Elliot: Our own private Nebraska

BY BEAU ELLIOT | MARCH 05, 2013 5:00 AM

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In the big news today, NFL center Jeff Saturday will retire on Thursday.

Oh, you thought the big news was sequest or sea quest or see something? Or perhaps Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey and the prostitutes in the Dominican? Nothing more riveting than a U.S. senator, especially a Democrat, allegedly consorting with prostitutes. Especially when said senator (say that 11 times real fast) is from New Jersey. Especially when said Jerseyite is in the Dominican, because the Dominican Republic is exotic and all, being in the Caribbean. (The Dominican so-called prostitute has recanted her story, according to the Washington Post, saying she was paid to implicate Menendez.)

(Anything in the Caribbean is exotic when you live in the upper Midwest and there’s another snowstorm barreling down on you from Nebraska. What is it with snowstorms barreling, etc., from Nebraska? I mean, we keep losing to Nebraska in football and basketball, and in return, it sends us snowstorms? What did we ever do to Nebraska? Outside of making jokes about it because, well, it’s Nebraska.)

But no, the big news is Saturday will retire on Thursday. Being an NFLer, of course, Saturday played on Sundays. “And Tuesday’s on the phone to me.”

And that, in a nutshell (or nut case or “Nuts” said the American colonel during the Battle of the Bulge) sums up the Great Sequestration.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Great Sequestration. It’s coming soon to a theater near you. Or maybe that’s a Blu-Ray near you. So hard to tell these days.

The great thing about the Great Sequestration is that almost nobody describes it as such. (Well, except me. Just now. Sorry.)

Almost everyone describes it as “the sequester.” Which would be fine, except that “sequester” is a verb, and verbs don’t take to the word “the.” Verbs are funny that way.

In any case, the Great Sequestration — or the Great Sequestering, to wander into gerund land (which is great this time of year, almost as good as the Dominican) — took place March 1, and America stopped.

Well, actually, America didn’t much notice. America is like that a lot of the time. (Take the drone attacks — please, as the old joke goes; I think it was one of those Borscht Belt comedians and the original joke involved his wife. By which, even though I have been married, I am in no way equating wives with drone attacks. You’d have to be an imbecilic male to do that, which, I realize, some would consider redundant.)

Of course, there was the blame game in Washington, D.C. — which is easy to make fun of for you (not to employ two prepositions in a row), but I was born there (in Georgetown University hospital), so I’m a bit partial to the place, and I’m taking Georgetown in the NCAA pool.

Meanwhile, back at the blame game, the sequestering is President Obama’s fault — even Watergate hero Bob Woodward said so. Well, except that his own newspaper, the Washington Post disputes that. The Post points out (on Feb. 28) that the sequestering was the result of negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in 2011.

So, the Great Sequestration is with us, much as the Hawkeye men’s basketball team is with us (hello, NIT). If only the Great Sequestration could play in the NIT and get beaten by, say, the Hawkeyes.
In the good-news segment, Monday was Casimir Pulaski Day. Hope you celebrated appropriately.

(Casimir Pulaski was a Polish general who was one of the heroes of the American Revolutionary War. But you knew that.)

If Saturday retires, does that mean we lose one day of the weekend?

If only we could have people not describe things as “great” when they are just OK, or ordinary, or “who cares?.” That’ll be the day, right?

In today's issue:

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