Sunday, July 20, 2008


yesterday at work i met some people from middle eastern iowa. they asked me if i knew where a particular lake was in winconsin. i told them i wasn't sure, but i was sure that since they were shocked i hadn't heard of it and that the most notable lake in the area is very difficult to mistake for anything other than the sea, they had the wrong part of the state. they had heard of some of the flooding that had gone on in wisconsin and i guess that as long as they were there it seemed like a good idea to try to catch the spectacle, which, incidentally has all but passed. they asked if it had really been bad at all and i accidentally stumbled in acting as an instrument to fill in the gaps of the story. i gathered that the lake they were looking for was not lake "Dalton" but lake "Delton" from the fact that they had heard it crossed its banks a bit. in fact the lake broke clean through, emptied itself out in the Dells and damn near took the city with it. the same rains forced rivers and lakes up all over southern wisconsin and i remember one paper that had a full page picture of about a half mile stretch of I-94 under water. my fellow iowans had no idea of any of this, and i wonder if they knew how flooded their own state had been. for some reason their ignorance made me uncomfortable and i neglected to mention that i was also from iowa, perhaps from fear that they might mistake me for a comrade willing to show them around. instead i found myself hustling them out, somehow hurt by their apparent total absence of mind in the past two months. i told them that they were probably looking for the Wisconsin Dells, which were an hour-or-so west and in the middle of the state but failed to mention that when they got there they would find neither Lake "Dalton" nor Lake Delton.

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