Here’s What You Missed in Wisconsin This Week: Jan. 14

A luggage storage company hates Milwaukee, fishermen get stranded on a floating chunk of ice, and more.

Green Bay Fishermen Were Left Stranded After an Ice Chunk Broke From Shore

“We had seen God in His splendours, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.” – Ernest Shackleton

A cold morning, bright sun burning over the shores of Green Bay as the ice fisherman took to their might task. The smell of men was in the air: sweat, beer, cigarettes, the straining of muscle and the striving of heart, and also that weird honeysuckle deodorant Chuck wears. There were 34 fishermen on the ice that Saturday, Jan. 8, the year of our lord 2022. As they left their ice shanties and prepared to begin the morning’s work again, there was a crack. No, it wasn’t Chuck bending over to open the cooler again. The ice was breaking. A huge chunk split from the shoreline and began to drift away onto the lake along with the men on top of it. “Avast, ye hearties,” the men hollered. “The cruel maw of the sea aims to swallow us whole again.” “Huh?” Chuck said. “Why are you guys talking like that?” There was little they could do. The ice kept drifting, reaching nearly 2,000 feet away from where they had been. The Coast Guard, fire department and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources gathered their forces and mounted a rescue mission to save these intrepid fellows. Over an hour and a half, through sheer grit and bravery they were able to save all the fishermen, brought home to their families once again, for years hence to recount the tale of the day they faced the unflinching deadliness of that she-wolf devil dog we call Lake Michigan.  

Bronzeville Gets a Nod from the New York Times

This week, the New York Times listed Bronzeville as one of its “52 Places for a Changed World.” Which is kind of a weird headline, is it not? Places for a changed world? I know I’m nitpicking, but what does that mean? It’s not literal like this is a “place for a 7/11.” Does “for” mean that “a changed world” is the place’s purpose and belief? Like how I’m “for” no taxes for all men under 5’9’’. Because places can’t have beliefs. If they could, my bathroom would be for my arrest and possible execution. You know what, I’m overthinking it. The subbed in the NYT says it means, “places around the globe where travelers can be part of the solution.” Wait. Solution to what? Like, solution to a dreary vacation? Or solution to societal decay and eventual collapse? Because the headline on Google and social media is “52 Places for Travelers to Visit in 2022,” which is way simpler but makes the subhed more confusing to me. Wait I get it now. The New York Times is saying that if I go to Bronzeville, I’m making the world a better place. That’s awesome because I’ve already been there. More than once, actually. I’m a hero. I knew it. Well anyway, good on Bronzeville for making the list. It’s nice to see.

The Return of Student Loans

Student loans are coming back, baby. After two years of suspended payments, people are going to start shelling out their cash again starting Jan. 31. The Appleton Post-Crescent did a feature on some of the folks affected by it, and you know, I realize you might expect this to be in the Downs column because of the massive debts and crippling financial burdens, but it’s not. It’s an Up. Why? Because I’m bitter and I want to inflict my pain on others. Being an bone-brained idiot, I took out a little over $20,000 in student loans to get an English degree. After graduation, I got a job at a pharmaceutical company formatting word documents and lived at home so that I could pay my debt down as quickly as possible. And I did. I paid it all down. And then three months later, people stopped having to pay their student debts. I felt like a fool. That’s what you get for being responsible, I guess. Well, ha! Now you’re all going to have to pay again! I win! Look at me now! I’m debt-free and … well, I still live at home … and … um … I don’t have any practical skills … and I guess I … you know what never mind.

Bearded Dragon Salmonella Outbreak

People across the country have been rubbing their bearded dragons and spreading diseases. That … sounds very weird when I write it out, but it is true. A Salmonella outbreak that has been found in 25 states including Wisconsin is linked to bearded dragons. 64% of the 44 people who’ve had confirmed infections reported owning or touching a bearded dragon. The lizards can carry Salmonella in their poop, and apparently it spreads pretty easy. Thankfully, the outbreak hasn’t led to any deaths. In other news, does anyone want a lightly used pet bearded dragon?

A Luggage Storage Company Named Milwaukee the Second Worst Vacation Destination in the Nation

At the offices of Milwaukee Magazine, we get a ton of press releases from strange companies that run complete nonsense studies ranking Milwaukee as, like, the fifth best city for orthodox Jews who love to twerk, or the third-worst city for anemic cats. They’re studies made for publicity’s sake, and they are almost invariably trash. The latest addition in this long line is a study from Bounce, a website where you can find places to store your luggage in different cities (I’m not sure what the utility of that is exactly, but I guess if you travel a whole lot or are a spy and need to make a dead drop for your mole, it would be useful.) Bounce put together a list of the worst “cities for a weekend break in the states” based on average hotel price, average temperature, attractions per square mile, “relaxation spaces,” airport driving to downtown, and some other stupid factors, and they mashed it all together for science and came up with a list that ranked Milwaukee the second worst in the whole country. We did so badly because we have a “low number of attractions, relaxation spaces, and restaurants per square mile, as well as being a chilly 47.8°F on average.” Want to know what city got the worst spot? Denver. Yeah. Because no one likes vacationing in Denver. This study is very dumb. It is not worth the effort that was taken to write this response, and it is not worth concerning yourself with it. Sorry if I wasted your time, but I hope you many found some enjoyment out of this. That’s all – I’m going to go out and enjoy our city’s plentiful relaxation spaces now.

My New Masks Smells Like Someone’s Being Doing Inappropriate Things To Them (Also, COVID)

Masks are back. Omicron and whatnot. Because my old masks were starting to develop something akin to a fungal overgrowth, I picked up a new batch of KN95s. They’re like N95s, but cheaper and worse. And I feel it necessary to say that they smell – apologies for the vulgarity – like straight-up genitals. I don’t know what the process is for making these things, but if someone told me that a mustached guy at the mask factory named Zev took them in the backroom for a “special fitting” before shipping them out, I would not be surprised. I’m sorry – I know there are much more serious concerns right now, but bleck.  

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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.