Posted by RRC on July 29, 2007
In Reply to: A blind pig posted by Smokey Stover on July 29, 2007
: : : : I just found this forum while looking up the saying, "Even a blind pig finds a truffle now and then." It's never made sense to me, and I found an old posting here that seems wrong to me. I understand it to mean that even a pig handicapped for the hunt gets lucky once in a while and finds a truffle. Applied to a person, it would suggest that even someone incompetent at a certain activity may succeed by luck occasionally.
: : : : The problem with this is that, as I suspected, a pig doesn't search for truffles by vision, but by smell (I looked it up), so a blind pig should be as successful finding truffles as a sighted one and needn't rely on luck or occasional happenstance, as I do to hit a 3-iron well. Any thoughts?
: : : My thoughts are: the way I've heard the expression is, "Even a blind hog finds an acorn every once in a while." And thought No. 2, now that you mentioned blind pigs, check out Blind Pig Records: http://www.blindpigrecords.com/ Great music. And that is all I can think of.
: : And I've always heard it as "Even a blind pig finds an acorn...": : so I tied a Google war to see the frequency of each variation:: : hog/truffle = 39 hits: : hog/acorn = 3170: : pig/truffle = 450: : pig/acorn = 2760: : So it's a close call between hog and pig, but acorns trump truffles. A good result with a 3-iron, however, remains in the field of capricious happenstance. One is reminded of Lee Trevino's (attributed to, anyway) joke: "if lightning approaches, hold a 1-iron over your head, because even God can't hit a 1-iron."
: Both pigs and dogs are used to find truffles. Talking about blind pigs finding truffles means someone has mixed up two aphorisms, since, as has been stated, blindness does not affect a pig's sense of smell. It's quite possible that rats could be trained to find truffles, as they have a keen sense of smell. However, they also have disadvantages for truffle-seeking. They can't cover ground as quickly as pigs or dogs. : SS
I think it should be mentioned that the reason that truffles are hunted by scent is because they are found beneath the surface of the ground where they can't be seen.