Congratulations, you live in one of those cities with a crapload of lakes in it!  I bet you’ve been wondering, “how do I judge all these lakes that are all up in my face everywhere I turn?  How do I know what is the best lake for me to go to, and how do I know which lakes I should definitely avoid, at the peril of losing my dignity and my carefully cultivated, albeit fragile, sense of self?”

Well you are in luck.  Because Clipper, our local underground publication written by ambivalent undergraduates who might switch their major to business, has compiled this handy Guide To The Lakes, so that you can make an informed, reasonable decision without suffering shame and regret on the other end of your weekend getaway.  Ready?  Let’s choose a lake!

Lake Almond (B). If you like tiny swimming areas with fifteen teen lifeguards lording it over you while you try to get your legs wet, this is the lake for you.  The good news is that bathroom facilities are pretty good, and the ice cream truck almost never leaves.  In fact, he only leaves to use the nice bathroom facilities, but he’s a pretty dehydrated guy and so that hardly ever happens.  Plenty of parking and beach blanket rental if you forgot yours.  The first 30 minutes is 12 dollars, each additional 1/2 hour after that is 2 dollars.

Lake Obese.  (C+) It’s not what you think.  Obese is a Native American word (pronounced “oh-be-say”) that means “he who lights the fire and skins the buffalo”.  Unfortunately, despite the name there are no campfires allowed at Lake Obese, and no bar-be-ques allowed, so this is not the lake for you Labor Day picnic.  There is, however, a rather steep and shocking drop-off about 14 feet into this lake, and in fact nobody has ever measured how far down this lake goes.  Also there may be some sort of aquatic monster in it, the city is looking into it.  The swimming area is well tended, though, and it’s only in the shallow part, and there is only a slim chance that a monster that lives so deep down would come up to the surface for anything.

Lake Pencil.  (A-) Lake Pencil is named for the fact that it is a very long, skinny lake, and in fact, now that we think of it, it might actually be more of a river.  Hang on a second—-yep, there’s a current in there.  But we’ve been thinking of it as a lake for so long that why stop now?  Besides, Lake Pencil is gorgeous and has more rope swings per square mile than any other lake (OR river) in North America.  Don’t believe us?  Then why don’t you go out and do the research on your own.  Go ahead and do it.  I hope you’re independently wealthy.

Lake Infinity. (A+/-) Lake Infinity is, as you know, the largest, coldest, scariest, creepiest, deepest, most temperamental lake that exists anywhere that we’ve ever heard of, including Mars, who we only THINK had lakes at one point.  And yet, we’re glad it’s here.  It’s called Lake Infinity because you can’t ever see the other end of it from anywhere else you stand on the lake.  And it’s so cold there’s really nothing you can do with it.  Sort of like how infinity is so large that, yeah, it’s a nice concept, but what are you going to do with THAT?  Sometimes it’s best to just forget about it and have a sandwich.  Which are allowed on Lake Infinity, although if you’re going to make a hot press sandwich, forget about it, because Lake Infinity’s Park Rangers will TAKE YOU DOWN if you even THINK about bringing that hot press gear near the lake.  It’s not allowed.  But otherwise, have fun.

As you know, there are tons of other lakes around here, but we’re going to just treat it like Fringe Festival coverage.  Ease up people, a little coverage at a time.  After all, we’re only getting paid $8.94 an hour.   And a lot of us are in night school at the Pembert School of Management at night.  So.