Here’s What You Missed in Milwaukee This Week: Aug. 20

A brave deer swims three miles, donuts in the Third Ward, and Kohl’s keeps the savings coming this week in MKE.

Rollin’ Up to the Spot in Some Fresh Kohl’s Threads

When I hit the club, as I often do, there are two questions I’m asked most often, “Would you please leave me alone?” and “Where’d you get them fine khakis, my man?” Well, I’ll tell you where – Kohl’s, baby. All day, every day. I make it rain Kohl’s ca$h. I inhale deals and exhales savings. Five dollars for a cable-knit sweater? Hell yeah. I’ll pull up at the Cool Guy Convention in my brand-new Sonoma polo shirt in the limited edition gray, and you know I’m getting hella looks from the ladies. And not the usual looks. Good looks this time. Like, “Damn. That little man is killing it in his fourteen-dollar gym shorts and two-for-one off-white tube socks.”

I can’t say enough about Kohl’s – there’s nowhere better to shop for clothes, and I mean that. So when I saw that Kohl’s sales are up 30% in the second quarter of 2021, a smile came to my face. Ain’t no pandemic gonna stop the savings.

The Undisputed Kings of Cranberries

Wisconsin continues to reign supreme in the world of cranberries. According to the U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee, which exists, Wisconsin produces over half of the world’s supply of cranberries. This would make 2021 the 27th consecutive year that we’ve been the number one state for cranberry production. I love cranberries. They have a wonderful, refreshing flavor and they’re versatile – you can eat them straight, put them in a sauce, drink their juice, smash them into a paste to create a fake blood stain in your living room to fool your second family into thinking you were kidnapped so you can extract a hefty ransom and then use more fake cranberry blood to fool those idiots into thinking you were killed by the kidnappers so that you can then move to a Midwestern state and change your name to something stupid and then start a career as a journalist at a city magazine where they’ll never ever find you. Man, I sure love cranberries.

An agricultural machine vacuum harvesting a cranberry bog farm field. The cranberry fruit is directed toward a wet vacuum machine, and transported to a harvest sorter and truck. A sea of red berries floating in the field of a Wisconsin cranberry marsh farm. Photo by Getty Images

The Inspiring True Story of Cliff Hart

When your alarm rings, and you hit that snooze button. When you promised yourself you’d work out, and you’re just sitting in your kitchen eating bon bons in your sweatpants. When Netflix is asking if you’re still alive because “Too Hot to Handle” has been running nonstop for seven hours.

This is when you think of Cliff Hart.

Cliff was an Apostles Islands deer, born on the wrong side of the tracks, who had a dream. He wanted to be a dancer. His mother used to say, “Cliff, you’re a loser just like your father. There ain’t no dancing deer on Madeline Island. Plus, you’re ugly. Go make me some lasagna.”

“Screw you, Mom,” Cliff said. “I’m going to be a star.”

Cliff knew in his heart of hearts that he was destined for the stage. He spent hours practicing his pirouettes in front of the tourists, who only occasionally tried to shoot him. But his mother was right – there ain’t no dancing deer on Madeline Island. All the real deer artists lived on Michigan Island, that bohemian hive.

But how would Cliff ever get there? Sneak onto a ferry? Jack a car? Or perhaps … no, it was too outlandish … but not impossible.

Cliff swam from Madeline Island to Michigan Island on Aug. 13, 2021. A passing human, Kelly Peterson, spotted him on his epic journey and documented it for us to enjoy. This noble dreamer kept his head above water the whole three miles through 68-degree water. We don’t know what happened to Cliff once he got there, but we like to think he’s making his dreams come true.

Donut Monster

Fred stumbles back into his house, sweat-soaked and panting like a wounded dog. Amanda rushes down the stairs. “Fred where have you been?” Fred stares down at his hands, the sticky juices dripping between his fingers, a gory red stain across the front of his shirt. A sickly-sweet stench follows him. He looks up at his wife, his eyes wide, mouth agape. “Oh my God, Fred,” she whispers. “What have you done?” Voice shaking, he speaks in a haunted monotone. “I’m a monster, Amanda … a donut monster.” He lifts his hands slowly to his face and licks the jelly from his fingers. His wife is frozen in terror, until the corners of her husband’s sugar-flecked lips begins to twist back into a grin. By then it’s too late – all she can do is scream.

So anyway – Donut Monster is opening a new location in the old Third Ward Holey Moley that closed a few months ago. I like the name.

Photo by Chris Kessler



Tickets for Fringe Festival

This week, tickets went on sale for Fringe Festival, Milwaukee’s annual celebration of art on the fringe. The festival follows a tradition started in 1947, when eight theatre companies were rejected at the Edinburgh International Festival and decided to put their shows on anyway on the literal fringe of the festival boundaries. Milwaukee’s festival will be at the Peck Pavillion on Aug. 28.

I only have one complaint. I don’t think Fringe Festival is enough. I propose a Fringe Fringe Festival, for all the artists too bold for the regular fringe. Want to spray diarrhea on a Barbie and call it “The Materialist Pseudo-Female in Post-Capitalist Hegemony?” Want to put on a three-hour music-free show of interpretive booty poppin’? Want to paint the Declaration of Independence on your chest in goat’s blood and scream obscenities at an old photograph of James Buchanan? Well, Fringe Fringe Festival is the place for you.

Photo courtesy of MKE Fringe

Toxic Fish

The Department of Natural Resources dropped some bad news this week – yellow perch and crappies harvested from the Petenwell Flowage in Juneau, Wood and Adams counties are testing positive for high levels of PCBs and PFAS, “forever chemicals” that have been linked to kidney and testicular cancer along with other negative health effects. The DNR advises anglers to eat the perch and crappies only once a week max. 

In other news, there are fish called “crappies.”



Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.