Big Momma’s House: Volume III

Senior Max Craig.
Photo by Larissa Davis.

There is a tendency among Lawrentians to assume that the city of Appleton is an uninteresting place, leading many to rarely leave campus. This column seeks to profile spots in the city to burst your lawrence bubble, while i use my experience as a townie to give them a side by side comparison with my eponymous mom’s house.

My sister texted me the other day. She’s 12 years old, and generally a very, very, very talkative person. This time, however, something was clearly up. She sent me only a few words: “Mom found out I was on the roof. I’m losing my phone for a month. Okay bye.” I was shocked, shocked I tell you. First, that she used punctuation in a text, and second, that my mom even cared. Apparently, my mom was confused when no one was home, and my sister unwisely did not come in when called, which led to my mom nearly having a heart attack. In short, if you act guilty, you will be punished. So, in honor of my sister, to whom I guess I won’t be talking this month, today’s column features the urban exploring of Appleton.  

I will admit, I am having some trouble coming up with places around Appleton to profile. This does not speak well of Appleton’s offerings. For those students who are bored with what Appleton has to offer, urban exploring may seem like a logical alternative. Urban exploring is the activity of finding a way into a structure usually closed to the public, such as a construction site or sewer. After a quick urban exploration of my own to the VR, some poking around revealed a nascent student interest. There was a strong interest in roofs. Many people expressed interest in the Zwielcke building, along with the 222. However, most people could not name any possible areas besides those two. I will admit that I had little to add. My youth was simply not shenanigan-packed. Appleton has few construction sites, and the most accessible buildings are probably the schools. This article heavily endorses not climbing onto or into schools.  

For more information, I decided to ask an individual with experience in urban exploring. Let’s call him Marvin. The first trespassing thing he did was at the age of 16 on a water tower. Pretty typical. A police car came by. He didn’t run into cops often. An office complex under construction was his Waterloo. He faced legal action, and ended up having to pay almost $2,000 out of pocket. It was his 20th visit to the site. Today, he has mostly given up on his wild ways, although he occasionally still explores. However, he has not explored anywhere in Appleton. He says those who think buildings have no security need get over yourselves; that feeling of invincibility does not last.  

So how does my mom’s house stack up against Appleton’s urban offerings? My mom’s house is accessible from the ground, by drain pipe, chimney and holes in the wood outside drilled by nice woodpeckers. However, while the drain pipe is surprisingly stable, the gutters which line the entirety of the roof are not. The roof does have a nice view, so give my sister credit for good taste. But, while you never know for sure what you will find exploring out on the town, I can guarantee what you will find at my house: wasps, woodpeckers and one dog that will easily believe there is a ghost on the roof. While being caught trespassing in Appleton could involve fines and even jail time, the punishment for climbing on my mom’s roof appears to be losing your phone for a month. I leave it to you decide which is worse.  

In this case, let’s leave my mom’s roof to my sister. There are no other structures you can reach from the roof, and no treetops to traverse. However, I also do not feel comfortable going on record as telling people to go climb around Appleton. So, today’s winner is the climbing club, which makes thrice weekly trips to climbing gyms in Oshkosh and Milwaukee.