The long wine-fueled conversations held less and less interest for me, as time went on, leaving me eager for more food by which to occupy myself. I was thankful for the time with my uncle, who seemed to be enjoying himself, but the place in which we spent it prevented us from talking much.

Suddenly, as was the manner of this party, the table was filled by a tray containing an enormous roast sus (boar). The beast seemed to have been more impressive in size than the one taken into the kitchen. We were all astonished at the speed with which this boar was cooked, which would not have been enough to cook a fowl.

I am still not sure if Trimalchio expected us to believe that the boar he chose on our behalf was cooked in roughly 5 minutes, and grew larger as a result.

In his own surprise, Trimalchio stated, “Quid? quid? Porcus hic non est exinteratus?” (What? what? Is this pig not gutted?). The poor cook was called up at once. I did not give credit to the events unfolding before me. The only cook who forgets to gut a dish is one who would prefer not to be called ‘cook.’ Outraged at the cook’s failure, Trimalchio ordered him stripped and two torturer slaves appeared by his side. We all begged Trimalchio to spare the whip this time. Saying things like “solet fieri” (it happens), we got Trimalchio to let the cook be. Trimalchio made the cook gut the pig in front of us, but as he made the first deep cut, blood pudding and sausages spilled out before us.

Oh, Trimalchio, how you had us all guessing! The pig was gutted all along!



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