Roddy L’Estrange: Full-scale porker blow-out for Vinny and the lads

Foley’s regulars go on the offensive disregarding UN warning on processed meat

As do-gooders filled the airwaves to warn folk about the hazards of red meat, and specifically Curly Wee's finest flesh, Vinny Fitzpatrick went on the offensive.

First, he texted the lads with a request they all wear a Pork Pie hat at their regular Tuesday Night Club gathering in Foley’s.

He then phoned the pub and ordered a raft of sausage sarnies and rasher butties to be served after the Everton versus Norwich League Cup game."And don't forget the brown sauce and Coleman's Mustard," he barked at Dial-A-Smile.

Rather than fade away on a five-a-day diet, Vinny was standing up on his fleshy trotters, in the proud name of the embattled El Porker.


For most of his 57 years, Vinny had lived off the fat of the pig, from sausies, rasher rinds and pork chops, to black and white pudding and his Ma’s honey-baked ham.

And what harm had it done him? Apart from a pork belly, which spread out around his midriff, not a sausage.

Whenever he was laid low with a hangover, his regular fix was a hearty fry-up, a remedy which had stood to him for years. While every Saturday lunch-time, he indulged in a large brunch, courtesy of his porcine pal.

He’d always thrown in a fried egg for colour, but the backbone of the plate was pure pork, all salt and succulence, fat and flavour.

And tonight was an occasion to praise the pig, not to ry him as so many seemed inclined to do because some UN health geek had come up with a far-fetched theory about cancer links to processed meat.

The full-scale porker blow-out was needed as Vinny had found the past few days stressful.

Angie had almost blown a gasket when she arrived home to be told Sinbad the snake was warmly ensconced in a tub in the boiler room out back. Angie had been adamant. “That snake has to go or your backside will be in the bacon slicer,” she demanded, unaware of her pun.

Vinny had bought himself until Halloween to find a new home for his Cape House serpent, who was starting to grow on him. He’d filled the tub with greenery, a couple of miniature Bonsai trees, had arranged two ‘hides’ for Sinbad, and also found a regular supply of mice from a dodgy pet shop.

He was no Johnny Morris from Animal Magic but he felt a connection with his slippery pal. When Angie or the twins weren't around, he'd even started taking Sinbad out and let him curl up on his lap in front of the telly when the racing was on.

They were an unlikely two-ball, the burly busman and the sleek reptile but they had something in common; they were both harmless.

Celebrity porker

The evening in celebration of the pig was a rip-snorting success. Not a sausage or a rasher was spared. “We’re all cured now,” grinned Vinny as the grub was devoured.

To mark the occasion, the lads each bought a round in celebration of a famous celebrity porker.

Vinny went first and raised a pint glass to Pinky and Perky, Fran went for Napoleon from Animal Farm, Macker chose Wilbur from Charlotte's Web and Charlie Vernon toasted Babe, which he said "always made me cry".

Two-Mile Boris picked Hamm from Toy Story, for his "witty cynicism" and Brennie completed the set with Miss Piggy, admitting he had a "kinda crush" on her when he was a teenager, which raised a laugh.

That Peppa Pig was overlooked, didn't surprise Vinny who was watched the prissy, overbearing porker on TV with the twins too often for his liking.

Sated with lashings of salt and six fine pints, Vinny was home by 11.0, having bypassed The Capri chipper on the way home, for a change.

All was quiet in Mt Prospect Avenue as Vinny went about the lock-up, taking care to check on Sinbad as part of his rounds. The boiler room was warm, which wasn’t unpleasant for autumn was almost up as the nights closed in

Lifting the lid of the tub, Vinny did a double-take as the drum was crawling with tiny snakes, and scattered with egg shells. “Snakes alive,” he said aloud. In their midst was Sinbad, who let rip with a warning hiss.

“You’re some sailor boy,” thought Vinny as he closed the lid on the tub and headed back to the kitchen. It was time for some urgent contemplation over a nightcap, and a bag of bacon fries.