This scene is alive with narrative intrigue. After considerable scrutiny and concentration, here is where we've arrived:
Ma and Purvis Hog have absconded with the butcherman's wares. Ma pushes the sausage wagon along, a chain of links that used to be dear Cousin Hooter dangling.
Purvis, happy to have finally taken hold of life's jug, swings the picnic basket. He'll spin a jig, he'll dance a reel, when he finally makes the Herndon side.
And there, waving from his wheelbarrow is Junior, drunk again on mash and dreams. All he needs, after he's had a nip off old Cousin Hooter, is a little push onto the tracks to meet the 3:22 from Skeeter Junction square-on. It's the cycle of life in all its high-impact splendor.
It's really about getting yourself killed, cooked, and eaten. And maybe winning an award in the bargain. The people will choose—how they'll salivate and choose!—and Ma, Purvis, and Junior will go down smooth and smoky.
Addendum: Here is what we had to say about the 2007 Memphis in May festivities.