LA CROSSE, WIS. -- It was early yet, a little past 9 p.m. Saturday, and nobody seemed too worried about the cops on bar patrol, armed with the city's new anti-intoxication ordinance, or the dark, mist-shrouded river just three sloping blocks away.
Not Troy Boylen, 22.
"Honestly, nobody walks down to the river," he said with loud and earnest authority.
He pulled himself up and continued in a voice only slightly slurred:
"In La Crosse, experienced drinkers walk uphill."...
Apparently, there's been a rash of college guys disappearing after a night of drinking, presumably wandering into the Mississippi River and drowning, though folks haven't ruled out a serial killer. By a rash, I mean eight in the past ten years. That's .8 guys a year (which is a multiple of .08, the legal limit for blood alcohol content while driving -- coincidence or cosmic joke?).
In response, the city has settled on an increased police presence and stronger public intoxication ordinances. I prefer this idea to their original idea, which was to construct a large drunk-proof fence down by the river. Personally, I think they'd be better off with Troy Boylen's solution: walk uphill.
The only problem there though is that if they're really drunk, they may continue walking uphill so long that they wind up falling off the back side of Grandad's Bluff.