For Rhonda, Or, It's BetterTo Be Badgered Than Buggered
Wisconsin is the 30th State, entering the Union on May 29, 1848. This despite having been part of the United States since we defeated the British in the American Revolution, thereby winning the right to drink untaxed tea and to stop speaking English. The name "Wisconsin" is derived from the Algonquin name for the Wisconsin River, which, surprisingly, wasn't 'The Wisconsin River' No, those Indians never gave anything a simple name. If they just called each other solid names like "John" or "Doug" Instead of thinking up things like "Dances With Wolves" perhaps they would have had more time to invent things like gun powder and small pox vaccinations. Which would have been a lot more helpful.
Here's a picture of Jean Nicolet, a French explorer and the first European to wander about Wisconsin. I think this picture makes two things pretty clear. First, Jean seems to have had a pretty high opinion of himself. Second, injuns are afraid of loud noises. Hey guys, both guns are empty now. You can kill him with a sharp stick now. Also, this might be the only time the French won a battle against superior numbers.
Anyway, while sitting around busily not developing vaccines, the Algonquins decided to call their river "Meskousing", which means something like "it lies red" and may refer to how the river looked next to the sandstone cliffs. Pretty, isn't it? Some French guy passed this along to his (apparently illiterate) companions, who somehow changed the spelling to "Ouisconsin" Later, when the English settlers started showing up, much like ants at a picnic, they changed the spelling to Wisconsion, because let's face it, spelling it the French way would've been totally gay.
46% of Wisconsin is covered by forest. 54% is covered with cheese. Wisconsin produces more dairy products than any other state in the United States except California, and leads the nation in cheese production. Wisconsin ranks second behind California in overall production of milk and butter, and it ranks third in per-capita milk production, behind Idaho and Vermont. Again, don't click on the links, I'm cutting and pasting here. The largest city in Wisconsin is Milwaukee, well known as the purveyor of fine ales like Miller, Schlitz, Blatz and Pabst. Take a look at those last three names and tell me that people in Wisconsin don't have a habit of getting so shit-faced that they can only order their next round by uttering non-sensical syllables from their perch on the floor.
There are 5,601,640 people in Wisconsin. Most of them voted for Brett Farve in the Presidential election, only to learn that their votes didn't count, as Frave is a native of Mississippi and therefore Constitutionally barred from running anything more complicated than a bumper car ride at a town carnival.
A little known fact about Wisconsin, (and parts of Michigan, but wait your damn turn Michiganites), is that the same night as Mrs. O'Leary's cow got drunk and kicked over a lantern, thereby burning down most of Chicago and creating the base for most of my current ideas about urban renewal, there was a much more devastating fire in Wisconson. You can follow the link to learn more about it, but since this will ostensibly come out on or about Christmas, (ed. note, yeah, that didn't happen did it?) you may want to wait a day or so. I find that stories of fiery death don't work well with the holidays.
Wisconsin is known as "The Badger State". God only knows why. I guess when you're discovered by the French you do what you can to sound tough. Here's a picture of a badger. Cuddly little thing isn't it?
I can see what you'd want that as your state representative. But then, Connecticut uses the Sperm Whale as its state mammal, so perhaps I should just shut up, eh? Oddly, Wisconsin's state wild animal is the white-tailed deer. Badgers being so tame and all.
Wisconsin's state bird is the robin, which is a) kind of a pussy if you ask me, and b), a total rip-off of Connecticut, which already uses the robin as its state bird. Get your own damn birds you curd-eating weasels!!
The state flower is the wood violet, which is shown here and does not like anything like a dogwood.
Actually, if you ask me it sort of does, but then, I didn't take horticulture in college, I took history, and I probably wouldn't know a wood violet if it walked up and bit me in the ass. I would however, recognize a badger it it were to do the same, so don't get any ideas.
The highest point in Wisconsin is Timms Hill, which towers a mere 1,971 feet above sea level. I will give Wisconson points for honesty, as naming anything under 2,000 feet a "mountain", even if it is the highest spot in your dairy-addled state smacks of false advertising. Wisconsin also has some neat sandstone features called "Dells"
which were created by glaciers, or glacier creating dams, or both, or neither. Look, I'm not a geologist OK? I just think they look cool.
THINGS TO DO IN WISCONSIN: Some people like to make jokes about how all anyone wants to do in Wisconsin is eat cheese and drink beer and get really fat. And since this is front and center on the Wisconsin Tourism's Department web-site, they may be right. You could also take a tour of Black Point Mansion, which was built by a German beer baron. I'm not sure how interesting it would be, but it involves beer and I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Homer Simpson's "Beer Baron" character. Also I suspect that this is a pretty accurate representation of most Green Bay fans, unless TV has lied to me all these years. They do say the camera adds ten pounds.
There's also a "Food & Froth Fest" that starts tomorrow, involving the sampling of Wisconsin's finest food and beer. In other words, it's several hours of cheese, bratwurst and Schlitz. I'll be clearing my schedule. Listen, I may make fun of people who eat and drink too much, but it's done out of jealousy.
MISS WISCONSIN LOOK LIKE THIS:
What? OK, so Brett Farve isn't really Miss Wisconsin, but the way he played for the Jets at the end of the last year, he'd have been better off sporting a gown and tiara. And the cow over there really is named "Miss Wisconsin,
continuing a trend we picked up on in Tennessee. Hopefully that's all we picked up in Tennessee, but you noever know what's in the water there.
Here's real picture of someone purported to be Miss Wisconsin 2008. I say purprtedly both to show off my impressive vocabulary, and because while looking for "Miss Wisconsin 2008" I got numerous different results, including a cow, a Miss Beer Cart Wisconsin group photo, and a Miss Southern Wisconsin 2008. I didn't realize that Wisconsin was such a huge beauty contest state.
I chose this picture becuase I do know several people who hunt in Wisconsin, and it looks like one of them just mistook the pageant winner for a deer. More importantly, you can kind of see her boob.
LIMPY'S CONNECTION TO STATE: I can find it on a map, but that's about it.
HAS LIMPY EVER GOTTEN LAID IN THIS STATE: No.
Up next: Are you kidding? It took me like three months to do this much! Someone tell Rhonda I finally got Wisconsin finished.