Coming up on the annual Great Lifting of the Lake event. I know you don’t know about this event – this tradition – so I’m going to tell you about it. Press “Record” now.

This event of lifting up all the lake water out of the lake started many decades ago. A local man by the name of Roger Rodgers Rogeré thought himself quite the scientist-inventor-spiritualist-banker-no-account-roofer-and-family-man.


Rodgers (or Roger) was spoken of all up and down the midwest puddle basin for his accomplishments in circling and highlighting. There wasn’t a text dense or deep enough for old Rodgers. In no time, he’d focus in on the key ideas of a paper and underline or lightly shade or otherwise draw attention to them using marking marks or Indian pens in a clear, neat, scientifically EVEN manner while in no way disturbing, demoting or discoloring the surrounding words and picture sticks.

This made him a very wealthy man.

And with this wealth – wealth he made primarily from circling all the merciful words in a great giant pile of bibles – with this wealth Old Rodgers Rogeré would cage up little stuffed animals from the fair and sink them out in the lake.

By the thousands.

They only problem the locals had was the constant shortage of little metal cages. The cages did and continue to make such wonderful centerpieces and conversation starters. People around here are distant and secretive by nature. Anything that draws them out and gets them relating on any level beyond shrieks and glares is welcome. Keeps them human.

And here old Rodgers is dumping these little cages into the lake. On Sunday mornings. Yes. You understand. And so a compromise was in order. Oh they wouldn’t call it that today. They’d say Old Rodgers was just out Creating Jobs. But we know. We understand.

Using a combination of ropes and moon gravity and magic, Rodgers Roger managed to lift up all the water of Lake St Clair – all at once – for 20 minutes. It made the Canadians faint. But it was more than enough time for the Scout Troops to run out and collect all the little cages (strangling any surviving occupants) and deliver them to local curio shops and year-round garage sales.

Rogers would replace the last drop of lake water just as federal agents arrived with their notebooks and their questions.

Then Rodgers died.

So now, each year at this time, we honor him with our annual Great Lifting of the Lake event. It’s primarily done now with a lot of buckets but the effect is the same. It takes about three weeks and nobody gets paid. You find a lot of guns this way. And old car batteries. And angry Snake People. But it’s worth it.

Rodgers’ cages made this town sociable. Gave them back a way to break the ice. To fill the gaps. To misdirect anger and bad feelings towards.

Rodgers made it so Fathers could speak to Sons, Mothers to Daughters. Made this town friendly. Made it worth a stop. And a soup. You look forward to listening to your neighbor go on and on about his back because you know he’ll listen to you, damnit. We learned to care here.

It was Roger Rodgers Rogeré that taught us.

Alright enough.

Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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