Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tourist Season

I live in River City, Alaska.  (For safety purposes my daughter prohibits me from posting the real name of my town.)

On the way to River City you will see some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.  Our area is home to crystal clear lakes and rivers, huge snow capped mountains and an abundance of wildlife.  You will definitely see more than one eagle.  You will probably see more than one moose.  You might even see a bear.  And if you're very fortunate, you may catch a monster fish.

You won't even have to exaggerate your fish story.

If you come in July, which is a smart time to come, you will also see a zillion tourists.  They are easy to spot in the grocery store; they are the ones wearing hip waders and brand new camo gear.  Or they're wearing shorts, a polar fleece jacket, and sporting a bad sunburn on their nose.

I get it.  I do.  If I didn't live here I would want to visit. too.  Especially if I could escape scorching temperatures and bask in the beauty of 60 ish degrees.

Yes, in July.  It feels so good.

Truth is, we need the tourists.  Our economy depends on them.  And there is plenty of beauty and fish to go around.

Having said that, there are a few things I would like to tell our seasonal visitors.  If you would pass on my message, I would appreciate it.

I realize you may have to be a jerk driver where you come from, but you don't have to be here.  We're nice.  If we see someone in the ditch during the winter, we stop to make sure they are okay, and if we are able, we'll pull them out and get them on the road again.  If you're patient, we'll let you out of the parking lot.  We will.

Please don't act like we owe you something.  You're visiting for a short time, we live here all year long.  That person you edged out of line at the grocery store is probably trying to get her kid to soccer practice on time, or trying to get home from work so he can mow the lawn before dinner.  Be fair.

Getting a picture of a moose isn't worth your life or mine.  Please don't slam your brakes on in the middle of the highway.  I want to live.

I have some special requests of those who are on a mancation.

You might want to sit down.

Maybe you and your buddies have talked about taking a fishing trip to Alaska your whole lives, and you are finally here.  Good for you. You may have left your families behind, but we haven't.  Our little ones hear the filth you use when talking to each other.  Would you use that kind of language around your eight year old?  No?  Didn't think so.  Don't use it around ours.

And if you're surprised your wife knows about your trip to the local strip club during your fishing vacation,  you'll know I'm the one who told her.  It will mean I've finally figured out a legal way to identify you through your license plate.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Okay, I'm done now.

So...if you are a tourist, or if you know one, welcome to our state.  We hope you enjoy yourself.  I'd like to invite you to church, River City Bible Chapel starts at 9:30.

I sit on the right side of the church.  I'll even save you a seat.

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