Belleville has the makings of the perfect podunk town, and I mean that in the kindest way. It is a quaint place set on a pretty lake, its main street nestled next to the water and lined with old-timey buildings. People mingle in front of shops like one big family; hands wave to the neighbor, who is most likely the cousin of a good friend, whose daughter's elementary school teacher is your mom.
One of those places.
But unlike other small Wisconsin towns, this place's claim to fame isn't a freakish, oversized object -- it's UFOs.
A series of unidentified flying objects were sighted in the late '80s, and the village on the southern edge of Dane County has held a commemorative parade ever since. It doesn't really commemorate aliens, though -- neither groups of little green men or undocumented immigrants waltzed down the street in procession.
Rather, the centerpiece to the Belleville Wisconsin UFO Day on Saturday was similar to most small-town Memorial Day parades, except instead of patriotic garb, there were dogs in silver suits. Shriners cars were swapped for a convoy of 4-wheelers, perhaps used to hunt down the UFOs. The obligatory Boy and Cub Scout troops were there, flinging candy to the hyperactive children whose delight levitated them off the pavement. The honking of fire trucks and classic cars could barely be heard above the cries of "Candy! Candy!" coming from the local sweet-tooth gang.
This was all well and dandy on a gorgeous autumn day, but the dudes with Yoda masks were not fooling anyone. I wanted to see a UFO, not some Wal-Mart-decked wannabes.
But then she appeared, flying down the street in an automobile: Sara Moyer-Disch, "Belleville Dairy Queen."
Let's think about this. The UFOs were seen in 1987. Any Superboy or Supergirl who might have landed then would be in his or her late teens or early 20s now. Given Moyer-Disch's teenagedom, this assumption fits perfectly. Moyer-Disch may be called the "Bellevile" Dairy Queen, but what kind of cockamamie title is that? I see through the wool! You can drop the Belleville. She is obviously the ruler of the planet Dairy, the land that supplies Earth with cheese, ice cream, milk and yogurt.
After speaking to the beefalo on Seminole Highway on my way back to Madison, I am certain that I saw an alien.