From loose zebras to a Kwik Trip megafan, Wisconsinites provided no shortage of bizarre news events in 2021.
Wisconsin made plenty of headlines this year, mostly for reasons we’re not so happy about.
From US Sen. Ron Johnson’s many lies and conspiracy theories, to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and former Chief Justice Michael Gableman’s costly and ongoing attempts to “investigate” was has already been shown to one of the most secure presidential elections in nation’s history, Wisconsin played host to an array of outside media in 2021.
Looking at all those headlines, we thought we might take a little time to dig through some of the quirky stories of the year—stories that make us giggle or even say, “Well, that’s Wisconsin for ya!”
Here you’ll find stories of Kwik Trip fans taking their passions to a whole new level and sportsmen who lost their way someway in between home and the hunting/fishing grounds. We hope this sampling brightens your day as you enjoy a bit of break from the ever-spinning news cycle this holiday season.
Wisconsin Man Builds ‘Chik Trip’ For His Feathered Friends
Only in Wisconsin could the love for a convenience store conglomerate inspire Etsy listings like a custom “Probably at Kwik Trip” doormat or a key chain that reads “Want anything from Kwik Trip?” But this year, a Kenosha man took his love for the quintessential Wisco gas station one step further by fashioning a chicken coop after an actual Kwik Trip. According to CBS 58, the finished coop even had a red neon sign dubbing it a “Chik Trip.”
Woman Finds $10,000 in Fanny Pack on Madison’s East Side
Fanny packs have been making a bit of a hipster resurgence in recent years, but a Madison woman got more than she bargained for this summer when she discovered a fanny pack in her neighborhood containing $10,000 in cash. The Good Samaritan handed the money over to police, abiding by a law that says any sum of money above $100 be given to the authorities. Police held onto the pack, which also contained an ID and cell phone, for a little more than a month before it was claimed by its rightful owner, WKOW reported.
Driver Who Brings Ice Shack on the Water Is Arrested for OWI
In a fit of drunken passion or paranoia—possibly both—an intoxicated Barron County man attempted to drive his ice fishing shack out onto an area lake hoping to get a good fishing spot … in October. In an Oct. 23 post on Facebook, deputies with the Barron County Sheriff’s Department stated that while the temperatures had dipped below freezing over the previous nights, no one else should make the same mistake. “We love ice fishing as much as everyone else… BUT, and this is important…. THE.ICE.IS.NOT.READY.YET. Please keep the shacks at home for the time being, let’s enjoy fall while it’s still here yeah? We will have plenty of time to freeze our butts off in the dead of winter.”
Onalaska Woman Visited 457 Kwik Trips in 2021
We’ll say it again, we understand Kwik Trip love—it has milk and gas and donuts and also cheap onions for some reason—but we’re both amused and baffled by the Onalaska woman who visited 457 Kwik Trips year, stopping at locations from Superior to Green Bay and everywhere in the state, according to a La Crosse-area TV station. “I’m Cassandra Berger, KT girl!,” she told the station. “…I’m obsessed with Kwik Trip.”
‘I Think I See a Zebra’: Outagamie County Deputies Chase Down Loose Zebras
In other animal news, Outagamie County Sheriff’s deputies got a dose of the wild kingdom this September when they were assigned the task of corralling a pair of runaway Zebras. The animals, which belonged to an area family, were quickly rounded up, but not without the deputies remarking on how unusual the call was“…Having a garbage truck driver call you and say ‘Well, there are two zebras in the road,’ is a bit unusual,” Sgt. Nathan Borman told WBAY.
Wisconsin Woman’s Obituary Asks For Donations to Ron Johnson’s 2022 Opponent
Hoping to fulfill her mother’s wishes to do more to hold people like US Sen. Ron Johnson accountable for their whitewashing of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Laurie Lindeen decided to add a line in late mother Carol Lindeen’s Feb. 24 obituary seeking donations to Johnson’s 2022 opponent. Laurie Lindeen told The Hill that the last time she saw her mother was Feb. 23, when the two watched the US Senate hearings on the insurrection. Both were “flabbergasted” by Johnson’s remarks, Lindeen said, and Carol reportedly told her daughter that “she said she wished that she had spoken up more and done more” politically. Johnson, who once promised not to serve more than two terms, is deciding whether to run for a third.
Glory of Having the Second-Heaviest Pumpkin in Country (Technically) Goes to Wisconsin Man
In the “fall feelings” department, a Green Lake County man narrowly missed out on his chance for a spot in the pumpkin farming record books. According to an Oct. 13 WTMJ story, Mike Schmidt grew a pumpkin that clocked in at 2,520 pounds. At that weight, it was poised to be the second-heaviest pumpkin in the world in 2021. The only problem was it was cracked, disqualifying it from competition. Schmidt took the news in stride, however, telling the station: “It happens. There’s no crying in pumpkin growing.”
Wisconsin Driver Has ‘EWW DV1D’ License Plate In A Nod To Popular Show ‘Schitt’s Creek’
Muskego Police took note of a license plate this May, not for the driver’s misdeeds, but for their fellow appreciation of the hit TV series Schitt’s Creek. According to a post on their Facebook page, the officers were thoroughly amused by the driver’s “EWW DV1D” license plates, in homage to the “Eww David” catchphrase of character Alexis Rose (Annie Murphy).
Mosinee Man Illegally Transports Black Bear Over Canadian Border
In other sportsmen foibles, a Mosinee man was charged this fall with illegally transporting the carcass of a black bear from Canada to North Dakota. According to the AP, Joseph Stolarczyk exceeded the Manitoba bag limit by killing two bears in the same year and was arrested after bringing the bear across the border. Stolarczyk pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in October.
Wisconsin Man Gets Sprayed By a Skunk While Hiding From the Cops
Following a criminal’s scent was made quite a bit easier for Madison Police this summer. Police were looking for a man wanted on a weapons charge, but as the man was hiding from officers he had the misfortune of being sprayed by skunk. Police later found the suspect slashing tires and arrested him, Channel 3000 in Madison reported.
12-Pound Piece Of Ice Crashes Through Roof Of Wisconsin Home
Wisconsinites know that a serious hail storm is nothing to laugh about, but a 12-pound chunk of ice that crashed through a western Wisconsin man’s home—narrowly missing his head—seemingly came from nowhere. According to a CBS58 report, Ken Millermon had just returned home when the ice boulder crashed through the ceiling of his bedroom just four inches from where he was standing. It is still not clear where the ice chunk came from.
Wisconsin Man Entertains, Educates With Traveling Snake Show
Wisconsin man Steve Keller garnered media attention this year for his traveling snake show, which he has been bringing to Scouts and other groups across the state. Featuring an assortment of non-poisonous snakes, the show is aimed at dispelling misconceptions about the world’s “most misunderstood creatures,” reported Spectrum news in December.
Driver Miraculously OK After Car Plunges Off 70-Foot Overpass
As if following the script of any Milwaukee motorists’ worst nightmare, a Wisconsin woman plunged 70 feet off a snowy Zoo Interchange ramp on Interstate 94/41/894 this February, landing on a lane beneath the ramp and suffering only minor injuries. According to an NBC News report, the driver lost control in the snow.
Wisconsin Man Gets Driver’s License Photo Taken With Half Of A Beard
An experimental music producer and Harvard graduate decided to have a little fun at the DMV this March—yes, that is possible, apparently—when he got his new drivers license photo taken with only half of a beard. Peter Woods, of Milwaukee, told CBS58 that he got “the idea years ago, because nobody could really say anything if that’s how he chose to have his facial hair.”
Wisconsin Driver Found Using Camping Chair To Operate Seat-Less Vehicle
Sometimes the concept of what is and isn’t street legal can be up for debate, but a north-central Wisconsin man apparently thought he had landed on a great idea when he decided to use a camping chair as a driver’s seat in a pickup truck that didn’t have any actual seats. According to WGN-TV, the man was pulled over by state troopers, but it is not clear if he was cited.