Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Come Ride the Pink Pig



I know, "ride the pink pig" sounds something akin to "puff the magic dragon" but it really does literally mean "ride the pink pig." I keep hearing things about riding the pink pig down at Lenox mall so finally I googled it to find out what the pink pig is. Honestly, I had been pictured this giant pig that you climb up on and sit on and have your picture taken. Not so...it's a pink train with a happy cartoon-looking pig's head on the front.

The Pink Pig, original pig was named Priscilla, is a Christmas tradition in Atlanta dating back to 1953 when Priscilla was unveiled at some place named Rich's (founded by Mo Rich. That was his name...and Mo named his son Richard--so Mo Rich and Richie Rich) downtown. Well, nowadays, it's not exactly safe to set foot in downtown Atlanta unless you carry a gun, and Rich's closed a long time ago, so a few years ago the pig was resurrected and moved to Macy's at Lenox mall (the nicest mall in the area) in Buckhead (an insanely rich area). Porky (not the current pigs name, just what I'm calling him) only comes out for the holidays...which leads me to wonder some things...

1. How rich was Mo Rich? Was he as rich or richer than his son Rich Rich?
2. Why a pig? Other than eating ham at Christmas, what about a pig squeals Christmas?
3. Why a pink pig? Why not a red pig or a green pig...that would at least make the pig more Christmas-y...
4. Why are we riding a pink pig? Is it a Georgian tradition for kids to ride pigs at Christmas time?
5. Does the pink pig train ride like a real pig would run if some child was attempting to ride it (with bucking, fast sprints and turns and sudden stops)? Or does it just go in a circle at 3mph like other christmas mall trains?

Whatever the answers are, it obviously worked out well in order to have become a 57 year tradition even though the original store is long gone and the pig has changed hands and locations at least twice.

Fun Fact: The Pink Pig also plays an important role in the Civil Rights Movement. For a long time it was a segregated train, until one year, before any other stores, Rich's decided to desegregate not only the Pink Pig but the entire store. Martin Luther King, Jr. called it the greatest success in the civil rights movement to (that) date.

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