Wisconsinites’ advice to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Cheese Louise, May 2022

By Jennie Young

I came to this meat locker of a city five years ago, determined to make the best of things. I didn’t expect to like it. But, the academic job market is slim and brutal, and there was a good offer on my table from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) that compelled me to this northern land.

Having grown up in the lower Midwest, I assumed (erroneously, hilariously) that the extreme upper Midwest couldn’t be that different.

Confronting the icy reality, along with the attendant realities of cheese curds, snow-biking and ice-fishing (an activity I previously considered to be a mythical one from distant history), has required a sense of humor.

And that was before the pandemic.

DURING the pandemic, I was living in a one-room studio, which was fine, until it was the only place I could spend all my days and nights.

To distract myself from the suffocating presence of those four close walls, I began studying humor writing in earnest, primarily through the famous Chicago improv house, The Second City. My humor writing can be seen in places like McSweeney’s, The Satirist and Weekly Humorist. Even more exciting, though, is I now teach and write with humor writers on UWGB’s campus – both students and faculty.

City Pages’ monthly humor column will showcase their work and the work of others.

I’ll be writing for and editing the column, and I’m looking forward to receiving submissions at [email protected].
Pieces cannot be politically-charged or exceed 600 words.

Despite the hypothermia, the darkness and the lack of upscale shopping venues, I have fallen in love with the Green Bay community and its people. I hope this column will make us all laugh.

Wisconsinites’ advice to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

By Jennie Young

Midwesterners are often accused of being “Midwest nice.” We hate confrontation, and we’d rather bite our tongues than deal with things directly or exchange unpleasant words.

But five long weeks into this trial, don’t we all wish Johnny Depp and Amber Heard could be a little more Midwest nice?
Here we offer some good, old-fashioned Midwestern advice to these two:

  • Stop being so dramatic, both of you.
  • Say you’re sorry. Here in Wisconsin, we apologize for things that aren’t even our fault. You two are doing things we can’t even say out loud.
  • Have you tried Lutheranism?
  • Stop taking drugs and just drink beer. Beer is wholesome.
  • Do you need more chores? Maybe if you had chores you’d have less time to be crazy maniacs.
  • We don’t want to say “We told you so,” but we’ve been suspicious of both of you ever since you claimed to go vegan. Try adding more dairy.
  • Apparently, you were both lying about being vegans. Why would you lie about something so stupid? You should probably go to confession.
  • Have you tried going to bed early and getting up early?
  • It sounds like you don’t understand what’s supposed to happen at a party. Parties should include tater tot casseroles, dipping things in ranch and playing cornhole – the things we’ve heard about your parties, well… once again we cannot say them out loud.
  • You probably just need some fresh air. Try bundling up and going out for a walk.
  • Maybe you should get part-time jobs, so you have less time to cause so much trouble. Also it sounds like you could both use the money.
  • Are you eating a wholesome diet of lean meats, veggies and Kringle?
  • After this whole thing is over, a few days in the cabin up north would do you both good. Just not the same cabin.

Jennie Young is a professor and humor writer in Green Bay. She’s been published in McSweeney’s, HuffPost, Education Week, Inside Higher Ed, Slackjaw, Weekly Humorist, The Satirist, Human Parts and others.

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