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February 3, 2012 1:34 AM   Subscribe

Someone in the Vermont prison system has been hiding a pig in the decals that inmates make for the state’s police cars. After only a few years, the cops just caught on. [YouTube].
posted by LeLiLo (62 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's humorous, but sad that $800 of taxpayer dollars had to be shelled out to make new license plates.

They should have to live with the pig.
posted by Malice at 1:37 AM on February 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


[frantic checking going on at Ben and Jerry's]
posted by rongorongo at 1:44 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Forget the pig. WTF is on the left hand side of that decal?
posted by sbutler at 1:49 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hey piggy pig pig pig.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 1:55 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think those are mushrooms on the left.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 1:57 AM on February 3, 2012


What on earth is Michael Spivak doing in the Vermont prison system?
posted by Wolfdog at 1:58 AM on February 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


What on earth is Michael Spivak doing in the Vermont prison system?

Hey Wolfdog, almost nobody is going to get that. Lemme help: Yellow pig.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:05 AM on February 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Forget the pig. WTF is on the left hand side of that decal?

It's a (crudely drawn) sheaf of grain, one of three on the Vermont coat of arms.

1 V.S.A. § 491. Coat of arms; crest; motto and badge
posted by maqsarian at 2:10 AM on February 3, 2012


What's up with that weird shady tophat wearing guy crouching on the grass?
posted by mannequito at 2:14 AM on February 3, 2012


Wikipedia has a helpful list of police related slang terms. Aside from "pig", you could use (and I'm just choosing words that begin with "P"), Porky, Pedal Bacon, Peeler, Panser, Paco, Poulet, or Po-po.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:18 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


“If the person had used some of that creativeness, he or she would not have ended up inside” .. well unless he grew himself some pot.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:26 AM on February 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


These people have no sense of humor.
posted by HuronBob at 2:28 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the future, every prisoner will be given a tattoo inside their eyelids which says "I am a bad person", so when they blink they will be reminded of their crime.

I think Newt Gingrich actually proposed this, but I might be wrong.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:32 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The strangest thing about this is that the pig was there for 4 years but only ended up on 30 cars. I wonder what the prison laborers who make body armor for the US Army are hiding in it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:51 AM on February 3, 2012


"An investigation has begun into how the computer program was improperly modified to insert the image, Vermont Corrections Commissioner Andy Pallito said."

Good luck with that, Commissioner. We can't let any pig shaped programs run on police computers.
posted by hat_eater at 3:11 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


well unless he grew himself some pot.

In such case both you and I know it wouldn't haves been a pig hidden in the design, but your point is well made jeffburdges.
posted by three blind mice at 3:17 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a cool story, but I'm worried about the artist. They don't take well to pranks in prisons, and that $800 replacement fee might be used to turn this into a further criminal charge.
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:22 AM on February 3, 2012


So, prison inmates are forced to make decals for the police. Clearly rubbing the power imbalance in their faces. I have to say, the cops have earned these pigs on their cruisers.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:24 AM on February 3, 2012 [26 favorites]


Hide in plain sight.
posted by hal9k at 3:33 AM on February 3, 2012


Mahoney!!
posted by iotic at 3:34 AM on February 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's just stupid to replace the decals. Just let them wear out and replace when necessary.
posted by Pendragon at 3:47 AM on February 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Am I saying meow?
posted by the painkiller at 3:50 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


He said that while some people might still use the derogatory term, “I believe a majority of us have great respect for police.”

Perhaps state senators are treated with more dignity when pulled over.

Oink, Oink.....
posted by caddis at 4:03 AM on February 3, 2012


What on earth is Michael Spivak doing in the Vermont prison system?

A judge with bad memories from his first year analysis class?
posted by atrazine at 4:22 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The fact that they spent money to replace the design makes me disrespect the police a lot more than the fact that it was on there in the first place.
posted by DU at 4:28 AM on February 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


The spending of the money is just a way to make ite look like it caused real damage. It's a ploy to punish someone--anyone--rather than be the but of a joke.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:41 AM on February 3, 2012 [22 favorites]


Ridiculous. What a waste of taxpayer money to re-do those decals.
posted by zarq at 4:59 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't suppose it occurred to any of these geniuses that instead of replacing the entire decal they could just get a small, cheap coverup decal made to apply over the pig shaped spot. Oh wait, Obscure Reference nailed it.
posted by localroger at 5:24 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Gingrich donor should put a $10,000 bounty on sneaking a fat cat in somewhere in Romney campaign materials.
posted by XMLicious at 5:24 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sigh. They could have shrugged and said "well, no one notices the pigs" just don't make a big deal out of it and we'll just make sure it doesn't happen again. But now, and forever, Vermont is that state with the pigs on their cop cars and everybody knows.
posted by fuq at 5:47 AM on February 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


well unless he grew himself some pot

Come on, we all know that illegal drugs deaden one's creative drive.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:58 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


well unless he grew himself some pot

Come on, we all know that illegal drugs deaden one's creative drive.


you see that's it! (s)he was creative and grew some pot .... then they smoked it and became less creative so the bad pigs came and busted him. but wait--after drying out in prision their creative skills came back!
posted by lester at 6:14 AM on February 3, 2012


Three kodama opposite the cow?
posted by 2N2222 at 6:21 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


They could have made money on this. Auction off the un-applied decals to benefit the Police Benevolent Society, and seek donations from business to get the already applied ones replaced. I'm sure some sign shop would do it gratis for the publicity.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:24 AM on February 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


"Pig used to be very degerading in the force."

All those poor cops being bullied!
posted by entropone at 6:35 AM on February 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, that's brilliant Rock Steady. All I was thinking of was that they could fix them with Sharpies instead of going to all that expense. But yeah, this is the equivalent of misstruck coins and misprinted stamps, but with a story a million times better.
posted by XMLicious at 6:40 AM on February 3, 2012


Have they no Magic Markers in VT? Would it be so hard to buy one and obscure the outline of the offensive porcine silhouette?


Also, is it too late to get tickets to this year's State Police Ball?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:14 AM on February 3, 2012


Hey piggy pig pig pig.

I got here as fast as I could. What's up?
posted by mysterpigg at 7:15 AM on February 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Have they no Magic Markers in VT? Would it be so hard to buy one and obscure the outline of the offensive porcine silhouette?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:14 PM


It would take forever to paint over the car windows with Magic Markers.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 7:52 AM on February 3, 2012 [24 favorites]


For a minute there I thought the link description was saying inmates were hiding an actual pig in their workshop. Now that would have been impressive.
posted by orange swan at 8:02 AM on February 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


An investigation has begun into how the computer program was improperly modified to insert the image

Yes, hackers. That must be how it was achieved. Some brilliant cyber-criminal must have hacked into Photoshop, no doubt by creating a GUI in Visual Basic, to make it insert the image. I mean how else would you alter an image file?
posted by Naberius at 8:27 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


prison inmates are forced to make decals for the police.

Many state and local contracting rules prioritize cost (I know the Federal ones do). UNICOR is very, very cheap. Commonly makes furniture.

/this could be an FPP...
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:43 AM on February 3, 2012


I find the police having such a hissy fit over this to be disgustingly petty. Took me a long time to find the pig, even knowing one was there somewhere! But you know, it is Vermont, after all. I would think it would be rather dull doing police work there. You'd have to invent new crimes for something to do!
posted by Goofyy at 8:46 AM on February 3, 2012


You'd have to invent new crimes for something to do!

"Breaker 9, breaker 9, this is Unit 91, it looks like we got a 10-77 in progress, I repeat a 10-77, attempt to pass off Acer negundo syrup as Acer saccharum. Yeah, we're going to need the SWAT van down here."
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:58 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


A friend worked at the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury and she said that the employees would get to take home the "reject" pints... like, the ones that had too much chocolate or cherries or what have you in them. You could become the Scarface of the Northeast Kingdom trafficking in stuff like that.
posted by XMLicious at 9:18 AM on February 3, 2012


A friend worked at the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury and she said that the employees would get to take home the "reject" pints

Reject schmeject. Every Ben & Jerry's employee gets three free pints per day. It's not clear if that is still the case from their most recent reports, unfortunately.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:42 AM on February 3, 2012


For a minute there I thought the link description was saying inmates were hiding an actual pig in their workshop. Now that would have been impressive.

Nah. Just a pig in a pokey.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:40 AM on February 3, 2012


They should have to live with the pig.
posted by Malice at 9:37 AM on February 3


Indeed. God knows the rest of us have to.
posted by Decani at 10:40 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is meowtrageous.
posted by CheeseLouise at 10:42 AM on February 3, 2012


CLICK*SQUELTCH- "UHH, I NEED A STATE POLICE CAR STATE SEAL STICKER.... IT'S FOR A COP."





Guys, let's never stop doing Supertroopers bits, ok? Always a smile.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:12 AM on February 3, 2012


It's humorous, but sad that $800 of taxpayer dollars had to be shelled out to make new license plates.

Just humorous. $800 pf tax dollars is likely less than what gets spent on certain lunch meetings.
posted by Hoopo at 11:17 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


True, and if they were really worried about the cost they could have kept the stickers, or put new stickers over the oinkers.
posted by caddis at 12:00 PM on February 3, 2012


Vermonters should start slapping pig decals on cop cars, especially cars that show up for protests. Why isn't that a nation wide thing anyways?
posted by jeffburdges at 12:19 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, prison inmates are forced to make decals for the police. Clearly rubbing the power imbalance in their faces. I have to say, the cops have earned these pigs on their cruisers.

Perhaps someone with a better knowledge of the penal system will correct me, but of the many things prisoners are forced to do, making decals for the police isn't one of them: forced prison labor was abolished in 1927. The whole reason Gingrich has advocated for "prison-based economy" is because that isn't the case now: the jobs inside are optional and no secret to the applicants. There are many ethical issues with prison labor as it relates to the conflicts of interest inherent to privatizing penal facilities, but that's another matter entirely.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:37 PM on February 3, 2012


I'm afraid you're wrong:
Prisoners cannot refuse to work or choose the work they will do. Prison officials can punish prisoners for refusing to do work assigned to them.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:00 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm afraid you're wrong:

Yup, got that completely wrong. Huh. Now I wish I knew what it was in 1927 that I was thinking of . . .
posted by Amanojaku at 6:07 PM on February 3, 2012


They're worried about losing $800? That's crazy talk. Shoot, they could make a metric shit-ton load of bucks selling these license plates to collectors. I'll bet there's cops out there that would love to have a piggy on their plate.
posted by BlueHorse at 10:47 PM on February 3, 2012


Prisoners cannot refuse to work or choose the work they will do.

OK, can we now officially stop hosing the South for something that supposedly ended in 1865?
posted by localroger at 5:54 AM on February 4, 2012


Actually the 13th amendment reads
  1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
  2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
so slavery is actually legally available as a form of (criminal) punishment.
posted by XMLicious at 6:19 AM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think the people who wrote the 13th envisioned us having quite the fraction of our population in prison as we do now, or that they would be there for the particular types of crime which are most common today, or that prison slave labor would be used for some of the creative purposes it is today.

At the very least I think there should be a provision in there disallowing prison slave labor to be put in competition with real businesses that employ people. There is a stark difference between using prison slave labor to make license plates or build roads, which are things that wouldn't get done privately, and having them make furniture which is sold alongside the product of factories that don't have access to slave labor.
posted by localroger at 12:24 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


VT Pigs 2.0: One week later, the swine decals now have a Facebook page, an online petition, and hundreds of supporters.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:34 AM on February 10, 2012


It's like a corollary to the Streisand Effect.

Streisand's Pig?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:44 AM on February 10, 2012


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