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.

Sincerely,

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.

Nick

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.

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: This and that

Organizations are running out of people to keep them going

This Al Hershberger photo of his good friend Hedley Parsons was taken in Germany in 1945, after World War II had ended. Parsons and Hershberger came to Alaska together a few years later, and in 2010, when Parsons was interviewed for this story, he may have been the last person living who had actually attended George Dudley’s messy funeral
This parting was not sweet sorrow — Part 2

The funeral was scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 5, and spring break-up was in full, sloppy bloom at the Kenai Cemetery

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
A copy of “People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska” stands in sunlight in Soldotna on Friday.
Off the Shelf: Community history project a colorful portrait of hometown

The book features the work of students at Moose Pass School and integrates further stories pulled from a community newspaper

The Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra performs. (Photo courtesy Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra)
Anchorage orchestra group to visit Kenai Peninsula for 10th annual tour

Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra will play four shows from May 30 to June 2

File
Minister’s Message: Boasting only in Christ and the Cross

The Reverend Billy Graham advised every president since Truman during his lifetime

Corn cheese is served alongside grilled beef, kimchi and lettuce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Planning barbecue with all the bells and whistles

Expect kimchi, lots of side dishes, piles of rice, marinated meat for the flame and cold fruit for dessert

Noa (voiced by Owen Teague) in 20th Century Studios’ “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.” (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios)
On the Screen: New ‘Planet of the Apes’ expands, brings new ideas to franchise universe

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” tells a story that feels more rooted in fantasy than the post-apocalypse vibe of its predecessors

A mural depicting imagery and iconography of Kenai brightens the entryway of the Walmart in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Visible art raises people’s spirits’

Local artist’s mural introduced as part of Walmart renovations

Former North Kenai resident George Coe Dudley, seen here during the winter of 1950-51, was a hard-drinking man. His messy funeral in 1967 in Kenai echoed his lifestyle. (Photo courtesy of Al Hershberger)
This parting was not sweet sorrow — Part 1

“Dudley was an easy-going, laid-back sort of guy, always laughing and joking, as well as hard drinking.”

Most Read