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Past Words of the Day

An act first practiced at Brookfield Central High School in the mid-1990s. Several students from the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield, being of a gentle disposition, sought a safer and more sanitary form of humiliation than the traditional swirlie, which involves holding someone's head in a toilet and then flushing. The new "Brookfield swirlie" consisted of holding the victim's head down on the surface of a water fountain (a water fountain of course being known as a "bubbler" to some but not all Wisconsinites) so that the fountain water shoots into the ear of the victim. In this era at Brookfield Central, a few girls practiced this more genteel "swirlie" (boys are far more likely than girls to practice the more dangerous traditional swirlie). Nevertheless, an undesired side-effect of the Brookfield swirlie was that the act was more public and in some ways riskier than the traditional toilet-based variety.

A rodent that comprises an important segment of the fur trade in Louisiana but is generally considered a pest elsewhere.

1. This is August 15 and a few days on either side. When all the leases in the central city turn over at the same time, many students and other renters leave vast piles of unwanted belongings on the curb as they change apartments. These items are often taken home by others as the population garbage picks the piles. When someone asks where you got an item, you reply "Hippie Christmas."

2. Most leases in Madison, Wisconsin go from August 15th to August 14th of the following year. Many students are stuck in no man's land from noon on the 14th to noon on 15th while the owners are turning over the apartments. Some people camp out overnight guarding their earthly possessions. In the aftermath of this multiple-day circus plenty of rancid old pieces of furniture are left out on the curb for opportunistic hippies to snatch.

3. Whether it makes them hippies or not, many UW students wait for Hippie Christmas to furnish their new (but not very new) apartments. It costs a lot of money to furnish a place and college students are often strapped for cash. The trick is to find something that isn't drenched beyond repair. Many finds are quite salvageable.

Local Artist 'EROS ONE

(noun) Nickname for Minneapolis, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s; meant as a contrast to "The Big Apple", New York City.

A plate of half chicken tenders and half french fries.