Pig Testicle Shortage Puts Grundy County Testicle Festival In Peril

February 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ask any obnoxious vegetarian or sanctimonious vegan to list the horrors of large scale factory farms and you will likely receive a seemingly endless list of atrocities. But the farmers in Laredo, Missouri who organize the annual Grundy County Testicle Festival are facing a factory farm induced horror of their own – a shortage of pig testicles.

Mountain Oyster: the testicle of a pig or cow which has been breaded and fried and is typically served as an appetizer with a cocktail dipping sauce. A rural North American delicacy. See also cowboy caviar, dusted nuts, and Montana tendergroins.

Every spring, Grundy County’s most prominent farmers and their families gather at the local grain elevator in Laredo, MO (pop. 205) for the Grundy County Testicle Festival. They arrive with a blood stained five gallon bucket in tow. The bucket is not filled with it’s typical contents of feed, water, or manure. The bucket is filled with the testicular treasures which only arrive twice per year: the freshly severed testicles of the season’s adolescent male pigs.

However, this year may mark the end of this long held tradition of fun and fellowship. Festival coordinator Jim Binney explains, “Every year the big rig factory farms are puttin’ more and more family farms out of business. You can’t have a testicle festival without the testicles. This year it may have to be fish. Maybe channel catfish.”

Grundy County Channel Catfish Festival just doesn’t have the same ring…nor the seemingly endless wealth of cheezy puns.

Young adolescent male pigs are castrated for various reasons. Most notably, to prevent the excretion of hormones which can give the meat of males pigs a distinctly offensive odor and taste known as boar’s taint. ‘taint good to smell, ‘taint good to eat. Castrate ’em an’ you ‘taint got no boar’s taint.

Some of my earliest childhood memories were made at the kitchen table around a platter of fried piglet makers. Or in the pig lot to the soundtrack of squealing piglets losing their manhood. I was a vegetarian in the making.

Without fail, as the oyster “harvest” approaches, my dad begins to plot the various tactics he will employ to trick me into eating a mountain oyster for the first time. A biannual game of trickery, sleight of hand and deceit in which I invariably emerge the victor. When his most recent scheme failed he said, “Jeffrey you should really try one. You never do anything spontaneous, silly, or nutty.”

“Dad, sometimes you feel like a nut…and sometimes you don’t,” I retorted.

He laid a mountain oyster on my plate saying, “You don’t have to eat it but I’m putting one on your plate in case you change your mind. The ball is in your court. If you decide to join the fun your mother and I will be at the other end of the kitchen table having a ball.”

“Dad!” I exclaimed.

“There’s no need to get teste,” he shot back.

Only time will reveal the fate of the Grundy County Testicle Festival. I, for one, will be silently hoping that enough pig testicles escape their factory farm hot dog destiny to keep the Grundy County Testicle Festival alive.

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