Illustration by Tim Bower.
Q: I want a good Alaskan name for my next child. Any suggestions?
A: Names aren’t necessary for Alaskan children. They’re delivered to their parents’ doorstep by a bald eagle and communicate only through grunts and howls. Luckily the kids seem to instinctually know how to forage, hunt, and repair anything with a roll of duct tape. By the age of five, an Alaskan child can survive 50 below zero weather with nothing but a sealskin flagon full of bear milk and a sharp icicle. Before entering adulthood at age 11, all Alaskan children must retrieve a pound of gold from underneath a glacier; summit Denali in January while naked; and catch, clean, smoke, and jar 22 salmon within 90 minutes.
Q: I’ve heard of Klondike Kerrie but don’t know much about her. Who is she?
A: Woah ho. You don’t know Klondike Kerrie? She’s the stuff of Alaskan campfire legend. I’ve heard her muskox barrel racing record is under 10 seconds and she caught a 200-pound king salmon with her bare hands. Ravens sew her clothes, and instead of using the ferry she rides on the back of killer whales. It’s been said the juiciest blueberries pick themselves and bounce into the bucket on her doorstep for the honor of being made into a Kerrie blueberry flapjack. I’d tell you to search her name online, but last time I tried my internet broke out of sheer awesomeness.
Q: Who’s the biggest celebrity in Alaska?
A: Jolly ol’ Santa Claus of the North Pole, of course. But he’s had a couple millennia to build a reputation, so I’m going to count his international megastar status as unfair. Next would probably be those polar bears from the Coca-Cola commercials, but they went off the deep end after receiving a lifetime supply of Coke and learning how to make a Cuba Libre. Which leaves Frosty the Snowman. I see that guy EVERYWHERE. Only in the winter though. He’s never admitted this publicly, but I’m convinced he has a summer house in the southern hemisphere.
Q: I’m moving to Alaska soon and am looking for tips on how to fit in with my neighbors.
A: There’s one trick that works every time. Hire a trained moose when you get here. A cow and calf pair is the best bet, but a bull moose with giant antlers will do in a pinch. Then get the moose to stand between the front door and your neighbor’s car starting around 6 a.m. on a weekday. I know you’re asking, what if the car is in the garage? Don’t worry. It won’t be. Around 10 a.m. pour a freshly brewed pot of coffee into a thermos, grab a bottle of whiskey, and saunter on over to your neighbor’s. By noon you’ll be thick as thieves.