Cigarette ziggurat muskrat celery redskin bears

Time to expose another questionable treasure from the big black trunk. Tonight we are in Washington, D.C. between December 1943 and March 1944. Dad was twenty years old, in the Army, and attending the "Army Specialized Training Program : General Basic Course" at Georgetown University. It was big time bright lights big city for a kid from a town of a thousand people in Nebraska.

The football program seems equally insulting to bears and Native Americans. How far have we come in seventy years?

ziggurat (n.) Look up ziggurat at Dictionary.com
1858, from Assyrian ziqquratu "height, pinnacle," from zaqaru "to be high."

cigarette (n.) Look up cigarette at Dictionary.com
1835, American English, from French cigarette (by 1824), diminutive of cigare "cigar" (18c.), from Spanish cigarro (see cigar). 

celery (n.) Look up celery at Dictionary.com
1660s, from French cĂ©leri (17c., originally sceleri d'Italie), said by French sources to be from Italian (Lombard dialect) seleri (singular selero), from Late Latin selinon, from Greek selinon "parsley," of uncertain origin.
[O]ne day, in a weak and hungry moment, my roommate and I succumbed to a bit of larceny. A greengrocer's truck had parked down the street and was left unattended. We grabbed the first crate we could off the back. It turned out to be celery. For two days we ate nothing but celery and used up more calories chewing than we realized in energy. "Damn it," I said to my roommate, "What're we going to do? We can't starve." "That's funny," he replied. "I thought we could." [Chuck Jones, "Chuck Amuck," 1989]

muskrat (n.) Look up muskrat at Dictionary.com
also musk-rat, 1610s, alteration (by association with musk and rat) of musquash, from Algonquian (probably Powhatan) muscascus, literally "it is red," so called for its colorings. From cognate Abenaki muskwessucomes variant form musquash (1620s).

Red was bad news for muskrats, too.

redskin (n.) Look up redskin at Dictionary.com
"American Indian," 1690s, from red (adj.1) + skin (n.). Red as the skin color of Native Americans is from 1580s; red man is from 1580s. Cf. red cent.

Redskins (from Forbes) Link
"When it comes to showing that a trademark is disparaging,the plaintiffs must meet a two-part test:  (1) the likely meaning of the mark and (2) if that meaning refers to an identifiable group, that the meaning is disparaging to a substantial composite of that group."

The bear went over the mountain and all that he could see was a really dysfunctional Congress and NFL players with brain injuries.

Because one preschool girl has become the center of a cult and does all the assigning of roles and turns for her blind followers, I've had to recall choosing rhymes.  One potato two potato, and eeny meany miny mo without disparaging labels. Cigarette ziggurat muskrat bear sounds like a choosing rhyme. Who will be IT?  O-U-T spells out goes she!
Bonus Question:  How much celery could a Chuck Amuck chew?

Back in August I posted advice from AARP about regrowing romaine from the end of the head. Several attempts led to gooey, unsightly veggie material that became food for the composting worms. Tried again with celery this week, and the results have been more aesthetically pleasing. I liked how the celery began to look like a step pyramid or ziggurat.  Then it sprouted a  new little stalk, like tiny palm trees on an island just big enough for one shipwrecked sailor. And it is just the right season for making newspaper cornstalks!

Enough rambling. Time to get out of my PJs and face the day.

© 2013 Nancy L. Ruder

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