When a man is in such circumstances; trapped, alone, unarmed – facing a hideous porcine mutant, laughter is not the generally expected reaction. I couldn’t help it. Spattered in pig-spit and moist potato chunks, the last man in the world started laughing. Fully and deeply, with only the occasional cough brought on by my plasticised lungs and the radioactive dust. My eyes had adjusted to the gloom – and the pig was indeed standing in front of me, one bleary eye fixed on me quizzically as its tentacular maw masticated chips. That alone was hilarious. It was like watching an octopus fight a bag of Lays.
I put my fear aside and reached out to stroke its muzzle. The only real ‘contact’ I’d had with farmyard animals generally involved the bargain meat section and a Foreman grill, so the strange feeling of its fuzzy snout surprised me. I thought it might be slimy – tentacles and all that – but it was warm and soft under my fingers. The pig itself gave a gratified grunt/squeal/horrible slurping noise and chewed more.