We sure were sad to see the little rascals go. Gathering tour dates for bands like Incubus and Quiet Riot can be very stressful, and the little oinkers were more than just therapeutic. They were our friends. Our little bacon buddies. Hardly a day went by when you didn’t see one of our staffers out back with the porkers, rolling in the muck and pulling at their cute curly tails. Now the pigs are gone, and we’re so much the sadder for it.

Oh, the memories! Days of entering dates for Sir Mix-A-Lot, Dave Matthews Band and Flickerstick while our little piggies nestled at our feet. The summer company picnics where we would grease the hogs with dates for Neil Diamond and Gary Wright, then challenge each other to try and catch them, while our sales department made bets on the winner. Yes, those were the days.

Like the day Elton John came by and beat our box office editor within an inch of his life. The doctors didn’t give him much hope, but then, medical science never had any respect for the healing powers found in swine. After a few days of living high on the hog, our editor was back at work, no worse for wear.

But those days are gone. Progress has stripped the vacant lots on either side of the Pollstar.com campus and has replaced the wide-open spaces with warehouses and adult bookstores. Our new corporate neighbors objected to the squeals of delight that would arise from the pen whenever we would receive new dates for Peter, Paul & Mary or Chicago. They took us to court and the judge agreed, saying that pigs in a business environment just weren’t kosher.

But there are times when we think the pigs are still here. We’ll be processing the dates for Lynyrd Skynyrd and Herbie Hancock, and our imaginations will trick us into thinking we can still hear the familiar grunts and oinks of our porcine pals. More than once we have rushed out to the back expecting to see our little pig-skinned buddies wallowing in the fine Fresno mud. But alas, they are gone.

And we are greeted only by the silence of the hams.