Ever since I got to this state I've been drowned in beer culture. I never really drank that much before, aside from copious amounts of Mountain Dew in high school. But tasty local microbrews like New Glarus and insanely cheap drink specials -- $1.50 beers at Brothers on Tuesday!? -- make it hard to deny the golden glow of liquid courage.
I mentioned to a friend back home that I'd started imbibing more and the response I received was, "Well, I wouldn't be surprised if you turned into a bona-fide alcoholic... it's pretty much like Animal House out there, right?"
After reading last week's Isthmus cover story about sober kids on the UW campus, I feel it necessary to clarify that it can be hip to be square.
Here are some film-inspired adventures that prove living in Wisconsin can be much more than a Beerfest.
- Go to the airport.
A classic scene in Wayne's World shows Wayne and Garth hanging out under the thunderous sky waiting for planes. Take a cue from that film and park on Anderson Street to check out the magic in the sky; feel the rush through your hair, feel the "excellentness" in your soul. (Tarmac trespassing not suggested.)
- Be a poseur.
Pay homage to late Madison resident Chris Farley and be a fat guy in a little coat. Madison has some amazing thrift stores, including Ragstock, St. Vincent de Paul, and Gozira-Ya. Bring along a camera and take snap shots of you in all your kitschy glory.
- Make out at Monona Terrace.
How many damn times have you seen a film where some hot chick makes out with a hot dude by a fountain? Monona Terrace's pretty crests fall sweetly upon the moonlit Capitol. Don't just stand there and yearn for your own cinematic moment -- take the plunge! If you are a singleton, bring a friend and faux make out. Or just grab one of the security guards and sock it to 'em, baby. Add leg lift for dramatic effect.
- Go camping.
In 1999, it was impossible to go into the woods and not hear "Josh!!" followed by snorts and chortles. Devil's Lake and other local campsites offer the perfect setting for your own masterpiece. Bring along plenty of ketchup for effect.
- Take a bike ride.
E.T. was all over, this! Grab some M&Ms and go searching for aliens on Madison's sweet bike paths. Or, try to use the roadways and dodge construction like you're in your very own action adventure.
- Pump you up.
Gyms around town like Bally's and the Princeton Club have free trial passes that will help get you ripped -- or at least toned enough to impress. Michael Showalter's character in Wet Hot American Summer did just this with the help of some spandex and a Vietnam vet.
- It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad City.
Madison might not be that big, but with the aforementioned construction, one-way streets, and crowds of students, it can be impossible to find the fastest route from one point to the other -- but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Gather at Lake Monona and foot race to the other side of the isthmus. Whoever gets to the Union Terrace first gets a make-believe cookie.
- Search for Bobby Fischer
It might not be chess, but Madison-invented Apples to Apples from Out of the Box Publishing is certainly one of the best games to come out in a long time. Whether at home or in a park, expand your linguistic muscle while tightening your abs with laughter.
- Be FAMEous!
Find a busker or drum circle and choreograph a routine right on the sidewalk! Who needs the clubs when you can be Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, waltzing to a tune by the horn-playing dude in front of Wintersilks on State Street?
If going to the arcade at the Rathskellar a la Bill and Ted isn't your thing... Or if you don't feel like running through the streets like Jared Leto in Prefontaine... You can always jump off your painted wagon. But I suggest you check out some of these fun-filled sober adventures. As Yoda said, "Do or do not, there is no try."