We had left the Twin Cities and crossed into western Wisconsin for the annual UFO festival, so you can imagine our mindsets. We were locked and loaded, so to speak, for aliens.
We were prepared to meet creatures from some other planet, or at least gaze at a shiny spacecraft streaking through the sky. A UFO landing strip had been built years ago in Elmwood, an alien-friendly community. But it was 104 degrees outside (yes it can get blazing hot in Wisconsin), so it wasn't long before we left the bustling sidewalk festivities and ducked into a saloon.
Amazingly enough, it was over bottles of Leinenkugel's Red that we encountered the most bizarre creatures of our trip (well, not counting ourselves.) They looked like humans, they dressed like humans and they drank like humans. But these could not have been humans. Not even Packers fans in season behave like this. Only years later, after spirit-infused discussions and a careful review of the evidence, our group determined that these strange creatures were actually ALFs (Alien Licking Forms). I'm sorry, I cannot divulge more.
But after a few drinks in that crowded and sweaty tavern not even ALFs could hold our attention. We headed back outside into the scorching heat, kicked a silver spacecraft for the shiny reflection it was throwing in our eyes (it was obviously a fake), and bought a few priceless UFO souvenirs.
By now we were hungry hombres, and that could only mean one thing: Make the winding drive down the backroads to Arkansaw and the Easy Creek Bistro. I've heard this quaint restaurant is no longer in business, and I sincerely regret if we were in any way responsible for its eventual demise. I don't remember that much about Easy Creek, other than feeling hopelessly out of place among the romantic couples and vacationing families who were enjoying a pleasant Saturday evening before our arrival.
We managed to get out of there before the local authorities arrived, sometime after singing "Una Mas Cerveza'' for the third time at the top of our lungs. I really think everything would have been OK if the band hadn't launched into that song. Funny though, the little bits and pieces I remember include images of patrons clapping heartily and encouraging us. Maybe we weren't all that bad. Naw...
We drove back to Elmwood under a pitch-black sky, spotted the piercing lights of a UFO hovering over a farmer's field (by then who cared?) and stumbled into a roadside motel to crash for the night.
All I'm saying is don't invite us out on Cinco de Mayo -- or any other other-worldly celebration -- unless you plan to do some singing with us.