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

Sunday, June 25, 2006

"I don't care what happens to your tourist season! Someone needs to tell these people that they might need a jacket!" - Al, The Weird Al Show

The Boy took this picture, and I think his stylistic charm in including his finger over the lens really makes the picture, don't you? And, to think, someday I'll burn all this . . .

The mosquitoes and tourists arrive in Fairbanks about the same time. That’s to be expected. Nature has her cycles, and so do the tour companies. I really can’t imagine thousands of tourists descending upon Fairbanks when it’s -55ºF (-273.15ºC) out, but if they did, there would be a whole bunch of interesting stories to tell down Texas way of when Mabel and Horace discovered that the unitards old folks tend to wear aren’t really all that good at that temperature. Plus, it would be a hoot seeing them attempting to start their diesel pickup that they bought for pulling the fifth wheel. (For those of you not in the know, diesel fuel is as thick as Paris Hilton at those temperatures.)

But, it’s June, so Fairbanks is chock full of tourists. We start huge forest fires (100,000+ acres) under the theory that tourists are a lot like bees and are repulsed by smoke, to no avail. The smoke has been off and on for the past few weeks, but the tourists keep coming. My favorite part is that the tourists seem to come in flocks, like ducks. First the Pittsburgh flock comes, sporting their “Super Bowl® XL Champion” shirts, then come the groups from other regions, finally ending with Arizona. My guess is that it’s an NFL thing, and the city that wins the Super Bowl™ gets to come here first. Arizona and Detroit always have to come here last, because they’re, well, Arizona and Detroit. I apologize to the Cardinal© and Lions® fans, but, you bring this on yourselves.

The roads tend to fill up with slow moving, whale-like RV’s at this time of year, filled with exotic license plates sporting names like “Iowa” and “Alabama.” You can tell the tourists, because they’re the ones wearing coats in the local stores, because 70ºF (253ºC) is so darn cold.

Anyhow, we were at the supermarket on Friday. You can tell the tourists a mile away, even if they’re not wearing coats. One of them (a young male) was driving an electric shopping cart (the ones made for folks who have trouble walking) around the supermarket. He looked more than able to get through the store without electric motors (he was about eighteen, perhaps), but yet he was using this cart. Folks from Fairbanks don’t tend to be serious jerks in public unless there’s alcohol involved, and he seemed just stupid, not drunk. When you get this yahoo back, North Carolina, well, beat some sense into him.

I was somewhat aghast yesterday when The Mrs., The Boy, The New Boy and I were mistaken by a clerk for tourists. Yikes! I’m not sure what it was, but she figured that we were “just visiting,” and attempted to explain things that anyone here more than three hours would already know. That killed me. I stopped her “Did you know . . .” speech quickly with a hand, and a “No, we live here.” What about our pasty-white complexions did she not recognize?

As far as pasty-white goes, I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to sunburn up here. The Sun’s mighty electromagnetic radiation is far too weak to burn me at this latitude, and I’m the kind of guy who turns bright blistery red down in the lower 48 just getting the Sunday paper.

The family and I were finally coming home from getting sweet, tasty meat at Safeway, and I pulled up behind a car. I like bumper stickers, and this one was a doozy, “Tourists, go home. But leave your daughters here.”

I pulled up beside the car to see the driver. Trust me, you don’t want to leave your daughters with this guy. Just looking at him, I bet he smelled like cheese. And not in the good way.


Blogger Woofwoof said...

Ha, for shame , being confused for a tourist. Don't you have a T-shirt or baseball cap that says, "I live in Fairbanks"

8:51 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

There's a _good_ way to smell like cheese??

7:18 AM  
Blogger Coldfoot said...

Over heard in Fairbanks:

"Daa-aaad, can we sit down I'm hot."

"Just be glad you're not a tourist or you would be cold. Now let's go."

3:06 PM  
Blogger shawnkielty said...

Ha ha -- It's very funny to hear this about the colder places. My ever happy hiking buddy and I in jeans in a hundred and 5 degrees -- in the sun -- and talking about how it isn't -- that it just isn't all that hot today. And then the complaints of the cold 75 degree AC. Kinda tough being a tourist here too.

7:56 PM  
Blogger the Witch said...

... but what if I happen to be looking for a man who smells like cheese?

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in Michigan we have no tourists. We have downstaters. The bumpersticker I like best is "Downstaters, the other white meat."

6:08 PM  
Blogger Jacie Wiggs said...

John, You may never see my nose in your neck of the woods, we Canadians know better than to travel north of our own northern north, north - especially in our, no - wind chill season! We are so hot down here in Ontario with the humidity, women are even legal to go topless. I don't go there either! ha!

8:14 PM  
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9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unrelated comment (but more related than the pharmaceutical spam one): when are you going to name your street? I was really interested in that. You said last time I asked that you were waiting until summer. I didn't submit any suggestions, but I liked a lot of the ones you had/got.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Al said...

As that big sting ray in "Finding Nemo" would say "can I be of assistance, I am a scientist?"

Based on limited information, is seems that mosquitoes and tourist have a relationship like the caribou and the hunters. But do the skeeters come because of the tourists or do the tourists come to be eaten?

Maybe you are lucky...if the tourists did not come, then there would be more skeeters to harass the locals. Just a thought.de

6:40 PM  
Blogger John said...

Yeah, but the tourists can buy those, too. Silly tourists.

Hmm, you have a point. Maybe he doesn't smell like good cheese?

I love it! (The Mrs. quoted that the other day)

Yup, a matter of perspective. It's 60F out right now, and I'd be sweating in a heartbeat if I went out to split wood.

the witch,
See, for every sock, there's a foot! And that foot smells like cheese.

Oh, my! We tend to just eat the salmon and moose. Tourists are too tough.

Wow. That's perspective. I never thought I'd live in a place that folks from Canada would call "cold," but I guess I do. I go topless, except that I wear my shirt. It's a Zen topless.

Still haven't done that. Alaskans are like porcupines, sometimes - don't get too close, and in this case, we haven't agreed yet. Heck, I might just go put a sign up myself.

Well, I for one would love an experiment where the mosquitoes stayed home and the tourists sent money. For science.

8:01 PM  
Blogger brotherbill said...

Just a note concerning a couple of thoughts that may have missed Alaska.

First, the RV's. Most have the Good Sam sticker subtly pasted to their arses. After 35 years of being stuck behind them I now know the Good Sam club is communist conspiracy, left-over from the Cold War Girly-Fight days, whose soul agenda is to shut-down America's highway systems. They're doing a great job, too! Slowly but surely our nation is coming to a apathetic gasping stop.

And with great pride, they flaunt their flag in our faces. That logo! That evil, pre-implosion empire logo gleefully leering down at us. Evidence the inflaming red banner background, ever-smiling Khrushchev face, and smug embracing reference of Surface-to Air-missile(Good SAM's)systems. Gawd, I hate it!

Second, Alaska's tourist season is apathetic compared to the summer in Santa Cruz. Here we squeeze more tourists into a single square mile every single day than all Alaska suffers for the season. Don't want their daughters, either. Just as long as they leave their rubles.

До свидания. Передавай привет Тане.

8:40 AM  

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