Some people call me Piggie

Appearing in my FB as a response to my 7/4 posting (for Fathers Day) “I am a good Boy for you, Daddy” (about Daddy – Boy relationships), this remarkable billboard (without identification or comment), featuring a pig-cop character — Mister Piggie — getting oral with an inert character Boy :

(#1) Pig Kisses Boy! Pig because he’s a cop? Pig because he’s unable to control his sexual impulses? (or, of course, both); I suppose that’s supposed to be life-saving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but still: ick

The text looks like a book title (or maybe a quotation from a book), attributed to some Bobby Peters we’re expected to recognize. Is the billboard advertising a book by football player and game analyst Bobby Peters? About whom I had trouble getting much information, but then that’s an alien world to me. I spent maybe half an hour fruitlessly trying to chase Bobby Peters down, and then a search on “some call him pig” turned up a Boing Boing posting “Some call him pig!” by Rob Beschizza from 3/3/22. To start with, the football Bobby Peters has nothing to do with it; it’s about a Columbus GA mayor named Bobby Peters. And there’s a 50-year history of “Some call him Pig!”.

[Background note: Boing Boing is an immensely popular and well-informed group blog covering various topics, including (according to Wikipedia) technology, futurism, science fiction, gadgets, intellectual property, Disney, and left-wing politics.]

The original 1971 billboard, from Minnesota, with the image used in #1, but a simpler text — just the “Some call him Pig!”, no expansion to sir used as a mark of respect or subordination to authority (the feature of #1 that made it relevant to the Daddy – Boy world or the wider world of dominant and submissive men) — with no attribution to a source of the wording (it’s just an advertising slogan):

(#2) Intended as an ad hyping the heroism of the Minneapolis police. Note that the outdoor advertising firm (Naegele) that created the billboard is credited on it (b&w reproduction of the billboard from the Boing Boing posting)

Variant billboards and take-offs. After 1971 the pig billboard in #2  was repurposed for other billboards, for police or others; and served as the model for take-offs of various kinds, some earnest, some pointedly comic, some perhaps merely memically playful.

The immediate point is that #1 is decidedly fishy as a billboard. Strikingly, because there is nothing identifying the ad agency that created it (they crave credit for their work) or the sponsor of the message, information that is always, in my experience, available somewhere on real billboards, like the ones in the Boing Boing piece (reproduced below), in particular the one that was surely the model for #1:

(#3) Infinity is the outdoor ad agency, Georgia Police & Fire Games the sponsor; this billboard (dating from the early 2000s) seems to be the first incorporating sir and Bobby Peters in its text

I’m not sure whether it’s even legal (in most American localities) to erect a billboard that identifies neither ad agency nor sponsor. Laws govern the size of billboards, their placement, and their content, but I’m not sure whether it would be legal to put up one that just said


without identifying the ad agency or the sponsor — which might be (among other possibilities) a local church, the National Coalition of Christians and Jews, or the gay porn Next Door Studios (featuring sex with guy-next-door types).

[Background note: from Wikipedia:

Bobby G. Peters (born February 21, 1949) is a Superior Court judge in Columbus, Georgia. He is also the former mayor of Columbus. He was first elected mayor in 1994, after twelve years as a city councilor [and served as mayor from 1995 through 2002].

And from the Boing Boing posting:

Bobby Peters was mayor of Columbus, Georgia and is now on the Superior Court there; his wikipedia biography makes note that “in a field of six candidates, including a black minister and the president of the N.A.A.C.P., he won without a runoff and won every black precinct in the city,” that being important for some reason to this white judge. [AZ: the Wikipedia entry is both adulatory — “eight great years without a tax increase and over a billion dollars of new investment in the city” — and weird — “This is a fact, one of his grandchildren is Jagger Cash Watson”. No doubt written by Peters himself or, more likely, someone on his staff.] ]

In any case, #3 is the beginning of the story about how Bobby Peters ended up along with Mister Piggie in #1, which now appears to be, not an actual billboard, but a take-off on it, a memically playful one that preserves the image from #2 and #3 (probably for the ick factor) and alters the text of #3. Abut 20 years ago, somebody used software to run changes on #3, and then the result, #1, has been fairly widely distributed as entertainment. As with most memic images and texts,  there’s no known creator, and no one cares much about that: people just pass the things around.

Boing Boing on #2. Which begins with this image:


[Several readers] noticed an interesting painting at their local police station. The painting is titled “And some call him pig!” and features [Mister Piggie as] an officer of the West Virginia State Police. What the officer is doing, exactly, suggests well-trodden debates over artistic intent and effect.

The phrase was to be found in a pro-police billboard ad campaign produced by a Minneapolis ad agency in 1971 [#2 above]. It’s obviously the direct inspiration, more competently painted if no less peculiar.

It was noticed by radical Italian architect Gianni Pettena:

(#5) Note the very prominent name of the ad agency Naegele

That poster was paid for by the [Minneapolis] police department to celebrate the courage of their agents, but faced with the image of a policeman kissing a little boy on the mouth, I said that it was no surprise they were called ‘pigs.’ But I was the only one to have seen it as a kiss and the others saw nothing funny in it

The campaign cropped up in Rochester, N.Y. and many other places:

(#6) Mister Piggie in Rochester NY

(#7) Mister Piggie in Port Huron MI

Here it is being mocked by Hustler:

(#8) The Hustler parody of Mister Piggie; of course they call him Pig: Boy in #2 is nowhere near the age to consent to Mister Piggie’s manhandling and oral passions, not to mention Boy’s being unconscious; now in the parody, Boy is still alarmingly unconscious — and though he’s ephebic rather than childish and might actually be panting for the attentions of a male lover (gay teens are everywhere) or even have a thing for cops (a gay male taste for police and military men is not uncommon), he’s still a piece of chicken (US gay ‘underage boy’) — so hands off, you creep

The memory of this campaign is dear to the boomers and it turns up now and again: [see #3 above] photographed on a billboard in Georgia, with some new additions: the subtitle “I call him OFFICER & SIR!!” and the attribution to “Bobby Peters Mayor.” [Boing Boing follows with the information about Peters, above]

A musical tribute to Mister Piggie. As in the title of this posting. From the Steed Mucker Band (“never cool, always crude”) song “The Poker”:

Some people call me the space cop, yeah
Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Piggie

(the band is the evil twin of the Steve Miller Band, with their song The Joker”, the title track of their 1973 album, in which some people call the joker the space cowboy, some the gangster of love, and some Maurice).

Well, they actually call him Mister Piggie — as in They Call Me Mister Tibbs. From Wikipedia:

They Call Me Mister Tibbs! is a 1970 American … crime drama film directed by Gordon Douglas [with Sidney Poitier in the role of police detective Virgil Tibbs, someone you call sir, not boy]. The second installment in a trilogy, the release was preceded by In the Heat of the Night (1967) and followed by The Organization (1971). The film’s title was taken from a line in the first film.

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