Alaska, Where People go to Leave

Not a real picture from Alaska.
First off, for those looking for some cheap Sarah Palin jokes, I suggest you look elsewhere. I only make fun of relevant people. Like Katie Holmes. Katie, darling, boobalah, sweetheart, did you not see video of that couch humping maniac on Oprah? That alone should have been worth a restraining order. And, come one, quit playing with us, your kid has fewer genetic markers in common with Tom Tom than I do. Unless he has an Asian granny hidden somewhere. Just admit it, you were picking up the laundry, things got out of hand with that “ancient Chinese secret” and the next thing you knew you had to marry Tom Tom to make him appear to be occasionally hetero. Look, it could happen to anyone, we understand. Anyway, let’s move on to the topics at hand.

In the “Are people really this dumb” category, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was forced to take time out of its busy, busy, day to categorically deny the existence of mermaids.

Discovery News writes that the denial reportedly came after the airing of a recent Animal Planet TV show “Mermaids: The Body Found.” The special, which aired as part of the network’s annual “Monster Week,” apparently fooled a number of viewers with its use of computer imagery to depict the mythical creatures. The faux-documentary seems to have created a big enough splash with its audience that NOAA felt it needed to address questions about the alleged authenticity of mermaids.

Okay, people, simple rule of thumb; the giant evil media oligarchy isn’t hiding this stuff from you. If mermaids were found Dianne Sawyer would be on a row boat in the freaking ocean ten minutes later. And she would be closely followed by a representative from Starkist looking to find out about her diet.

The mermaid’s that is, not Ms. Sawyer’s.

Alaska has had a tough time of things these last few years. It is truly a state full of people who just wish you’d go the f**k away. They’re all nice enough, they just don’t like you. Or me. For example, the city / town of Anchorage elected Dan Sullivan to a second term as mayor. When it cam time to swear him in he was in Hawaii. Well, who can blame him? Would you want to be in Alaska? So, they did a video conference and pretended like he was somewhere in the state.

If you ignored the leis.

Dan Sullivan was 4,664 miles from home. But thanks to video conferencing technology, the re-elected mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, was able to take his oath of office from Honolulu, Hawaii.

It was 80 degrees in Honolulu, the Associated Press reported, compared with the seasonal highs of the mid-50s in Anchorage. Sullivan wore a Hawaiian shirt for his oath, signed off by saying “Aloha,” then he and his wife were adorned with leis.

“I’m very pleased that we’re able to have this technology,” 61-year-old Sullivan, a Republican, said. “It’ really an honor for me today to be able to share this experience with my Hawaiian family and friends.”

Sullivan was in Honolulu for a scheduled family vacation and reunion. He isn’t scheduled to be back in Alaska until July 16, and said taking the oath remotely was just easier than flying back to the city where he was elected to serve a second term.

“It really doesn’t matter where you do the swearing in, what room you’re in or where you’re located,” Sullivan told reporters back in Alaska. “What really matters is the words that you swear and affirm to, to uphold the constitutions of the country, the state and, of course, the charter.”

Alaska law does not forbid remote oaths of office and it’s unlikely the unusual choice will stir any serious controversy. A Honolulu attorney signed the oath of office legal forms. But just to be safe, Sullivan says he will sign the oath again when he returns to Anchorage.

Because, you see, he got the vacation on Hotwire and couldn’t get a refund.

Oy.

But, despite not having their mayor around, Anchorage does have five Taco Bells. I have a funny story about Alaskan Taco Bells, but first a story about the Alaskan town that almost rioted because they didn’t have any.

Residents of Bethel, Alaska, know from cable TV ads what the major fast-food chains offer: chicken at KFC, burgers at McDonald’s and tacos at Taco Bell.

They just haven’t been able to get any of it.

The city of 6,200 people is about 40 miles inland from the Bering Sea in far western Alaska, and the closest fast food other than a Subway sandwich shop is in Anchorage, 400 miles and a $500 round-trip plane ticket away.

So they were elated to learn that Taco Bell was soon going to open a restaurant.

The joy, however, turned into disappointment. The flyers announcing the chain’s arrival were a hoax — the result, police say, of a feud between two residents.
But all was not lost.

Taco Bell executives learned of the mix-up and arranged an enormous feast for Sunday. They flew in enough ingredients in from Anchorage to make 10,000 Doritos Locos Tacos.

Taco Bell will offered its fare for free for the city’s residents. There were 950 pounds of seasoned beef, 300 pounds of lettuce, 150 pounds of cheddar cheese, 500 pounds of reduced fat sour cream and 300 pounds of tomatoes.

The chain is accustomed to feeding large groups of people in far-flung places.

“If we can feed people in Afghanistan and Iraq, we can feed people in Bethel,” company CEO Greg Creed said, declining to discuss the cost of the feast.

The community-wide event comes at the right time.

Since it is the start of the Fourth of July holiday, the population was expected to rise, up to 10,000, as people from outlying villages arrive for the week.

Police Sgt. Chris Salyers said the hoax appeared to be the result of one resident retaliating against another.

Flyers went up in June, announcing the opening and including a phone number to call to inquire about a job at the new restaurant. The number belonged to the targeted person.

Bethel has a large transient population, with people moving from the Lower 48 to work in the hub city. The city has no bars, and will soon have its first movie theater, said Angela Denning-Barnes, news director at radio station KYUK.

There are a dozen or so restaurants, most with similar menus. A couple of restaurants offer some Mexican food, but the price is prohibitive — $15 for a burrito and rice.

The Subway is quite popular, but getting a taco means flying to Anchorage.

“It’s kind of an expensive taco,” said Sam Blankenship, who works for the city.

Okay, kids, if Taco Bell is a major step up in your local cuisine, you might, just might, consider some new life choices.

Now my funny story.

Back in the 80’s as Taco Bell was looking to expand they had mini-restaurant / tasting centers in Alaska. I happened to be there so I decided to go to one. Regular Alaskan food tends to be a choice of fresh fish or deep fried everything. Anyway, I went and the local manager, trying to make the alien food palatable to the locals was offering whale blubber chunks with taco sauce as a taste treat.

Yes, I did and no I won’t do it again.

Not unless it was deep fried.

Anyway, here’s a typical dinner at the World News Center. We somehow survive without Taco Bell.

Julien-K “Kick The Bass” (Explicit) from Ryan Rickett on Vimeo.

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG (FOX! Sports) every Friday around 9:10 AM.

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