Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

That ditch is Boss John's ditch. And I told him that dirt in it's your dirt. What's your dirt doin' in his ditch?

Above is a picture of the Sun from Hell. Actually, it's a picture of the Sun when the wind blows in a bunch of smoke from distant forest fires. Happens sometimes that you hear that today's forecast is "75F and partly smoke-drenched." Abandon all hope, ye who click on it for the larger version, and dispair. Don't worry, I'll wait.

A Visiting Relative came into town for a few weeks (Rule One of living in Alaska - everyone you've ever met will come and visit). Since this is a close relative, rather than doing fun things like visiting the ever-elusive Denali, we worked. And worked pretty hard.

Before the second week was out, we noticed that the visiting relative had shed more than a few pounds. I have to think that it wasn't the cooking (typical menus during the time included steak, country ribs, sausage, eggs, scallops, and salmon fresh from the friggin' Yukon) but rather Alaska itself.

Alaska encourages all manner of physical activity.

First, there's shivering. That's gotta be aerobic. When it's -55F out and you're getting in your car to go to work, no matter how you slice it, it's cold. I figure I get a lot of aerobic activity just shivering in my car during my drive to work during the nine months of winter.

Next, there's all of the work you do to keep from shivering once you get back inside. I've got several posts (here, here, and most recently here) discussing all of the work necessary to just get a house feeling warm and comfortable through Wood: Our Combustible Friend.

Finally, the weather here in summer is fantastic. While you in the Midwest are sweltering under 106F heat index days, we're 75F during the day, and 55F overnight. This weather is just a bit more conducive to physical outdoor activity than it is in, say Dallas or the planet Mercury (an aside - past 100F and 70% humidity, is there a difference between Dallas and Mercury?). There are no air conditioning bills in the Great Land. Summer activities are a blast.

Most of the touristas that visit, however, are World War I veterans on some sort of package tour, so the closest they get to actual Alaska is drinking the water from the cruise-line owned hotel room faucet. They get none of the opportunities to shed a stubborn fifteen pounds through the natural gym that is Alaska. Here's where the market meets opportunity.

I read once that folks that weigh a little more than they want to would pay $100-$1000 per pound (depending upon income). So, why not open Alaska John's Weight Loss Camp? The benefits of this one are boundless. I could:
  • have perfect strangers pay me for the pleasure of moving and splitting my firewood
  • put up shoddy tents for them to sleep in, no need for electricity since there's 24-7 light
  • give them nothing but lettuce to eat, salad dressing only if they do extra work
  • if they've been good, take them into the forest for survival training (i.e., running from bears)
  • have them dig holes if I ended up with so much wood that I'd have to frolic nude with the doors open at -55F since the fire was so hot.
The only problem with this scheme (besides sounding exactly like the prison from "Cool Hand Luke") is that adults that could afford the $1000 a week I'd charge would never put up with these conditions. Plus, they might have some sort of health problem, I'd get sued, and some other guy would end up burning my firewood. So, the real opportunity is still with these same adults.

But only if their kids are chubby, too.

Now we have Alaska John's Kid's Weight Loss Camp. Heck, we could even call it "Kamp." We'd take away the cell phones and the GameBoys and put the little dears to work, hauling my wood, splitting my wood, and stacking my wood. Like slavery, but they pay me. I would even sell them the occasional Twinkie at $5 a pop. And, they would do my summer work, so I can go to the lake and fish. And drink beer. And pay my mortgage.

So, if I had ten kids a week for three weeks at $1000 a head, that would be $30,000 that they would pay me to get my summer chores done. The real kicker is that some of them would go back to the high-priced New York prep schools that they couldn't buy a date in looking like they'd spent the summer popping steroids and lifting weights with Jose Canseco, and would owe it all to me. Me! And then I'd have to add more shoddy tents for their chubby friends. And they could cut even more wood for me the following summer.


Now that's capitalism.


Blogger Garry Nixon said...

LOL! Your country needs you to rescue it from obesity.

12:33 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

I am a chubby Australian. Should I send cash now, or just give my credit card details?!?

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or you could all just go vegan, now that's anarchism.

3:11 AM  
Blogger John said...

No, I'll just save a few parents from the responsiblity of their money. Really, I'm helping them.

Cash. Australian dollars are fine. Don't start the evening with champagne, though, it always goes loopy from there :)

As soon as beef, pork, chicken, and fish are declared "vegetables" I will gladly join the ranks!!!

10:39 AM  
Blogger Masked Mom said...

I've got four--they're all in pretty good shape and could probably do more work than the roly-poly type you're targeting. Can I get some kind of discount?

6:09 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

Wow, that sun is pretty pathetic looking. No wonder you need 20 hours of daylight in the summer to get semi-warm.

8:48 PM  
Blogger John said...

Discount? Sure! But, remember, the camp (or even Kamp) is for my benefit, not theirs.

It's not like that most days - in fact the colder days are clear ones, since no clouds to trap the heat. It actually froze about 40 miles from here last week, but still better than 110F!

10:43 AM  

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