Here in Middle America, we get hammered by Momma Nature pretty regularly. Tornadoes, earthquakes, 101.1″ of snow, months of rain, years of drought, straight-line winds; we take it all in stride. Two weeks ago we went on our annual Mother’s Day camping and fishing trip – and had to hole up in the truck when it started to snow, sleet, and hail. Two weeks later and it’s only 49° here Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend. Whatever the weather, we cope – that’s what we do – we’re Cheese Heads.

But weather can do weird things to peoples’ heads. A few years ago (the year of the 101.1″ snow, I believe) our local tourist destination – Wisconsin Dells, the Waterpark Capital of the World – had its season basically wiped out. Lake Delton, the 267-acre centerpiece, decided to go walkabout. One spring storm too many and the half-billion gallons of water within its boundaries breached a county highway and headed south. The lake was gone, and with it thousands of jobs and several hundred million tourist dollars. The lake bed was mud, the fish were flopping, and the locals were dealing. Well, some of them were dealing – and at least a few had lost their minds.

Guess what you shouldn’t do on a semi-dry lake bed? Jet ski. Yep, Good ol’ Jakey (a 19-yo male who came to be known affectionately as the Lake Delton Dunderhead on the Orthopedic Surgery unit) decided it would be fun to “mud ski” on the Lake Formerly Known as Delton. Found a “puddle.” Dragged his jet ski into it. Hit the gas. Hit a rock. Hit his head. Hit the OR about noon that same day. Hit Ortho about 1800 that night. His turned out to be a long summer in a body cast.

No nurse, nowhere, no how, has ever said, “I thought I’d seen it all,” and meant it.