Here’s What You Missed in Wisconsin This Week: Feb. 18

Kwik Trip is out of cups, Leinenkugel’s is making heated shorts, Solly’s is winning awards and more.

Teddy Bear Reunion

Frederick Nietzsche wrote, “If you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” This story is like that, if you replace “abyss” with “unbelievably sweet story.”

The week before last, Mitchell Airport took to social media to report a lost teddy bear. The hunt was on for the owner. It took a little time to track him down, but this past Tuesday, the 5-year-old, who lives in Texas, was found and brought back to Milwaukee to retrieve his teddy bear, which he lost in November. He had tossed it in the air so high that it got caught in the rafters minutes before his family had to board their plane. Mitchell hosted a reuniting ceremony, and the kid brought his bear back home.

See what I mean about this story? It’s so sweet, I feel like I have to watch twenty-four straight hours of David Fincher films just to get back to my normal, miserably cynical self. Or just log into Twitter.

Solly’s Wins James Beard

Solly’s Grille took home a James Beard award for its classic butterburger this week. When I first read this story, I called up my buddy Jim and said, “Hey, so when are you going to shave? Solly’s wants their award.”

And Jim said, “Dude. That joke is horrible. Seriously? That’s like reprehensibly bad.”

I burst into tears and said, “I know. God, I’m so sorry.”

“You’re a piece of worthless trash,” Jim said.

“Please forgive me.”

“There’s no forgiveness for you. Not after that joke. I’m calling the police.”

“No,” I screamed. “No, please. I need help.”

“You’ll never hurt anyone ever again.”

“Don’t do it. I swear I’ll stop.”

“You said that last time.”

“Now I mean it.”

Jim paused, and then said, “This is your last chance. One more joke like that, and you’re done. I’m serious.”

And I said. “Hi Serious. I’m Archer.”

Jim blocked my number.

Shandy Shorts

Shorts in winter. Some say it’s foolishness. Some say a fashion statement. Some say just plain comfortable. They’re all wrong. It’s a declaration of man’s refusal to be conquered by the cold. It’s standing up to Mother Nature and wiggling your bony knees right in her stupid face. It’s the human spirit triumphant, untrampled, a glorious and shining pair of man-thighs.

Leinenkugel’s understands this, and they’ve acted accordingly by crafting a limited time pair of “shandy shorts,” heated shorts designed with a holster for your bottle of Summer Shandy. I am often proud to be from Wisconsin, but never more so than this day.

Neighbors Bought Polish Falcon

Way back in June of last year, the Polish Falcon was listed for sale. The bowling alley/bar/event hall/house is a beloved institution on Clarke Street, and so a bunch of Riverwest neighbors got together to save it. They made a successful offer and now own the joint. Instead of being torn down for a parking lot or converted into fancy condos, the Polish Falcon building will remain.

This reminds me of the time my neighbors on all three sides got together to put up a big fence around my yard. I didn’t even have to pitch in for it. “Your statues are obscene and intensely disturbing and they’re driving down property values across the entire block,” they said, but I knew the real reason was neighborly love.

Kwik Trip Can’t Get Any Cups

Three-month commodity delays and skyrocketing prices I can accept, but now supply chain problems are coming for Kwik Trip? No. This I do not forgive. The gas station chain put out a suitably jocular post on social media last week noting that Kwik Trip customers would need to bring their own coffee cups because “a gas station that shall not be named stole them.” But the real reason for the lack of cups was a shortage caused by the supply chain. You know, I’ve never been a particularly political person, but this is a bridge too far. What the hell happened to this state? I’m officially announcing my candidacy for Governor. As a member of the Mongoose King Party, I will be running on a platform of getting Kwik Trip back its cups, and also free muffins for all dudes under 5’9’’.

Steeling Ourselves for an Inevitable Rejection

We’ve had our heart broken brutally by political party conventions that didn’t go very well not that long ago. So when I read this story about Milwaukee “taking the lead” in the attempt to bring the 2024 Republican convention here, all I could do was clench my gut and look at the floor – kind of like anytime I see a remotely attractive woman (I’ve walked into a lot of walls, but that’s neither here nor there). I can feel the rejection on the horizon, just waiting to come our way. First the Democrats virtualize us and don’t show up, then the Republicans string us along before choosing some other city (probably freaking Cleveland), and then what? We download Convention Tinder and swipe until someone finally loves us? I don’t know, man. Maybe it’s better to just spare ourselves the pain. 

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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.