This is what happens when a pig has no peer group to belong to. He turns to whatever crowd gives him a sense of belonging, no matter how illusory or self-destructive.
This is how, nerves frayed and hopes in tatters, the shirtless pig winds up in the hot-rod subculture of 1960s Southern California.
The kids with their Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, Kustom Kulture cars (Fig. 1) pretend to embrace him. So hungry is he for acceptance that he goes so far as to turn himself into a barbecue mascot, the last refuge of the friendless seeker.
Look at his tentative "hang loose" hand signal, his overeager eyes. This pig has hit rock bottom. He is lost. Can his oversized pipes and grotesque shifter knob provide the guidance he needs? Will his exposed engine and shorty windshield keep him warm at night?
Even if his "buddies" don't subject him to the standard kill-'em-and-grill-'em treatment, surely he doesn't have long to live.
His frantic expression, sunken chest, and baggy skin indicate that he's already on borrowed time.
Ed Roth's iconic Rat Fink (source).
Compare "Buckets" once more to Rat Fink. One difference stands out: even the flies have abandoned the pig!
Addendum: Another at-risk pig who has traded in his insecurity for a fast crowd of gear-heads.