Nick Varney

Unhinged Alaska: Sorry about that column

Each year our massive staff normally sets aside a few columns to reply to inquiries and comments about Unhinged Alaska subject matters. Sadly, they were remiss in doing so this past year.

Sorry about that.

So, in 2024, they have culled several of the questionable communiqués from a multitude of 2023 sources and carried them over in hopes that those readers will try again without the aid of Jack Daniels or turbo bong infusions.

Honestly, how do some of you manage to slur your emails?

Here we go.

Q: “Your buddy Willie comes across as likable loon who is a bit of a scallywag going through life one step ahead of multiple misdemeanor warrants. What do you get a guy like that for Christmas?”

K.B. Soldotna

A: A laminated billfold-sized card featuring local bail bondsmen contact info and a promise to check on his chickens. “His” being a relative term.

A statement: “There are those of us in the local writing community who believe that your author nomenclature may be a pseudonym. It is surmised that the “Unhinged” eclectic stories are progenies from the minds of various serious authors who would otherwise disdain being associated with humorous anecdotes that could possibly tarnish their staid reputations. The Clarion and the Homer News should own up to the fact.”

N.L. Kenai

A: Huh?

Q: “I remember that you used to share stories about your reprobate dog Howard and his new companion, a mini mutt named, Little Bear. How did that relationship work out before they each made their final crossing of the Rainbow Bridge?”

P.F. Seward

A: Well, thank you for asking and bringing back some cool memories.

They had a rough start due to the dynamic doggie differentials such as size, personal hygiene, intelligence, feeding habits and overall cultural proclivities.

Little Bear was a refined lady while Howard was as attractive as swamp gas with a matching IQ.

At first, we thought that she would have a positive influence on Howard. Unfortunately, she had about as much impact on cleaning his act as I would clearing the winter ice off the Sterling Highway with a Bic lighter.

She was one of those little balls of fur that everyone “ooohs and aaahs” over. He was a grotesque mat of fur that people mistook for a massive heap of discarded moose hide until he moved and scared the bejeezus out of them.

She was bright and learned quickly while his intellect gave new meaning to the term, “inert mass.”

She daintily picked food nuggets out of her bowl, while quietly chewing each morsel and was economical to feed. He engulfed meals faster than a nuclear-powered wet vac, sounded like a stump grinder and had monthly meat requirements determined by the herd rather than the bag.

Q. We enjoyed reading your rants about snagging scofflaws working the Homer Fishing Hole during the summer. It was funny stuff but why do the authorities let that sort of disgusting practice go on?

H.T.P. Anchorage

A. I’ve thought long and hard about the problem and have dedicated several blocks of seconds trying to come up with answers.

It could be that it’s just simply bureaucratic compassion for the totally incompetent who couldn’t catch a fish without using trawling gear in a holding pond.

My vet bro, Turk, suggests that they should have a special a pink run for the angling impaired in The Hole.

It would be an “anything goes” opening, allowing angling tactics up to and including small skiffs with depth charge capabilities and 12-foot set nets. Once the ravenous little critters are wiped out, the next run would consist of silvers exclusively reserved for those who wish to practice lawful sport fishing via proper gear, lures and regulations adherence.

Yeah, I know, dream on.

Finally, I would like to address a missive from Lucy M. of Seattle Washington who seems to be deeply worried about my wife Jane.

“Dear Nick, I have been married for forty-two years, raised nine children along with multiple dogs and cats. We have had our share of weird friends and experiences but have never come close to the chaos that seems to permeate your lifestyle. How does your poor wife cope with it all?”

A: Cope with what? She was raised with so many brothers and sisters that the State of Ohio designated their farm as a minor municipality. She is an expert at dealing with multiple instances of pandemonium. Take ole Howard, Wild Willie, and our latest mayhem inducer, a psycho cur named Luna as primo examples. Other than a few minor nervous tics, she’s doing just fine.

Thanks for all the letters gang. Keep them coming but don’t forget. If you’re too buzzed too drive, you’ll probably start slurring your emails again.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t trying to carve out a luge run on what was once their driveway.

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