One of the strangest controversies to arise in modern culture played out across the pond in the United Kingdom when a store felt obliged to pull a t-shirt that depicted the infamous bat Negan wields from “The Walking Dead” and a rhyme he repeats when he is swinging that same barbed bat “Lucille” and picking out the next victim whose head he is going to break open.

“Eeny meeny miny moe

Catch a tiger by the tail.”

This version of the rhyme is the one that modern children know on a thousand school yards across the English-speaking world, according to the Washington Times.

However, decades ago, in less enlightened times, the second line had different wording that used a shockingly offensive word for black person. Apparently, someone remembered that version and decided to take offense. The unnamed retail outlet decided to pull the t-shirt.

Mind. Negan, depicted in the series, is a homicidal maniac who rules over his tribe in the zombie apocalypse world through fear and intimidation. He is given to saying and doing alarming things to such an extent that the main characters of the series are plotting to get rid of him. But not once has racist language ever passed his lips. There are limits to a man’s villainy. He will murder people and enjoy it. But he will not say the n-word.

Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan who, unlike some of the other players on “The Walking Dead” who play Southern characters, is actually an American and depicts the mad, bad, and dangerous to know Negan expressed astonishment when he heard of this dust up. “Holy crap people are stupid,” he tweeted.

Negan repeated the verses in an episode that ran in April.

Even though millions of “The Walking Dead” fans of a certain age flashed back to the original, offensive words, apparently no one complained before the t-shirt kerfuffle.

“The Walking Dead” is currently running new episodes Sunday nights in the United States on the AMC channel. The various groups that have arisen in the wake of the collapse of civilization are banding together for a climatic battle against Negan and his violent, tyrannical rule. Blood will flow in rivers and bodies will be stacked like hills. But no racist language will be used.