion was so great that it caused a teacher from the other fifth grade class across the hall to come and see what all the racket was about. She saw the skull, turned white herself, then asked RL's teacher if he could bring it to show her class across the hall.
Needless to say the reaction from the other class was about the same. RL and his pig skull were the toast of the fifth grade for that Monday.
So that was pretty cool to hear that a kid, who had probably never seen a pig skull before, took an interest in it and was rewarded with the glee of his classmates.
But the story doesn't end there. A few days later Scott comes up to me at work and tells me that RL was running for his class representative to the school council. He had run the year before and lost, but he was trying again. Just before the election Scott asked him how he thought he'd do. Somewhat glumly RL replied "Well, I think I'll get 2 votes, mine and my campaign manager's." Now, c'mon, that's a scream, a fifth grader has a campaign manager for school council elections. That's awesome. But RL went onto explain that since he wasn't one of the "popular" kids he couldn't realistically expect to win the election.
Anyway, as the election approached, of RL's two opponents, one changed schools, and the other, seeing RL's new found popularity from the pig skull, decided to drop out leaving RL to run unopposed. Thus RL won his student council election.
Needless to say I'm tickled. I hope one day that young man can look back on this story and see how an open mind about food can change the world.