I Live in the Drunkest City in America

With more than 20,000 cities populating the United States, what are the odds that four out of the top ten drunkest cities in America are within 25 minutes of my home, while living in number one? Even if we go a bit further out, 11 out of the top 20 are in Wisconsin.

[Drunkest city in U.S.? It’s Appleton, Wis., report says]

I did not grow up here, I moved from Minnesota roughly seven years ago and while I still feel uneasy when people call the drinking fountain a bubbler, and I still want to slap the mouths that say Duck Duck Goose rather than, Duck Duck Grey Duck… I feel comfortable calling the Badger state my home.

So what is this list all about anyway?

The first time it perused across my screen I assumed it was a local survey of sorts, I mean, four out of ten cities I consider local, even spending significant amounts of time in each of them, it made sense. Knowing now that the gathered information consumes the entire country, I can’t help but laugh and everyone else around here seems to find this tidbit of national spotlight amusing right along with me.

I logged onto Facebook today and was instantly greeted by three variations of the story – one was the original, followed by two covers from the local news and radio stations and then the plethora of friends who shared the news with a bunch of laugh-cry emojis.

For the record, it is not that there is nothing else to do out here, it’s just normal to drink while doing everything.

Last year, trick or treating in Appleton, Wisconsin we stumbled across a couple in their late 20’s or early 30’s, with no children, pulling a wagon full of Busch Light. Parents walking over, laughing it up over their clever take on adult trick-or-treating. Does this kind of thing happen in Arizona or Connecticut? If I’m being honest, we already had some chocolate liqueur mixed with our hot chocolate for the trek through the neighborhood. Don’t judge us.

Now that I’ve seen this list, I’m beginning to think our normal, out here in drunksville, is not necessarily the norm for the occupants in the other 19,000+ cities. I’m being forced into these assumptions that people outside of Wisconsin who look at this list think we’re all a bunch of slurring, staggering morons. I’m stuck imagining people in Oregon and Utah right now, sipping their herbal tea or decaf coffee gossiping about how we must hate our lives to have so many heavy drinkers condensed in one common area…

…but most of us don’t.

Sure, there are people who can’t handle themselves or their alcohol consumption as well as the next Wisconsinite, but overall, it’s a way of life that everyone is simply accustomed to; call it a tolerance if you will. I could name at least five people in my life that would tell you, without hesitation, four or five drinks in a two-hour span of time is nothing. I imagine their look would scream: Yeah, and…?

Out here we have these restaurants called Supper Clubs, where people gladly wait over an hour for a table because they enjoy sipping on cocktails before dinner – that’s the whole point of coming. Even when there is no wait, a large chunk of individuals will belly up to the bar before taking a seat in the dining room only to find themselves back where they started for an after-dinner drink. Sometimes it’s a grasshopper, sometimes it’s coffee and Kahlua and sometimes it’s Jack on the rocks but it’s never considered abnormal.

Coming from Minnesota, where you can’t purchase any alcohol on Sundays and the rest of the week it’s sold only in liquor stores, you can imagine my face when I stopped into Walmart and saw a section full of alcoholic adult beverages. I felt like a rebel. You mean, I can just throw this 12 pack of Coors Light with my toilet paper, deodorant and greeting card… and be on my way?

You can buy booze at Walgreens.

Sick? Picking up a prescription for a nasty virus? No worries, you can throw in that bottle of brandy the doctor suggested under his breath; one stop shop.

I mean, if we’re being real though this list came from recent statistics the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found on per capita alcohol consumption, which makes it a touch more sensitive.

Thankfully most of us have already passed the denial phase, if there even was one, we accept who we are. Wisconsin residents and I drink more than we should; good, bad or ugly… it’s the norm. Call it an excuse if you’d like, in Wisconsin, it’s a culture.

Cheers.

It’s Duck Duck GREY DUCK, and yes, it’s serious.

I’m a transplant from Minnesota living in Wisconsin. I traded the 45-minute-traffic-filled city commute to work for the smell of manure on a hot summer day. Is it strange that I would rather smell animal dung than sit in traffic?  Each are gross for their own special reasons – but, if I had to pick one…

After years, it may appear that I’ve come full circle but there are still a few Wisconsin-isms that make me shake my head. The fountain that provides drinking water is called just that. It is a drinking fountain – I will also accept, water fountain. The good people of Wisconsin call this thing a, bubbler and I don’t like it.

It does not bubble and if you ask me a bubbler sounds like something British people would call the toilet. Fact: Toilets bubble more than drinking fountains.

Yet another, the stickers that you put on your license plate that show you’ve paid your dues? I call those, tabs. Found out that was a Minnesota thing the first time I went to renew.

Hi, I’d like to to purchase the tabs for my car… 

The stare down began and it was clear she had no idea what I was talking about. I still call them tabs – only now I explain myself.

Now, for the most important one:

If anyone in Wisconsin wants to debate the “Duck Duck” game – I will fight you over this.

Probably not physically, I’m not much of an actual fighter but I will raise my voice. Why on earth would any child choose to play “Duck Duck Goose” over “Duck Duck Grey Duck”? I urge anyone that would argue that it is supposed to be, Duck Duck Goose to put yourself in the child’s shoes.

Minnesota: Red DuckBlue DuckGreen DuckOrange DuckGREY DUCK!!!

Everywhere Else: Duck….Duck…..Duck…..Duck….GOOSE. 

Who is going to argue with that? Try me. But, I doubt you feel as strongly about it as I do, so…maybe you should just keep that opinion to yourself.

Way to get it right, Minnesota!!

Wisconsin does win a few pretty substantial victories; I have been converted to saying, soda. I miss saying pop and it makes my heart a little sad that when I do say, pop – it seems a little off. I suppose that’s what happens when your primary source of income at the time of finding employment in Wisconsin is bartending & waiting tables.

You get a few looks …  you know the looks I speak of and you realize it’s just easier to say soda. You say tomato, I say tomaato; doesn’t really matter (except Duck Duck Grey Duck, that does indeed matter).

“The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches…”

Why do I live somewhere that hurts my face for half of the year? I do not snowmobile, I do not snowshoe, I am terrified of ice fishing, I do not ski or snowboard; all these things that locals do around here I have zero (possibly even negative) interest in.

I get excited for snow when it gives me a reason to be a hermit in my house and that’s about it. I realized the other day that I may, in fact, have more of a love/hate relationship with the flakes than just flat out dislike. It’s ridiculously pretty – that I can easily acknowledge.

A few days ago we got dumped on and I took a few hours to drive around and appreciate the white blanket it left on my city.

Here is what I found…

One Tree

“Snowing is an attempt of God to make the dirty world look clean.” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

animal prints

“… there’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special, even though you know you’re not.”

—Carol Rifka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I’m Home

Erb Park

“Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.”

—Mary Oliver, Snowy Night

Another Tree

“Thank goodness for the first snow, it was a reminder — no matter how old you became and how much you’d seen, things could still be new if you were willing to believe they still mattered.” —Candace Bushnell, Lipstick Jungle

Basketball Hoop Ice

“Winter is nature’s way of saying, ‘Up yours.” – Robert Byrne

Drip

“Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.” -Andy Goldsworthy

FieldOfSnowmen

“Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood.” -Andy Goldsworthy

Hyd

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”-Hal Borland

Kickass trees

“A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder.” -Susan Orlean

Line of Trees

“The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only.” -Joseph Wood Krutch

snowy trees

“The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.” ― E.E. Cummings

Tree Branches

“Well, I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person” ― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

tree forest

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” John Ruskin

Negative 20 Degrees? No Big Deal.

Will someone please start a petition for us folks over here in the tundra? I would, but… it seems like it could be a lot of work.

[via: eatpraywod.blogspot.com]
[via: eatpraywod.blogspot.com]
When it feels like -20 degrees, we should have the right to stay in the houses we’re paying to heat. If the weather man is acknowledging that the air… outside my [heated] house has potential to cause hypothermia – I do not care if the actual temperature is 3 degrees.

If you pay for short-term disability, I suggest you talk to your employer about utilizing that.

I’m thinking about trying to get a doctor’s note or something; it’s causing me pain. Leaving anywhere to go anywhere, when it’s this cold requires a pep talk…

It’s not that cold.    

[That’s it.]

Swing the door open, instantly my face hurts. My eyeballs attempt to adapt to the frigid

Me: If I was William H. Macy [via: giphy.com]
breeze & my cheeks are burning. The next thing that happens? Every single particle of warmness is sucked out of my body, throwing my lungs into shock. It never fails; I gasp like I just got sucker-punched. I love the relief of seeing the vehicle I’m quickly trekking to

…so I can get inside, where it’s ALSO FREEZING

My lower back starts to cramp up from hunching over like a little old lady; shivering just to make my blood move around. If I’m getting sore – please tell me I’m burning some serious calories in the process. Don’t even get me started talking about if I forget to empty my bladder before getting slapped with the -20 degrees; it’s like… an instant emergency.

I hate seeing people run outside when it’s like this. I will admit, I may be ignorant about winter running and this is coming from pure jealousy of the motivation, but…

Seriously… stop it. You can take a day off. 

I have dreams nightmares – if I don’t run into Target fast enough, my nose falls off from pure coldness & nothing more; slides right off. Does anyone in Alabama wake up to that?!

My Resting Bitch Face Sister: Kristen Stewart, Says…No. [Via: giphy.com]
They don’t. Why do I live here?