I could not resist taking a picture of this sign in front of the Pork Barrel BBQ in Alexandria, Virginia when the family was out walking last night after buying ice cream on Memorial Day. Over at the corporate headquarters of Safeway, executives wish they had two fewer pigs after the company’s General Counsel cracked a joke about Hillary Clinton and Speaker Nancy Pelosi that has been denounced as sexist.
Gordon, 59, has been Safeway’s GC since 2000 and was speaking at an annual meeting when he turned to pig jokes:
You know, this is the season when companies and other institutions are interested in enhancing their reputation and their image for the general public, and one of the institutions that’s doing this is the Secret Service, particularly after the calamity in Colombia. And among the instructions given to the Secret Service agents was to try to agree with the president more and support his decisions. And that led to this exchange that took place last week, when the president flew into the White House lawn and an agent greeted him at the helicopter.
The president was carrying two pigs under his arms and the Secret Service agents said, “Nice pigs, sir.”
And the president said, “These are not ordinary pigs, these are genuine Arkansas razorback hogs. I got one for former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and one for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”
And the Secret Service agent said, “Excellent trade, sir.”
Even accepting Gordan’s insistence that he is not sexist, he faces a self-evident charge of sheer stupidity. Many blogs have denounced Gordon as a sexist executive in a company that relies heavily on female consumers and employees. Others insisted the joke was tasteless but not necessarily sexist. I have heard the joke with both men and women targets, but the inclusion of two women raised the sexist objection. I took the time to research the joke and it is more often used with women and clearly depicts women as chattel. At a minimum, he suffered from hoof in mouth disease. However, Gordon has now apologized so it appears that Safeway will post a sign reading: ‘Sorry All Out Of Pig Jokes.’
As for our local BBQ, it was not clear what was left on a BBQ menu but it appears that the Pork Barrel had gone vegan.
Growing up in Chicago, I remember a butcher shop and take out that had a sign reading “We Sell Everything But The Oink and The Moo” – not especially appetizing but it certainly guaranteed an extended menu.