The Suitcase Lady


November 5, 2019, 8:04 pm

In America, I’m identified as a Badger Cheesehead from a flyover state. And if you want to throw in an ethnic slur as well, I’m a Bohunk because my grandfather was an immigrant from Bohemia. Even the word “Bohemian” implies some sort of kooky, counter-culture, artsy person.

The world is rife with insults, stereotypes and name-calling. And the best tactic for combating all of this nastiness is to just turn it around, make it a badge of honor.

For example, the term “Badger” for Wisconsin’s residents is a brilliant example of flipping an insult. In pioneer days, miners rushed into our state to get rich by mining Galena lead ore. That first winter they didn’t even waste time building shelters, but slept in tunnels they dug into the hillsides like badgers. The more genteel folk who slept in real houses dissed them with the epitaph “Badgers”. That insult eventually turned into our beloved little Badger mascot of the state university’s sports teams. Merchandise sporting that tough little guy brings in millions of dollars.

The derogatory term, Cheesehead, was coined by Illinois sports fans to insult our Wisconsin fans, especially the Green Bay Packers backers. The word now has morphed to mean anyone from Wisconsin. Since I think cheese is one of the most glorious foods in the world, I’m delighted to be a Cheesehead. I do, however, draw the line at wearing a giant foam rubber wedge of cheese on my head. I prefer to earn my status as a Cheesehead by eating or cooking with cheese almost every day.

And last, being from a flyover State seems unredeemable. However, recent news has given us flyovers the last laugh. An index has just been released on the best places to live to survive global warming. Scientists site states in the Great Lakes region as “probably the safest from a climate perspective”.

In summary, I can eat quality cheese, not burn up, drown or overheat and wear sweatshirts with that cute Bucky Badger on them. Not bad for a flyover girl.


1 Comment for this entry