Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Arkansas

 
For some strange reason, a few states just don't get any respect.  And this is a dirty shame -- something that has to be addressed both locally and nationally.  Now let's mention a few:  Idaho, West Virginia, Arizona, New Jersey, Arkansas, and Vermont.  I exclude the larger states that people have definite ideas about, like Florida, Texas, California, and New York, because they are in their own ways very successful in achieving what they aspire to be.
 
But let's consider the case of Arkansas.  It's favored with beautiful smaller mountains (the Ozarks), lots of wildlife (marshlands along the Mississippi River and on the University of Arkansas campus), outstanding leaders who vaulted on the National scene (Bill and Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee), and wonderous sites like Toad Suck Park.
 
But Arkansas has its original French pronunciation, like Illinois.
 
Of course, as native Kansasans will tell you, "Arkansas" should pronounced ahr-KAN-suz.  And there have been a few rash individuals who have tried to make that pronunciation stick.  During the early days of statehood, Arkansas' two U.S. Senators were divided on the spelling and pronunciation. One was always introduced as the senator from "ARkanSAW" and the other as the senator from "Ar-KANSAS." In 1881, the state's General Assembly passed a resolution declaring that the state's name should be spelled "Arkansas" but pronounced "Arkansaw."

Supposedly, in the course of the deliberations, this was the telling argument in favor of the accepted pronunciation given by State Senator Cassius M. Johnson:
 
"Mister Speaker, God damn your soul," says he, I've been trying to get the floor for thirty minutes, but all you do is squirm around like a dog with a flea in his ass! I'm Senator Cassius M. Johnson from Johnson county, where we raise men with peckers on, and the women are glad of it. Why, gentlemen, at the tender age of sixteen them girls can throw their left tit over their right shoulder, and squirt milk up their ass-hole as the occasion demands! When I was fourteen years old my prick was as big as a roasting-ear, the pride and joy of the whole goddam settlement. Gentlemen, I could piss hall-way across the Ouachita!"

Everybody clapped when they heard that, but the Speaker begun to holler "Out of order! Out of order! and pound on his desk.

"You're goddam right it was out of order," says Senator Johnson, "Otherwise I could have pissed clear across the son-of-a-bitch! That's the kind of folks we raise in Johnson county, gentlemen, and we ain't never been dictated to by nobody. And now comes this pusillanimous, blue-bellied Yankee who wants to change the name of Arkansas. Why, Mr. Speaker, he compares the great state of Arkansas to KANSAS! You might as well liken the noonday sun in all its glory to the feeble glow of a lightning-bug's ass, or the fragrance of an American Beauty rose to the foul quintessence of a Mexican burro's fart! Can all the power of this Assembly enlargen the puny penis of a Peruvian prince to a ponderous pagan prick, or the tiny testicles of a Turkish tyrant to the bulky bollyx of a Roman gladiator? Change the name of Arkansas? Great God Almighty damn! No, gentlemen! Hell fire, no!

What the God dam hell is things a-coming to, anyhow? Why, gentlemen, it's got so a man can't take down his pants for a good country shit without getting his ass full of birdshot. Change the name of Arkansas? Great God Almighty damn! You may piss on Jefferson's grave, gentlemen. You may shit down the White House steps, and use the Declaration of Independence for a corncob. You may rape the Goddess of Liberty at high noon, and wipe your tallywhacker on the Star Spangled Banner. You may do all this, gentlemen, and more. But you can't change the name of Arkansas! Not while one Patriot lives to prevent such desecration! Change the name of Arkansas? Hell fire, no!"

Thus Senator Cassius M. Johnson jumped into the breach that day to save the Bear State from everlasting shame.  And that is why Arkansas is pronounced "ARkanSAW."

[This is an old Arkansas legend.  I hope Sen. Johnson's words cause no offense.]



 
 
 


12 comments:

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

That was a real hoot!

MarkD60 said...

I believe every word of it.

TexWisGirl said...

i'd say mississippi gets less respect than arkansas gets.

Grand Crapaud said...

Why isn't Kansas pronounced "Kan/Saw"?

Clarissa said...

That Arkansas seal isn't real, is it?

John Hill said...

Awesome, Angel!

Bilbo said...

Ah, a two-bagger: lessons in history AND linguistics! You rock, Angel!

Mike said...

I didn't know it was a french pronunciation.

Big Sky Heidi said...

A brilliant speech. And Calling it Ar-kan-sus would just stink.

Big Sky Heidi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I'm With Stupid said...

Yup, it's pronounced Arkansaw and we're considered "Arkansawiers" and not "Arkansans."

Jay

Brandi said...

That must have been a real memorable speech!