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Toomer’s Oaks Task Force, Odd Verbiage Featured on The Rachel Maddow Show

Rachel Maddow tried to make sense of the southern fad of “attempted tree-murder” last night, interviewing Auburn horticulture professor Dr. Gary Keever live from Toomer’s Corner about the “geeky” science behind the efforts to save the Toomer’s Oaks…

… so naturally she opened her regular “Moment of Geek” segment with a three-minute retrospective on the political career of Ross Perot (which finally gets around to Perot’s blank check financing of efforts to save Texas’ Treaty Oak “after it almost got tree-murdered” in 1989… which, yeah, finally segues to Toomer’s).

If Maddow’s explanation of teepeeing isn’t awkward enough for you (“They wrap the trees is massive quantities of toilet paper, they call it ‘rolling the trees'”), than how about her pronunciation “Paul Fine-a-baum’s” last name in the 45 second preview earlier in the show, or psychological jargon like “tree-icidal-over-exuberant-college-football-rivalry fandom.”

Keever’s appearance offered little in the way of new task force revelations—like whether the university plans to still allow “Rolling The Trees.” But it did make those of us unfamiliar with Maddow outside Saturday Night Live sketches realize that Abby Elliot could really take her impression up a notch. The stunted speech and odd enunciation are apparently just the tip of the comedy ice-a-berg.

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