RePulse Reaction

Our April 1st special supplement to the Pulse, dubbed the “Re Pulse” generated a lot of feedback. The majority of the responses we received were in tune with the following*:

• “I want to give you and everyone who contributed, kudos for the great April 1st RePulse publication. My husband and I laughed and laughed (and prayed that you didn’t give our “Governor” any new ideas!). What a great job!!!! We are big fans of The Onion, and let me say they had better be watching their hinders, cause the Pulse is on their tail! Thanks for a great, fun and very talented special edition!”

• “Thank you for the much needed laughter.”

• “We LOVED the RePulse edition. A good laugh is just what everyone needs right now. Thanks (and we’re not foolin’).”

Or these comments posted on our Facebook page:

• “Just read the April 1 special edition – love it, love it, love it!!”

• “RePulse rules. That should be a regular thing. Too funny. Made my day.”

But not everyone found the humor in our satire.

• “This was in poor taste and not funny.”

• “Disgusting and tasteless.”

• “Whoever came up with that idea was sitting on what little brains they might have.”

First, to ease any remaining concerns, we should note that no, the Governor did NOT in fact lease Peninsula State Park. The RePulse was an April Fools joke from cover to cover.

Before we produced the RePulse, we discussed whether to do the supplement for weeks, and even in the seconds before it went to the printer we debated whether we should do it, wondering if readers would catch the sarcasm and satire. But, honestly, not once in the multiple conversations did we ever consider the idea that people would actually believe it, particularly the story about Peninsula State Park getting leased to developers. To our surprise, many people did.

We’ve heard many stories of people whose temperature rose as they read about the leasing of the park, who picked up the phone in anger, who were moved to tears by the thought of the park being taken from the public domain. While we do regret giving people such mock moments of despair, we were moved to hear just how much Peninsula State Park means to so many people on the peninsula and around the state.

The genuine outpouring of emotion is a credit to the park and those who have worked to preserve and improve it for over a century, making it the jewel of our peninsula that it is and our most sterling example of the meaning of place. The fearful reaction that our “breaking news story” produced should serve to inform the folks in Madison as cuts to the Department of Natural Resources State Parks Budget continue to erode the ability of park staff to maintain Peninsula and other parks.

While some found our issue in poor taste, we think of it as a reminder that we have to ease up and laugh at ourselves once in a while and as an homage to a fading Door County culture. That same culture of pranks, jokes, and laughter that led to Al Johnson putting goats on his roof, Earl Willems pushing Al Johnson up the Sister Bay hill in a wheelbarrow, and a certain Fish Creek restaurateur finding his moped on a flagpole.

With a nod to Wink Larson, Digger DeGroot, Doug Butchart, Freddie Kodanko, and all those who’ve made this community so colorful over the years, we stand by our April Fools edition. To those who bit a little too hard, all we can say is, “Gotcha!”

* The names of those who shared feedback with us have been removed, since not all of them addressed their correspondence “To the Editor” for print, as our policy requires.