On Wisconsin: A Smartass Guide To Its Natural And Unnatural Wonders

Wisconsin Dells Duck Pilot Dave and Mabes

“A Smartass Guide To Its Natural And Unnatural Wonders” is the fifth chapter of The Gaytheist Gospel Hour‘s seven part series “On Wisconsin.”

What drew us to Wisconsin, you ask?  Why, the quasi-untamed beauty of its wilderness!  The bathwater lake!  The quartzite bluffs!  The bugspray-tinged fresh air!  What kind of question is that, anyway? Have the last three years’ worth of camping vacation posts failed to convince you that we’re quasi-rugged and outdoorsy?  Go back to start and learn who you’re dealing with.  The rest of you (love you both!) know exactly what you’re dealing with: a quasi-rugged outdoorsy type who also happens to be a smartass.   Any smartass can tell you: smartassery is the psychic armor that protects one’s rich, creamy center from emotional annihilation at the hands of this terrifying world.  It’s true!  As a smartass, I must protect myself from those I love most because in giving them my sensitive little heart, I’ve also given them the power to destroy me, you see.   So I make fun of almost everything and everyone I love and care about, pretty much in self defense.   I just can’t help myself.  This probably makes me an asshole for all I know, but I’d like to think I made the right choice.

That said, let it be known I love Wisconsin, so much in fact, it nearly destroyed me.  Please enjoy the following Smartass Guide To Its Natural And Unnatural Wonders.

Assorted Natural Wonders of Wisconsin


  • Echo Rock By some perverse twist of geological fate, this sandstone promontory has been bestowed a name that dooms it to be hollered at until the human race perishes from the earth.
  • Cleopatra’s Needle  I did not see Cleopatra’s Needle.   But I hear it is not far from Tutankhamen’s Bong and is within spitting distance from Nefertiti’s Crack Pipe.  Known as the Paraphernalia Formations, this trio is the stuff of legend, and reportedly also the etymological home of the euphemism “getting stoned.”
  • Mirror Lake covered with a sickly green algae, Mirror Lake really does look like a mirror—a mirror that has been sneezed upon.


  • Blackhawk Gorge  We encountered Blackhawk Gorge during a mini journey over land and water in a super-cool WWII era boat-bus. According to Dave, our Wisconsin Dells Duck Boat pilot, Blackhawk Gorge was named after a very famous Native American chief of the Midwest: Chief Gorge.  I realize this is a corny line from a script that was probably written before I was born, but believe me when I say Dave’s dry delivery and impeccable comedic timing made it worth ripping off and publishing it in the Gaytheist.  I think I might have had a little crush on Dave.

I also make fun of things I don’t love.  This can be confusing and sometimes causes problems in my relationships with those whom I love and make fun of.  Again, I realize that this probably makes me an asshole.  Again, I can’t help it.   I didn’t know how much I didn’t love Wisconsin Dells until our friends Jacci and Amy (whom I’ve nicknamed Merit Badge and Hot Fry because I love them) treated us to a safari-style trip to one of its main drags.  Aside from the Duck Boat ride (piloted by the delightful Dave), the Dells had very little to offer the quasi-rugged outdoorsy type, but plenty for the terrified-of-the-world smartass.  What I’ve presented below isn’t even the tip of the turdburg.  There would have been more, except our camera drained its battery on purpose rather than take it all in.

Assorted Unnatural Wonders of Wisconsin

  • Top Secret  It’s an upside down White House!  In Wisconsin!  WHY!  I don’t know!  I didn’t go in!

I’m ready for my butt-shot, Mr. DeMille!

In fact, I’m pretty sure I would have rather been shot in the butt than go in.  Those who have gone in, probably wish they’d been shot in the butt instead, too.  One unhappy customer posted on Trip Advisor this stinging rebuke: “I left ticked that I spent the money on it & realllly confused…. Im still confused & it is 3 days later…”

    • This Big-Ass Trojan Horse  Again, begging the question-that-is-in-fact-a-demand WHY!  Beats the living doodah man out of me.  I’d like to think This Big-Ass Trojan Horse might be an improvement on the original, where, instead of coming out of the front,  the soldiers come out of the back end, cleverly disguised as turds.
  • The Mesmerizing Ocean Blue Acuvue Stare of Jeremy Allen And His Albino Tiger.  Everywhere we turned, we saw advertisements for Jeremy Allen’s Grand Illusions Theater.  The intended effect of these ads, I’m guessing, was to intrigue the potential customer, possibly even hypnotize them. Does Jeremy have the eyes of a tiger, or does the tiger have the eyes of the Jeremy, one wonders?


Does the outer space background on the ad denote a cosmic connection between Jeremy and the tiger?  Or does the show take place in a planetarium of some kind?  Wouldn’t you like to know?

Wouldn’t you?

Wouldn’t you like to come to the show and find out?  Again and again?

Note to Jeremy: Sorry, Jeremy.  It takes more than a Photoshop stare down to sell me.  Call me when the tiger has a matching pudding bowl wig.

  • Poolside Unicorn!  Unicorns, According To Mabel: “Unicorns are magic and they get what they want. Not like a gum machine where you get what you get. They get what they want!”  It’s hard to imagine a magical, nay, OMNIPOTENT  creature actually WANTING to spend the prime of its immortality, standing guard over a bunch of buttery midwesterners lolling about in a hotel pool, entirely leaving out the nut-punch prone pose of its vigil, but who am I to question the ways of magic?

They get what they want!

Bonus Unnatural Wonders

  • Wisconsin’s Own King Of Pain (With Soundtrack By The Police)  

Amy and I were sitting on the beach, minding our own business when we encountered Wisconsin’s Own King Of Pain.  He was actually minding his own business, too, this glossy, bulging saddle bag of a middle aged Big Boy lookalike. But the problem was he was still wearing his business suit: a pair of heavy gold nipple rings.  They caught the summer sunlight and shattered it into splinters of startling revelation.  His business suddenly became our  business, and it was a business that I minded very much.

“Unexpected,” murmured Amy.

“Uncalled for!” I responded.

This glimpse at the golden knockers of this man’s pleasure palace/dungeon of decadence left a little black spot on the sun that day, but maybe that was an optical illusion created by the scorch mark on my retina.  I’m okay now.

  • The Goliath Camp Chair of Menard’s  I encourage my readers (love ya both!) to volunteer an explanation for this fucking thing.

    That’s six cup holders. And one baffled five-year-old.


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4 Responses to “On Wisconsin: A Smartass Guide To Its Natural And Unnatural Wonders”

  1. Rosy Says:

    Albinos have red eyes, you know. (read: I love you too!)

  2. 10hdt Says:

    Quasi-rugged and outdoorsy types? No, I see you and yours as feminist outdoors super heroes, I have dubbed you (actually Kate) as Earth Mother, you as Nature Girl along with your intrepid girl guide Mabes out there making the world a happy place. How do you do this? Informing others of the dangers of tourist traps, unsafe natural attractions and slinging a few barbs at those who are just begging for it anyway.
    Count me among the many who love you.

    • Hellraisin Says:

      I love you, too, Mom. We’re the superhero team saving the world, one handicapped bathroom at a time!

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