“Rubber-Duck-Race Bill Expected to Pass in Wisconsin”

My cousin Thomas came from Wisconsin. He’s been around the world since, has a Ph.D., teaches in NYC and is very sophisticated.

Yet, once in a while, when I read things like this, from Lowering the Bar, I desperately want him to explain Wisconsin to me.

Yes, I know about Scott Walker and yes, I am aware that certain areas of this country want passionately to live in another, previous century, but this item (Rubber-Duck-Race Bill Expected to Pass in Wisconsin – Lowering the Bar.)  is not only pretty inexplicable (as well as being hilarious), it seems to come not from another century, but from another planetoid. Here’s a taste:

Well, thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s decision last year to crack down on rubber-duck racing in the village of Mishicot, having concluded said event amounted to illegal gambling, the Wisconsin legislature has had to intervene.

The state constitution prohibits “gambling in any form,” and then of course proceeds to list a bunch of forms that are totally fine. One of these is the “raffle.” The constitution doesn’t define “raffle,” probably on the assumption that most people know what that means, but the term is defined by statute anyway: it is “a game of chance in which tickets or calendars are sold and a drawing for prizes is held.” Or at least that’s what it was.

On Thursday, the state assembly approved 2013 Assembly Bill 422, which adds rubber-duck races to the definition if, but only if, all enumerated duck-race requirements are met.

Yes. Wisconsin is about to ban an activity — racing rubber ducks. Let me repeat that: RUBBER ducks — for which the only explanation is: there are people in Wisconsin who (a) have nothing to do, (b) are smoking some heavy weed and (c) have a delicious sense of satirical humor.

Why would the legislature take this singular (and maybe single) pleasure from their constituents? Shame on you, Wisconsin!


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