6 Things You’ll be Nostalgic For if You Ever Leave Wisconsin

Planning to leave Wisconsin? Here are some things you might end up pining for sooner than later.

There are any number of reasons to move out of Wisconsin. Other states in our union have much to offer that you cannot find here: year-round warm weather, ocean fronts, mountains, deserts and valleys. There are also dream jobs and world-class colleges that might require relocation. Here are some things that a Wisconsinite might miss if they ever left the Badger State:

The Lakes

Wisconsin is home to over 15,000 lakes – an official total higher even than Minnesota (although the two states use different guidelines as to what constitutes a lake). Beyond the inland lakes, which help to create some of the most scenic country in the Midwest, the state also borders on Lakes Superior and Michigan. Treating Michigan as a part of Lake Michigan-Huron (they are, technically, one lake), Wisconsin touches the two largest lakes on the planet. Few places on Earth have access to such vast amounts of fresh water.

The First 40-Degree Day of the Year

“Ain’t nobody got nothin’ to say about a 40-degree day,” Stringer Bell famously said in The Wire. But Stringer never waited through a long Wisconsin winter. The first hint of spring is an unacknowledged holiday in the state, an excuse to venture out without a heavy coat and watch the snow melt. In many places, such a day might be taken for granted. But to Wisconsinites, it’s a reminder that – in spite of how it feels – winter will eventually come to an end.

Pull Tabs

A far easier game to master than bar dice, the pull tab is comfort gambling that offers a mild thrill and that satisfying “rrrrrip” sound. The “milk cap” style pull tab often found at bars is unique to Wisconsin. The cut-out “cap” on the back of the tab technically makes it a collectable, which helps retailers to skirt the state law designed to ban such games of chance.

The Beer Chaser

You can spot an out-of-towner pretty easily during a weekend brunch in Wisconsin. They’ll be the one wondering why they got a small glass of beer they didn’t order with their Bloody Mary. While beer chasers are found in other parts of the Midwest, Wisconsin is the undisputed king of the custom. The chaser predates the popular emergence of the Bloody Mary and was first used to “chase” the hard taste of straight liquor. The chaser acts similarly today, tamping down the bite of a well-made Bloody.

The Parking Lot Brat Fry

Tragically, there are places on this earth where you do not have the option of buying a bratwurst (kept hot in a Nesco, of course) and a can of Mello Yello in the parking lot of your local grocery store. Wisconsin is not among those places. This phenomenon is also known as a “plate sale” in some areas.

“Stopping By Once Real Quick…”

There are a number of colloquialisms that seem to be the exclusive property of born-and-bred Wisconsinites. References to bubblers, stop-and-go lights, and TYME Machines will draw puzzled looks in other parts of the country, just as asking someone to “come by” your place will leave them wondering why they are not invited inside. And make sure ya don’t tell ‘em yer making hot tamales when you want ‘em to expect sloppy Joes, ‘n so?