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Madison Wisconsin
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/JORDAN A RICHMOND

#9: The top six ways you know that the students have returned to Madison, Wisconsin

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1. Crosswalks and signals are now just suggestions. Your vehicle will be surrounded by herds of students ambling across the intersections. This scene may remind you of the herds of cattle you've seen crossing small country roads in romantic comedies, shot in Europe. Only instead of stopping your true love from leaving you forever, all that awaits you at the end of this traffic jam is a line of angry customers, when you arrive to work ten minutes late.

2. Bar time on State Street looks like a zombie apocalypse. Everywhere you turn you see guys jerkily thrash at or clutch each other while stumbling. There is always at least one girl crying; usually she is scantily clad and missing a shoe. Often you will see a fight break out over the last scrap of food, which is usually a piece of cold pizza. And it's probably on the ground.

3. Madison is now the fashion capitol of the world! If the world is New Jersey in the 80's. This modest mid western town is now a wash with Day-Glo spandex, side ponytails, bangle bracelets and sweatbands, all worn by people who weren’t born until Madonna and Cyndi Lauper were already members of the AARP.

4. On Sunday mornings you can't go to Gotham Bagels without standing in line behind twelve sleepy sorority girls in pajama bottoms who are saying things like "Wait, what's a bagel?" And " OMG! Trevor would totally love this place! He's from New York, Don't they have bagels there?"

5. When you go to the farmers market on Saturday’s you will see at least one pair of middle aged parents in matching orange cheese wedge hats, smiling proudly, with their arms around their cringing 19 yr old.

6. In the beer capitol of America, the stores sell out of bud light and Natty ice.

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