“Pigs is Pigs” by Ellis Parker Butler

At our first Book Club Meeting, we read the story by American writer Ellis Parker Butler called “Pigs is Pigs”. But we didn’t have time left to discuss it.

I am going to post some useful links here and you are all welcome to write your comments about your impressions after reading this story as well as the notes you’ve made while preparing for the meeting.
Audio version from LibriVox 

Walt Disney cartoon “Pigs is Pigs”




  1. Thank you, Teacher Lee, for your notes in our group chat:

    Copied Chat from Zoom (2/10/17)
    Me = T.Lee
    From Me to Everyone: 11:04 AM
    Everyone has a role. I am just English consultant.
    From Ivan Korjavin to Everyone: 11:05 AM
    brb in 3 sec
    From Ivan Korjavin to Everyone: 11:06 AM
    let’s record that
    From Diana Yarmolinska to Everyone: 11:07 AM
    25 cents
    30 cents for livestock
    From Me to Everyone: 11:08 AM
    lot of paperwork
    From Diana Yarmolinska to Everyone: 11:08 AM
    red tape
    From Me to Everyone: 11:10 AM
    guinea pigs multiplied rapidly
    bureaucratic rules
    From Vasanth to Everyone: 11:11 AM
    From Me to Everyone: 11:17 AM
    40-minute limit for 3 or more users
    They argued about the price.
    Customer felt cheated by being charged a higher price.
    Delays while arguing incurred extra charges
    more pigs, more food, more storage costs. Who will pay these extra charges?
    He said, “Uh oh. This woman is too smart.”
    Bozhena is “hamming it up” today.
    Many Americans will argue over pennies.
    Bureaucracy is synonymous with “overregulation”.
    Slows down productivity.
    From Diana Yarmolinska to Everyone: 11:18 AM
    till they are blue in the face
    From Me to Everyone: 11:20 AM
    Argue until he is “blue in the face” (out of oxygen).
    Long lines of people at the tax office.
    The form is an old revision.
    From Vasanth to Everyone: 11:20 AM
    From Me to Everyone: 11:26 AM
    Bozhena is a sketch artist? 🙂
    “Red tape” is excessive paperwork required by a bureaucracy (the government).
    You stall them.
    Lax regulations…
    You would never swim in my pool business.
    The enforcement of the rules is lax.
    lot of paperwork in Vasanth’s post office
    Double standard: Customer has to do a lot of paperwork to received money but the post office doesn’t have to do much paperwork to receive money.
    From Vasanth to Everyone: 11:27 AM
    I have an example of ridiculous rule. But not from Post office.
    From Me to Everyone: 11:29 AM
    Ivan is just contrary. Likes to stir up trouble.
    We “fill out” a form.
    From Ivan Korjavin to Everyone: 11:30 AM

    He was a normal boy and therefore always had a guilty conscience when his father was angry

    From Me to Everyone: 11:33 AM
    a guilty conscience = you feel like something is your fault
    Bad kids don’t feel guilty.
    Wife was intimidated by the husband
    Dad was somewhat tyrannical?
    He was frugal or a cheapskate.
    From Thein Lin Aung to Everyone: 11:34 AM
    Maybe short tempered
    From Me to Everyone: 11:34 AM
    She wants attention.
    From Ivan Korjavin to Everyone: 11:34 AM
    I’ll have to get authority on this thing
    From Me to Everyone: 11:35 AM
    to get authority for something or to do something
    From Ivan Korjavin to Everyone: 11:36 AM
    “Sell no pigs,” Morgan wired.

    Wired? Phoned? Interneted? Lettered?
    From Me to Everyone: 11:36 AM
    wired or wireless
    From Vasanth to Everyone: 11:36 AM
    It might be telegram?
    From Me to Everyone: 11:37 AM
    physical mail = post
    From Ivan Korjavin to Everyone: 11:37 AM
    her husband’s tone convicted her of the guilt of having borne and reared a
    From Me to Everyone: 11:38 AM
    to bear = to carry
    bear/bore/born (AE)
    From Ivan Korjavin to Everyone: 11:38 AM
    From Me to Everyone: 11:38 AM
    airborne = carried in the air
    From Ivan Korjavin to Everyone: 11:38 AM
    From Me to Everyone: 11:38 AM
    door sill = the bottom edge of a doorway
    From Ivan Korjavin to Everyone: 11:38 AM
    Flung out
    From Me to Everyone: 11:38 AM
    to avenge = to get revenge
    From Ivan Korjavin to Everyone: 11:38 AM
    From Me to Everyone: 11:39 AM
    fling/flung/flung = to throw
    to consign = to deliver/ship
    pertinent = relevant, germane

  2. Part 2

    11:45:38 From Lee Wright : 0.
    11:46:29 From Lee Wright : We got a taste of his own medicine.
    11:47:33 From Lee Wright : Letter has to go “up the chain of command” (or approval).
    11:48:12 From Lee Wright : up and down the chain of command = time-consuming
    11:48:43 From Lee Wright : bad audio
    11:48:52 From Thein Lin Aung : Tariff department
    11:49:24 From Lee Wright : tariff is an import/export tax
    11:49:25 From Vasanth : I want answer too 😀
    11:49:34 From Lee Wright : usually
    11:49:59 From Lee Wright : a tariff is a kind of tax
    11:51:35 From Lee Wright : Boss has his legs up on his desk. (rude)
    11:53:09 From Lee Wright : micromanaging
    11:53:30 From Lee Wright : parceling out the work
    11:53:46 From Lee Wright : Very specialized work
    11:54:10 From Lee Wright : livestock = farm animals
    11:54:13 From Lee Wright : species
    11:55:23 From Lee Wright : We need to empower employees to make decisions.
    11:55:49 From Lee Wright : 90% paperwork, 10% teaching
    11:56:44 From Lee Wright : Doctors have insurance and medical regulations to follow.
    11:57:10 From Vasanth : T
    11:57:28 From Lee Wright : “Make it happen.”
    11:58:48 From Lee Wright : Teachers in India have to do census work.
    11:59:16 From Lee Wright : They are “volunteered” by the government.
    12:00:27 From Lee Wright : George Orwell’s “1984:
    12:01:09 From Diana Yarmolinska : Catch 22
    12:01:10 From Lee Wright : Catch-22
    12:01:32 From Lee Wright : Bureaucracy
    12:01:36 From Lee Wright : paradox
    12:02:45 From Lee Wright : Lord of the Flies

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