"Yes, yes, fire, fire, fire!" - Beavis, Beavis and Butt-Head
This is your tourist on fire. Any questions?
(click on picture for larger, more smoldery version)
Tourists are a love-hate proposition for Alaskans. It seems that this is the case in any scenic state I've visited/lived in, like Colorado or Maine. Internet research done by me (actually that was too difficult, so I’m making all this up) shows that 85.4% of tourists want to go somewhere where things are prettier than the things they get to see at home. This would explain why I like to vacation at Target®.
Folks love that the tourists spend money.
Folks hate the fact that the tourists actually had the gall to come and visit.
While it would seem like it might be logical and have the tourists just send the money directly to the residents of (insert scenic location name here), most tourists that I have suggested that they consider that theft. Especially when guns are involved. Then they call the police. Theft, taxation, redistribution of income - seems like such a quibble to me.
Factually, the economy of places like Fairbanks depend greatly on tourism - in winter one can rent an entire wing of a hotel for a single sea otter pelt. In summer, a single unfurnished closet in that same hotel can only be rented months in advance, with a deposit of an actual human kidney and first option on any usable organs you might have, plus copyright to your DNA. You sign a waiver so the organ donation doesn't depend on a death time of your own choice. They decide when they want the organs. Don't even ask the actual cash price of the room, since if you do, a saucy French man named Jacques will sternly fap you about the face with white linen gloves and look at you very sternly.
The Princess Cruise Lines (of the same company that brought America the term "Lido Deck") operates a hotel here, just so they can suck one more dollar from the marrow that is a tourist's wallet that they:
- already boated in to Anchorage,
- bused in to Denali, and then
- had immigrant porters deliver to Fairbanks riding piggyback.
Which is good.
Alaska is a state where one can easily step out of the tour bus, straight into the food chain. Don't believe me? I saw a t-shirt that said exactly that, so it must be true. And the cartoon bears on the shirt looked very hungry. Imagine putting a person from, say, Iowa into a group of cartoon bears. Oh, my, the pic-a-nic baskets that would be stolen.
Actually, I think it's more common for folks to be eaten by bears up here than to be killed in traffic accidents. I'm not sure, and research would take time, so I'll make up a statistic that says that you are 17 times more likely to be eaten by bears in Alaska than to meet Christopher Walken in an alley. 17 times!
So, the moral of the story? Friends don't let friends be tourists on fire. And friends don’t let friends quote made-up Internet statistics.