Here’s What You Missed in Wisconsin This Week: Jan. 21

Trains, mittens, ice skating and the inevitability of failure.

The Tale of Jimmy Doyle, Scotty Walker and the Two Trains

In 2009, the governor of Wisconsin was a man named Jimmy Doyle, and Jimmy Doyle liked trains. “I like trains,” Jimmy Doyle said. So Jimmy Doyle bought two trains from a company called Talgo. “Trains!” Jimmy Doyle said, very excited. But then Jimmy Doyle became tired and decided he didn’t want to be the governor anymore. In 2011, a different man named Scotty Walker became the governor, and Scotty Walker didn’t like trains. “I don’t like trains,” Scotty Walker said. So Scotty Walker told Talgo that he didn’t want Jimmy Doyle’s trains anymore. “No trains!” Scotty Walker said, very excited. But Talgo wasn’t happy about that, and so they sued Scotty Walker, and everyone was sad except for the lawyers. Many years passed, and the two trains were never used. By 2022, Scotty Walker had quit being governor and no one cared about the two trains anymore. But then a man named Babajide Sanwo-Olu came to Wisconsin. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was the governor of Lagos State in Nigeria, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu liked trains. “I want two trains,” Babajide Sanwo-Olu said, and Talgo said, “We have two trains right here.” And so a deal was struck, and the two trains were sold to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who took them from Wisconsin, where they had sat unused, and brought them back to Nigeria to build the first metro system in West Africa. And whatever happened to Jimmy Doyle and Scotty Walker? It’s kind of a long story, kids. How about you just go to sleep already?

Mitten Fest is Back

Mittens – they’re like gloves but worse. Thankfully, Burnhearts’ Mitten Fest isn’t really about mittens. It’s about drinking. And also live music, food and fun. And drinking. The one-day festival is returning on Feb. 12 after skipping last year because of the ol’ COVID. We’re looking forward to seeing all the folks, patronizing local art vendors, and donating to the Hunger Task Force who’ll be collecting food and clothes at the event. Also, drinking.

Hit the Dinky Rink in Some Stinky Mink

The Milwaukee Public Market installed a tiny ice-skating rink that will be open starting today. The 700-square foot rink is called the “dinky rink,” and it’ll be open during the same hours of the market. This seems like a fun addition to me, but I do have one problem with the new rink. You have to be older than three to use it, which is clearly discriminatory against all my age-deprived comrades. Babies want to skate too! This is a hill I will die on!

Colby Might Become the Official State Cheese and Also Time is a Flat Circle and the Only Guarantee in Life is Decay and Failure

I started writing this blurb about how the state Senate is debating a bill that would officially name Colby the state cheese of Wisconsin. Something felt off. Then I realized I’d already written a blurb about this story in this Ups/Downs column in July, when the bill was first introduced. And that blurb was funnier and more clever than what I was writing now. So I deleted everything. Then I started writing this blurb about how I was repeating myself in these columns. Something felt off. Then I realized I’d already written a blurb about how I was repeating myself in these columns in a column from November. And that blurb was funnier and more clever than what I was writing now. So I deleted everything and wept. Three hours later, I was ready to throw my laptop out a window and end this column for good. But then I remembered a favorite quote of mine: “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” You know who said that? That’s right. Lance Armstrong. So I grabbed a syringe full of human growth hormone and got back to work. 


 

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The CDC Says We’re A Bunch of Unhealthy Losers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that only 7.6% of Wisconsinites are getting the recommended daily amounts of vegetable, and only 11.6% for fruit. The results are based on a 2019 telephone survey the CDC did. CDC? More like Poo Poo Pee. You think you’re better than us, huh? Trying to help us be more healthy and live longer and have better access to nutritious foods? Well I got news for you – Wisconsinites are just as healthy as we need to be. So how about you go shove a rutabaga … wait … sorry … hold on … I’m a little lost here. I went to town on some Cranky Al’s this morning. Every time I eat more than eleven donuts in one sitting, my brain gets a little funky booty. God, it feels like a walrus is giving birth in my gut. What am I even writing? Oh yeah – we’re fine, CDC, leave us alone.

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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.