The Weekly Ups and Downs: Torn-Up Trucks and Bad Luck

A Friday look back at the good and the bad of this fine, spring week in Milwaukee.

One-Third of Seniors Fully Vaccinated

Them numbers are moving – what a sight to see. As of this week, 33% of Wisconsin residents over 65 have received not one, but two, doses of the COVID vaccine. And the total population to receive one dose is up over 19%. It might feel slow, but it’s happening. I know we’re not allowed to be excited anymore, and optimism is often rewarded with a boot to the dingus, but just allow us one moment to celebrate this small milestone. WOOP. Ok, that was it. That was the moment. Let’s keep this going, folks. Someday, we’re gonna be breathing all over this freaking city again.

Camping Chair Driving Seats

Ok, ok, ok, all right, I know, this is extremely unsafe and irresponsible and not the way to go about your business. I’m not advocating anything here. But when I read this story about a Wisco state trooper pulling over a guy driving a pickup truck with a folding camping chair as his driver’s seat, my first thought was, “Now that is truly a beautiful thing.” You have literally no seats left in your deathtrap of a truck, and you think, “Meh, I’ll just throw a folding chair in there.” Much respect.

Fool’s Errand

Every time I heard the word “restaurant” this past year, my midwestern sympathetic nerve reflex made me wince and say, “Oh jeez, the poor owners.” Really, it’s been awful, and I’m glad to be able to point to small victories for the service industry (and for diners), such as the opening of a new comfort food restaurant – Fool’s Errand – by the fearsome twosome behind DanDan.  



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FAFSA Numbers Down  in Wisconsin

FAFSA, the federal aid application for college students, received 12% fewer applicants in Wisconsin this year than last. This seems to indicate that kids are deprioritizing, delaying or abandoning their college applications in the face of the pandemic. As someone who went to an expensive college with the assistance of bucko government cheese (that’s the technical term the financial aid offices used), I can say that the FAFSA was a lifesaver and college was an experience both scintillating and effervescent. On the other hand, I majored in English, so my most marketable skill is my ability to clumsily misuse vocabulary words. What I’m saying here is that college is great if you don’t go into crippling debt, you learn how to think for yourself, and you qualify for some good jobs. So I fervently hope these dropping numbers don’t indicate any dreams abandoned.

The Pandemic Fog

A year of this isolation is starting to do a little cognitive damage, I fear. Because, where you, you know, you’re writing a new column for the newspaper site, no it’s a magazine website that you work for – you’re the manager man, and you have to, yeah you have to write this thing about how the pandemic is, it’s, is yeah making people kinda sluggish and confused, today or now really you should be writing it … and your mind just keeps wandering off because of the potatoes that you ate last night and they, they were real, real potatoes. … Well, if you ever feel like that, it’s a documented phenomenon. The Atlantic did a story about it this week. So now I have an excuse for not being so good with the writing and the finishing of the sentences all professional-like.



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.