Wisconsinites have our own brand of quirky. Whether it’s a very particular preference on how to beer boil a brat or which New Glarus beer is the best, we’ve got a lot of thoughts and opinions on things, and folks not from around here don’t always understand.
You don’t always have to agree, but here in Wisconsin we do things a bit different and sometimes that makes outsiders wonder what exactly is going on in our heads. Here are 14 things we do that folks now from around here don’t really understand:
1. Call it a Bubbler.
There's a pocket of Wisconsin and one or two very small areas out east that use the term bubbler. It makes sense that the name is actually a proper noun and the product was made here - Kohler produced drinking fountains called Bubblers and somehow the name has always stuck. A true Wisconsinite is someone who is traveling and has to catch themselves when they ask for directions to a drinking fountain.
2. Spend hours outdoors at Lambeau Field in the dead of winter.
There's plenty of folks that wouldn't even sit through the game, much less the hours of pre- and post-game tailgating we feel the need to tack on. The folks in this picture have a combined six square inches of exposed skin and they've never been happier.
3. Call these "stop and go lights."
Save yourself some time and never get in an argument with someone from outside the state where they'll ask you why you need to specify that you can also go at these lights. You'll argue in circles and both be angry. I don't know why we don't just say "stoplights," but we don't and it annoys everyone else in the world.
4. Go out in cold weather shirtless or in shorts.
We've all got that one neighbor who shovels with bare legs, and there are always a few shirtless folks in the stands at Lambeau. I'm not saying those are the smartest folks the state has ever produced, but the point is that we're so used to the cold that we really don't get too fazed by it, and we like to mock everyone else who does.
5. Measure distances in time.
It's pretty standard practice here to say how far somewhere is in the time it takes us to get there and it's something folks from the coasts can't understand. They deal with so much traffic that there is no such thing as a standard time it takes to get somewhere. I have no idea how many miles it is from Minneapolis to Milwaukee, but I do know the trip takes about five hours.
6. Never take days off because of snow.
It's always fun to watch other parts of the country scramble because of a dusting and empty store shelves at the idea of a snow storm. It's going to take a lot more than that to faze us up here - heck, we'd be shut down half the winter if we closed for a mere few inches of snow.
7. Wear foam cheese products.
The thing is, we don't mind everyone mocking us and for the most part, we usually don't get offended, we just embrace it. We're Cheeseheads? Fine. We'll wear any type of foam cheese paraphernalia they can dream up and we'll do it with pride.
8. Having a stocked garage fridge.
You can thank me for not including a picture of said fridge stocked full of various dead wildlife, which is usually how they'd look. Once you've opened someone's garage fridge and had cold, dead eyes staring at you, you'll never be the same. Other folks don't understand the freezer full of venison or the fridge of dead fowl, but it's not so odd around these parts. And when it's not hunting or fishing season (yeah right) the fridge holds all your extra beer.
9. Take vacation time to sit in the cold and hunt deer.
And don't even get me started on camo and blaze orange as fashion statements. The rest of the country doesn't really understand the significance of deer hunting weekend and they certainly can't wrap their head around the idea of planning deer hunting widows weekends, but to us, that's just a way of life.
10. Drink Pabst unironically.
PBR may be the hipster beer of choice, but that just makes Wisconsinites the ultimate hipsters. Wisconsinites have been drinking PBR since long before the youth of America decided it was cool.
11. Call our favorite sports teams "We."
Maybe it's because many of us literally have an ownership stake in the Packers. Maybe it's because we're just a little too involved. But folks around here like to include themselves - as in "We've got to beat the Bears this weekend" - and outsiders seem to think that's weird.
12. Lose our cool whenever "Jump Around" starts playing.
It's like Pavlovian response at this point. It's our pump-up song and our rallying cry. We've adopted it as our own and we're incapable of sitting still when it starts playing.
13. Check to see if our cheese squeaks.
Every true Wisconsinite knows the way to check the freshness of your curds is to figure out if they squeak. Outsiders don't understand our need for curds, but that's ok - more for us.
14. Drive in circles instead of paying for parking.
I'm going to blame our Midwestern sensibilities, but Wisconsinites hate to pay for parking and hate to park at the back of the lot. We will spend more in gas than we would have to park by circling and circling until we find free parking, but we'll be so satisfied with ourselves when we're done.