Unhinged Alaska: A call from Cuz

I just got off the phone with a slightly deranged cousin who lives back east where the snow is roaring out of the sky in the form of an avalanche.

He spent thirty minutes yipping about how long it took to find and extricate his new electro-mobile from a snow drift the size of a morbidly obese mastodon only to find the eco ride frozen solid. I haven’t heard him so torked since he discovered his pricey and pretentious bottled water came from a bathtub tap in New Jersey.

When his rant finally ramped down, he mumbled that he was so cold that he was afraid to bump into anything lest several of his extremely vital lower appendages shatter and abruptly terminate his chance of expanding the family’s lineage.

I offered my sympathies but said that I was a bit confused as to why he called because of a few feet of snow.

“A few feet of *&^%$#* snow?” he raved. “I’m standing on my *&&^%$% roof to get a cell signal you @&^%$##*.”

“My, my, Mr. Church Elder, I’ll bet you don’t talk to your Sunday school class that way. Get a grip.”

“Sorry, I lost it there for a moment. Anyway, I figured since you’re a seasoned Alaskan, you could give me some insight as to what you would do if you were getting slammed like this.”

“First I’d gingerly stuff some hot packs into my Jockeys and stand around until I could sit down without catastrophic breakage, then smoke south to Tobago for some snorkeling. As of now, I don’t see that happening bro; it’s been really mellow up here.”

“Oh sure, like, you won’t be running a blower just about daily until the end of March.”

“In fact I won’t, although we are giving some consideration to mowing the lawn. It’s been slowly sneaking up on us with these 45 to 50-plus temps. Conditions have been so mild that a couple wild pheasant roosters are convinced that it’s spring and have been zipping around the deck challenging each other like they both just pounded a gizzard sized serving of Viagra. It’s unseemly and an embarrassment to the male species. If they keep it up they are going to be invited to Thanksgiving dinner as cubed hors d’oeuvres served on gourmet picks along with wild mushrooms and alder smoked bacon.”

“Sounds beyond delicious, wait … what do you mean 50 degrees and horn dog pheasants? Are you hammered? What’s going on up there?”

“Nope, believe it or not, it has been warm and rainy most of the month. We did experience a small quantity of snow that stayed on the ground long enough for some guys to testosterone up their rigs with plows so huge they could have cleared major mountain passes, then poof, it was gone. Why don’t you beat feet to the beach house your grandpa left you in Key West until your dream rig thaws out enough that you can at least activate its hot plate option?”

“You know my lady is uncomfortable being around the type people she runs into down there. She’s much more comfortable at her local social club.”

“Who said anything about her going along?”

“You know, you haven’t been much help. My wife was right. She said I wouldn’t get a straight answer out of you because you’re a Neanderthal and have the sophistication of an uneducated peasant when it comes to dealing with crucial issues.”

“Oh come on now, I suggested the hot packs and you had days of warning about what was headed your way. Why didn’t you have your weenie wheels in the garage along with your bride’s vehicle?”

“She doesn’t have a car!”

“I’m talking about her broom.”

Click.

I admit the conversation could have gone a bit smoother but my cousin, to put it delicately, lacks the common sense to fire up his honkin’ Honda 36-inch snow blower while he can still find his equipment storage shed and make out the snow silhouette of the top of his neighbor’s 3500 Dodge dually.

The man has lived in the same place for 9 years but always seems stunned when Mother Nature hoses him with a mass of white so deep that he has to let his dogs out a second story window to pee.

If he could get his spouse to take a break from the Kardashians and scope out the weather forecasts once in awhile he wouldn’t have to use Skype for his church classes.

Just to be a good guy, I called him back to tip him off that the Weather Channel was declaring that his area should prepare for another three feet of snow.

Once he comprehended what I was saying, there was a gurgle like someone was choking on a mouthful of lutefisk and then a muffled argument about heading for Key West followed by a proposition on what sounded like an extremely uncomfortable use of a broom before the phone went dead.

I think it would have been better for my cuz if his grand pappy had passed on a Mother Lode of sense rather than cents.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t busy weed whacking.

More in Life

Cabbage, potatoes, salmon and an assortment of pantry staples make for a culinary challenge. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Take a culinary pop quiz

Get creative with what’s in your pantry

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes I wonder, who needs who

Dog whispers we are not. Suckers for unconditional love, you bet.

This undated John E. Thwaites photo, perhaps taken near Seward, shows the S.S. Dora grounded. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 3

Her long career had come to an end at last.

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Don’t let termination dust bring you down

If I’m honest, this time of year is the hardest for me mentally and emotionally.

Pieces hang on display at the Kenai Art Center for the open call show on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘They felt like they could share with us now’

Art center open call offers space for new artists.

The Cosmic Hamlet Entertainment film crew prepares for a new scene to roll on the set of “Bolt from the Blue” at the Kilcher Homestead on Sept. 28. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
‘Bolt from the Blue’ film features Homer

“The Office” star Kate Flannery cast in feature film produced in Homer.

These old-fashioned doughnuts don’t skimp on the fat or sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Memories of old-fashioned doughnuts

My recipe is for old-fashioned doughnuts, and since I make these maybe twice a year, I don’t skimp on the sugar and fat.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: October is here again

The days are shorter. We are losing nearly six minutes a day. It’s getting colder.

This John E. Thwaites photo shows the S.S. Dora near Sand Point, Alaska. Thwaites sailed as mail clerk on the Dora between at least 1905 and 1912. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 2

The S.S. Dora touched lives on and became part of the history of the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska.

Steller Sea Lions can be seen in an enclosure at the Alaska SeaLife Center on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska SeaLife Center to Alaskans: We’re still here for you

You rallied and kept us alive. Today, we’re writing to say thank you.

A wood-carved whale hangs in the Nikiski Senior Center on Sept. 23, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Nikiski Senior Center)
Whale of a job

Nikiski Senior Center gets addition to dining room.

Tomato soup with grilled cheese. (Photo by Tressa Dale)
On the strawberry patch: The comfort of tomato soup

When I was very young, my mother would make me tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches on days when I was feeling down.