By Eric Koeppel —
On a typical summer’s day, Menomonie resident Geoff Gerbert enjoys nothing more than basking in the morning sun while partaking in his ceremonial backstroke across Lake Menomin.
“I’ve been swimming in this gorgeous lake for nearly ten years now,” said Gerbert confidently as he used his third arm to scratch an itch on his second arm that he couldn’t reach with his first arm.
Totally baffled by the fact that no one ever wants to join him on his morning dip in the algae-riddled lake, Gerbert has learned to embrace the fact that he often has an entire body of water all to himself.
“It really is a shame how many people are missing out on the real Lake Menomin experience,” Gerbert said while playing a guitar solo and texting simultaneously. “But you know what, screw it. I’m not going to let a bunch of disgusted onlookers keep me from enjoying a summer’s evening playing water polo with a bunch of mutant sea creatures.”
This is just one of many aquatic activities that Gerbert enjoys partaking in during his time in the lake throughout the summer. Other activities include: collecting algae chunks that look like celebrities’ faces, counting the eyeballs on fish who swim by and seeing how long he can stay under water before the lake’s notorious phosphate monster cradles him in its famous “death grip.”
“Once you’re in the throes of the Lake Menomin Phosphate Monster’s death grip there’s usually no turning back, but, heck, that’s why I find it so damn exhilarating!” Gerbert explained as he twirled a basketball on one of his fingers while learning how to drive stick shift with his other two arms. “And the great thing is all these old cars that we keep throwing into the lake every winter are only making it stronger!”
It is clear that Gerbert’s third arm is a product of swimming in an unacceptably polluted body of water for years, but he doesn’t exactly see having an extra limb as a negative thing.
“It’s a third arm, dude! Do you have any idea how awesome having a third arm is? I mean, seriously, check this out,” Gerbert said excitedly before playing a riveting round of three-way rock paper scissors against himself. “See, I win every time! Having a third arm kicks ass. At this point, I’m just hoping the lake will eventually grace me with a fourth one!”
I think it’s pretty safe to say that swimming in the lake has had an effect on Gerbert’s brain as well, but I didn’t mention anything to him about that. After the interview, Gerbert did a perfectly executed cannonball off the Broadway St. bridge before performing a graceful three-armed breaststroke that I never thought I would witness in my entire life.
“Come on in, the water’s fine!” Gerbert yelled to me as he swam off into the sunset. I didn’t, though, because that lake is super gross.