When I was 10, my little league team lost a close game. My friend‘s Dad said, “Close, but no cigar.” I think that’s a good thing because I was a kid. What were they thinking? A 10 year old smoking a cigar?
So how did this strange phrase come to be? Cigars were often given out as prizes at carnivals and fairs in the United States. Wow, what we have learned! We don’t give them out for winning a game at the local fairs anymore which is a good thing because if you’re not used to smoking them they can make your stomach upset.
That would be great, right? People regularly empty their stomach contents on rides already. I don’t think they need a starter kit. Filling a kid with ice cream, Diet Coke, tobacco juice and a funnel cake, then putting them on a high velocity spinning death trap is as much of a guaranteed disaster as letting Anthony Weiner near a camera.
The phrase was first recorded in print in Sayre and Twist’s publishing of the script of the 1935 film version of Annie Oakley: “Close, Colonel, but no cigar!” And the rest is history.
The most coveted prizes today are stuffed animals. Well not real stuffed animals, that would be gross. Toy stuffed animals and the bigger the better. So I hereby submit that the phrase ‘Close, but no cigar’ be immediately replaced with ‘Close, but no stuffed toy frog’.
Its a tough job to straighten out important societal issues but when you’re good at it…
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