Patricia, Angela, Kris and Hellie – I’ve decided to give out four copies of ADULTERER’S GUIDE! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your addresses and the name you want on the inscription!
So, this past weekend, we went up to visit Mr. Assassin at Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin – where he is taking military related classes on how to blow up stuff. It was a four hour, winding trip through tiny towns. I always forget how strange Wisconsin is. And I like it.
You can’t visit Wisconsin without having cheese. There’s a cheese shop every two miles, and weirdly enough, they almost all have a giant mouse statue out front. In fact, this love of cheese translates into huge, foam wedges of cheese Wisconsonians wear on their heads – mostly at Green Bay Packers games and of course, to church. It was refreshing to see that they’ve diversified their cheese-loving haberdashery. This is Meg in a Cheese Sombrero and Jack, in a Cheese Fez. He wore it the whole way home. In fact, he’s wearing it right now.
Boscobel is the “Wild Turkey Hunting Capital of Wisconsin!” They have signs proclaiming their prowess as hunters of large, flightless, delicious birds. Just who decides you are the “wild turkey hunting capital of Wisconsin” anyway? Is it based on sheer numbers of turkeys killed? It would have to be – wouldn’t it? Do you have to prove it by turning the town into a carcass counting graveyard every fall? Well, then I have another question. WHY WOULD TURKEYS EVER GO THERE?
As we drove through Leon we noticed banners on every streetlight (there were five) that had a large alligator on them and said, “Home of Gator Fest!” That’s right. When I think of gators, I don’t even think of Louisiana. I think of Wisconsin. There’s nothing a cold-blooded reptile likes better than forty inches of snow and below zero temps three fourths of the year. My guess is that there’s some guy in Leon, probably named Dave, who has a pet newt with an abnormal growth that looks like teeth, in a fish tank in his trailer. When you consider the ratio of reptile to human there, they might actually outrank even Florida.
Sparta was our last stop before Fort McCoy and Mr. Assassin. Of course, me and the kids kept yelling, “This is SPARTA!” out the window at startled pedestrians. But the big news in Sparta is that it is not the home of battle-hardened men in sandals (something I found personally disappointing) – it is actually, and I quote, “The Bicycle Capitol of the World.”
That’s right. You heard me. Spartans have gone beyond the “Best In Wisconsin” theme and jumped straight for the world title.
Apparently, they have some bike paths.
Sparta, Wisconsin must have some serious connections to get this title. In all honesty, besides the giant statue here (that Jack tries to kick over, shouting “This is SPARTA!”) we only saw two people on bicycles and that includes both times we went through town.
We really thought we'd seen it all - especially with the Uff Da Cafe in Westby. But we were wrong. Driving on a little, two-lane road from Sparta to Ft. McCoy, we rounded a corner and saw this:
The sign across the street says, CATARACT, WISCONSIN (I’m not kidding). I think we might’ve found the Eye of Mordor.
What we’d actually found, was a graveyard of fiberglass sculptures that had at one time adorned water parks, putt putt courses, and possibly Satanic places of worship. This place was delightfully creepy and a ragged sign encourages visitors not to touch sharp edges and to watch out for bees. There’s a row of houses across the street. What must it be like to wake up every morning and see a giant, bloodshot eyeball out your window? It’s interesting to note that next to the eyeball is a giant cow, a giant bulldog and a huge fiberglass pheasant. Yes, that’s exactly the combination I would’ve put together.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip. I’m thinking someday we should do a Killer Fiction road trip there. We can call it the “World’s Best Wisconsin Roadtrip.”
I’ve got my eye on a cheese tophat.