OK, April, what’s next?

Normally it’s tough to settle on subjects for this monthly column.

It was easy this time around.

There is a deepening political overcast covering the nation. The growing intrigues and accusation hurling has made HBO’s Game of Thrones resemble a weekly newscast only with cooler costumes, plot lines and excellent actors.

Nowadays if brain eating zombies flooded into the hallowed halls of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government, they would end up on a starvation diet and probably turn into dust molecules within a week.

As for Alaska, it already has some interesting battles brewing and the “My competition hates puppies and advocates drone strikes on polar bears” ads are slinking into the forefront threatening the bazillion furniture store “one time only specials” (this month) domination of the airwaves.

I don’t know which are worse but at least the political ads stop when somebody wins and rushes off to “fight” for us as soon as they have to start running for election again.

The victor must always step lightly of course lest they say something on a Sunday morning talk show that offends someone somewhere and launches some heretofore unknown advocacy group that changes it name as fast as its bank accounts to campaign for his or her recall. (Try saying that three times in a row without hyperventilating.)

I always look forward to November because it’s the start of the holidays but this year it will be extra special. The elections will over early in the month. That means that not only will the blitzkrieg campaigning cease but there will enough time to get the bad taste out of my mouth when Thanksgiving rolls around.      

OK, on to other things.

We have now lived up here long enough that all of our relatives who had always wanted to visit Alaska have passed through our cabin’s front portal, some more than once, and we have enjoyed every minute of their stopovers.  

Now, out of nowhere, it seems that a new generation has possibly arisen via the procreation process of our clans and they are hinting that they would  like to offer us the opportunity to partially host their visit to the Greatland.

I’m talking about distant tribal members who are eighteenth cousins removed and their “significant others” sporting matching tattoos of the Fighting Demented Armadillos of Upchuck, Texas.

Where they got my private email address will be resolved shortly and a clan member may go suddenly missing during my next sojourn to the Lower 48.   

For your sanity, I’m going to significantly paraphrase the correspondence I received last Monday but I think you’ll get the drift.

Dearest Relative/Present Occupant

I’ll bet you don’t remember me ‘cause we’ve never met, but I’ve heard about you two from Edna-the-mildly-disturbed, who’s never met you either but overheard at our third cousin’s by marriage reunion that we had some kind of kin livin’ up Alaska way.

When would be the best time to drop in? From what I hear you’re pretty much snow free in July and we’d only want to set up out in your yard for a couple of weeks. Ya got an operational two-holer? Otherwise there’s going to be one hell of a line in your cabin come morning,

There are nine of us and we’ll be tarp camping out of a Nash Rambler station wagon that Edna’s boyfriend, Bong Boy, put together from leftover stuff in the barn.

We’re pulling a trailer with parts for it so we shouldn’t have any problems reaching your place.

Oh yeah, we might have to give ya a call if we have a problem at the border with our firearms, OK?

Well I better cut this short. We have a bunch of seriously sneaky planning to do because we are hearing rumors that the Canadians might give us some grief over our two Pot Belly pigs and pet gecko. Plus I think this computer might be hot.

Get back to us and lets us know when we can squat for a spell.


J.W. “Leech” Hammeredman

Septic Trails, Mississippi

p.s. Is there a water park up there where the kids can swim with penguins?

I read and reread the original message (I had never encountered a memo that had a pronounced accent before), then made a few phone calls.

Everyone claimed innocence but did casually note that we used to have family in Mississippi until some of them were released on parole and disappeared. 

That was sweet to hear.

Since my bride had taken on a “thousand yard stare” after reading his communiqué, I knew I had better act fast or she would have us on vacation riding disgruntled yaks somewhere in the high Himalayas during the July salmon runs.

My reply…

Yo, J.W.,

I think you might want to do a bit more research before heading our way.

There are, of course, some concerns with your timing since July is earthquake season up here and the penguins don’t arrive in heavy numbers until late September when the ice sheets roll in over the bay.

But you have bigger problems to consider because I think the Canadians will frown on a group trying to come over the border with tactical weapons and a Nash Rambler that could suddenly turn into weapon of mass destruction if it blows a tire.

I’m also not sure if they allow tourists through who are wearing monitoring devices on their ankles, so maybe you had better chill and go all Disney this year.


Note: I still think someone’s pulling my leg. If so, there will be retribution but with my gene pool I can never be sure.

Nick can be reached at ncvaney@gmail.com if he isn’t searching the net for a reasonable Renta-Yak.

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