“Keep Austin Weird” may be the official slogan of Austin, Texas, but we think Madisonians have done a pretty stellar job of keeping Madison weird. Our offices at 650 North Lake Street are about twenty feet from the Lake Mendota shore, and we have floor-to-ceiling windows that look right out over the lake. (And no, we don’t take that for granted!)
We’re guessing that not all of you knew about our location, but we’re positive that not everyone who walks — or dances or otherwise grooves — by those windows knows it either. So as you’re out there doing your thing, whatever that thing may be, keep this in mind: We. can. see. you.
Here are the top five weirdest happenings witnessed — and documented on the white board where we write them down — by our WAA staffers during the summer:
1. Tiny Dancer
Ballerina … You must have seen her … dancing … on the Goodspeed Family Pier? Tiny Dancer has become a staple of the pier. We can always count on her to grace us with her, well, grace, many days around noon. She arrives on her bike, pops in her earbuds, and salsas like nobody is watching. Oh, but we are, Tiny Dancer. (Side note: Your cha-cha is steadily improving. Keep it up!)
2. Hammock Man
There once was a man with a blaze orange hammock
who swung and swung ’til the trees couldn’t stand it.
So they leaned in their trunks
and they thunk and they thunk.
Then they dropped an acorn that got caught in his larynx.
(Hey, just because we’re writers doesn’t mean we can rhyme, okay?)
3. The Mummy
We believe The Mummy is in cahoots with Hammock Man. Sounding like a failed cartoon yet? We’ve never seen his or her face (or body), but this person posts up against a tree in a giant, navy blue sleeping bag. And there he naps.
4. SONIC BOOM
“A young lady is playing with a large rodent out there!” shouted marketing writer Matt Rogge ’96. We grabbed the binoculars.* Sure enough, there was a girl playing with an unleashed hedgehog on the grass behind the Red Gym. We’re hoping it was a pet. If not, be free, little buddy! *For the record, the binoculars are for bird-watching.
5. Seriously Bad Karma
Perhaps the strangest thing we saw was something we didn’t actually see. Where once were three WAA life preservers on the Goodspeed Family Pier — safety first, please! — suddenly there were none. And so we say to the invisible bandits: Seriously? Seriously?