Wisconsin Statistics, Etc.


If you read this blog much, you know I’m from Wisconsin.  We Badger State folks are a very progressive people.  I’ve read the statistics, so I know.  Only two out of every five of us share a toothbrush with someone else.  (Yes, I agree.  I am grossed out, too — which is why I belong to the three-out-of-five group that insists on having our very own toothbrushes.)

Another two out of five still have outdoor commodes.  This surprised me, since none of my neighbors for blocks around have a little house in the backyard.  I think the census busybodies must have mistaken some of those utility sheds that house lawnmowers for outdoor facilities.  Or perhaps the stats are skewed by the cottages “up nort’.”  Now, a lot of those do not have indoor plumbing, but they are not usually primary residences.  The owners do have running water at their real houses, but the cottages are another story.  Personally, I don’t go “up nort'” for more than an afternoon visit unless I have first asked how primitive the facilities are.  I don’t particularly mind the commode, but if I must bathe in the lake or forego the pleasure entirely, I’m not staying overnight.

Contrary to rumor, most of us have not had a party line for the last forty-five years.  (For the younger set, a “party line” is not color-coordinated paper plates and napkins for a birthday bash.  Nor is it a political party slogan.  It means several people all share the same phone line and listen in on other people’s conversations when bored.)  West Virginia may still have party lines, but, true to our reputation for being progressive, Wisconsin gave them up long ago.  I miss them, to tell the truth.  When I was a small child, we got quite an education by listening in on the party line, if Mom wasn’t watching us.  But, if you breathed too loud or giggled, the yackers would suddenly discover they were being monitored and yell, “You kids get off the line!”

Most of us are well aware that Barack Obama does not live in a cave somewhere between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  We might wish he did, but we are painfully aware that he does not.  Most of us know that the Republican running mate’s last name is Palin, not Paladin, although it’s possible that “Have gun, will travel” might be her motto, too.  (Sorry, younger folks, you will have to google that one.  Wikipedia will tell you all about it.)  I do not have the statistics of how many Wisconsinites do believe Obama lives in a cave, or that Sarah’s last name is Paladin.  I don’t think they’ve been published yet, but my guess is, they would be two out of five.

Wisconsinites do not all wear red flannel union suits, either.  There was a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, some years back, who insisted we do, but it’s not true.  You can’t believe everything the media people tell you.  That’s why we have blogs these days, to set the record straight.  I have NEVER worn a red flannel union suit — not even on Christmas morning.  My husband would love to, but I won’t let him.

So, that’s one more scoop in the ol’ dumpster on life in Wisconsin.  I’m truly hoping our department of tourism is going to pay me one of these days for these plugs for the home state.  Come on up and visit sometime.


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