Saturday, August 19, 2017

Blind Pig

Pat from Elk Rapids asked about the establishment known as a blind pig. It was known as a blind tiger in the south, and it was also referred to as a hole in the wall elsewhere.

The whole thing was a ruse to sell alcohol illegally. There actually was no animal involved, maimed or not. The fiction was that the customer was paying to see an exotic animal and was given a complimentary drink while viewing it. The adjective blind was probably used because law enforcement officers often turned a blind eye to the enterprise – for a consideration.

A reference to blind pig may be found in 1857. It appeared on page 182 of the May 23 issue of Spirit of Times:

“I sees a kinder pigeon-hole cut in the side of a house, and over the hole, in big writin’, ‘Blind Tiger 10c a Sight.’ Says I to the feller inside, ‘here’s your ten cents. Walk out your wildcat.’ I’ll be dodbusted if he didn’t shove out a glass of whiskey. You see, that blind tiger was an arrangement to evade the law, which won’t let them sell liquor there except by the gallon.”

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about two year’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


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