Any visitor to the UW-Madison campus is no doubt familiar with the iconic statue of President Abraham Lincoln presiding over campus from the top of Bascom Hill. What they may be less familiar with is the high costs of old Abe’s upkeep.
Abe has been on campus since 1909, and in 1919, he was moved to his current location in front of Bascom Hall. During the move, it was discovered he had developed a bad case of athlete’s foot as a result of students rubbing his toe for luck. As the tradition persists, so does unfortunate Abe’s affliction, which records confirm hasn’t abated in the intervening century.
Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the skin that can cause, in scientific terms, “really fucking gross feet”. A Misnomer review of UW records has revealed that efforts to sanitize Abe’s disgusting tootsies cost the university approximately 24% of its annual budget every year, though in particularly wet years this percentage is higher. Our complex financial analyses indicate this is more than the university spends on faculty salaries, student residential life, lab equipment, or anything other than student recruitment materials or the football program.
When asked about these disproportionate expenditures, UW spokesperson Emily Conklin said, “Well, no, we don’t consider it an irresponsible use of funds because we consider Abe to be fundamental to student morale. Besides, if the statue isn’t in pristine condition, how would we get all those iconic photos of graduates in crimson muumuus awkwardly canoodling with an assassinated president?
Abe himself did not respond to repeated requests for comment.