Cartoon of an Alaskan sitting on an igloo spying on Russian wrestlers
Illustration by Tim Bower.

Q: Do Alaskans have a propensity to tell tall tales?

A: Nope. Never. We simply don’t have time for baloney. We’re too busy spying on Russia from our igloos, trying not to get lost in the Alaskan Octagon—which, trust me, is much more frightening than the Alaskan Triangle—and oil, mud, and Greco-Roman wrestling with Putin and his league of KGB professional wrestlers. Just the other day, me and P. Tootin’ (that’s what Vlad’s friends call him) were racing each other, bareback and shirtless, on grizzlies across the tundra in a contest to prove which country’s bears are superior. I was well on my way to claiming victory, when, tragically, several shots rang out, and my bear was brought down by Donald Trump Junior.

Q: Is it true that Balto was actually a large house cat?

A: Yes. A team of archeologists recently exhumed the legendary Iditarod “sled dog’s” grave and were shocked when DNA studies revealed that Balto was a “sled cat.” There has been a worldwide debate over what led to Balto’s true identity being covered up. It’s a known fact Alaska has always been more of a dog state and cats have never gotten the credit they deserve. Many are taking it hard, but Carole Baskin of Netflix’s Tiger King is hissing with excitement. There are rumors she’s planning to make a run for office under the motto of “Make America Purr Again.” I, for one, motion that we change Alaska’s official state sport to cat mushing.

Q: During the Klondike Gold Rush, did the Mounties require each prospector to carry 2,000 pounds of organic tofu bacon over Chilkoot Pass?

A: Yes. Organic tofu bacon is intertwined with the image of hardy folk who conquered the north. It’s all a marketing ploy to increase soybean sales. Tofu corporations, operated by a network of vegan and yoga crime families, have been running Canada since the mid-1800s. Many Alaskans fear pork products will be taken away if our leaders don’t intervene. I propose building a wall along the border to keep the Canadians from further threatening our way of life with things like vegan burgers, curling, and universal health care.

Q: Why do Alaskans have so many crazy stories?

A: During the long winters most of us pass the time by playing “truth or dare” to try to keep the darkness at bay. A true Alaskan has a deep dislike of “truth” and will pick “dare” every time. This leads to all sorts of shenanigans such as the state and house legislators running around naked and howling like howler monkeys in downtown Juneau most January nights. Abandoning one’s inhibitions often results in hypothermia, prison time, and financial ruin, but can make for a good anecdote. Up in the north, you learn young not to let the truth get in the way of a good story.


Bjorn Dihle is Alaska magazine's gear editor and a lifelong resident of southeast Alaska. You can follow him at instagram.com/bjorndihle or facebook.com/BjornDihleauthor.

Comments are closed.