Answering “Dumb” Questions About Alaska

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Its pretty common knowledge, for anyone that doesn’t live here… people are pretty dumb when it comes to Alaska. Ok, that’s a little harsh, shall we say… uninformed.

alaskan-stupid-bear-jpeg-200x300As Alaskans we get some pretty awesome first hand experience to some really amazing things. Extended summer hours, wildlife in our front yard, Oh and free money!! So understandably this can pose a lot of questions from friends, family and the everyday stranger we meet in our travels. (Technically there is a point in Alaska, where you can actually see Russia.)

So lets cut everyone a little break, some questions yes are just foolish like (Whats the utilities on a 2 bedroom igloo?) But some questions can pose as a legitimate inquiry. Do penguins live in Alaska? I dunno, truth be told the only reason I know this isn’t true without the help of the internet, is because I’ve never seen one. And honestly, I have never seen a puffin… so for conversation sake, lets say they don’t live here either.

So what I wanted to do is address some commonly asked questions I get when I’m either visiting family in the Lower 48 (its what we call, the rest of the United States) or from when I’m travelling on vacation. Here are a list of “Dumb Alaska Questions” answered to the best of my ability, objectively.

“Is it cold in Alaska all the time?”

What you want to say: “Yes, but the girlfriend and I spend most nights naked underneath our polar bear skin blanket watching Netflix with our Alaskan husky Niko… so its not all bad.”

What you should say: “Yes and no, Because you asked “all” the time, no… but depending on where you’re from in the world, our highest temperatures can still appear a bit chilly.  An average daytime summer temperature can range from approximately 55 to 78 degrees, while the winter temperatures are about 5 to 30 degrees.”


Sarah Louise Palin (former Governor of Alaska, Republican nominee for Vice President)

“Do you know Sarah Palin?”

What you want to say: “Who? S. Dawg? Mama P? Most of us who are real close to her call her SP 100, but yes… we all just went to Applebee’s Thursday.”

What you should say: “In 2006 at the age of 42, Sarah Palin was elected as the youngest governor in Alaskan history… now if you are anywhere in the age range as me, I wasn’t “kicking it” with any 42 year olds in 2006. And over the next 3 years she would go on to be nominated for the vice presidency, sell more than two million copies of her book, provide political commentary for Fox News, and star in her own reality television show. Uhm, no… I don’t know Sarah Palin.”

“Are there really Black people in Alaska?”

What you want to say: “Hey, what the f&@k man?”…

What you should say: “Hey, What the f&@k man?”…  Actually, the minority demographic (including African Americans) accounts for about 38% of the total Alaskan population. Alaska boasts a very diverse and thriving community and has continued to do so beginning with the indigenous people before contact with the Europeans through Russian America. We have continued to grow all the way up through the United States purchase of the state in 1867, through the Gold Rush era and World War II, the Oil Boom and even up through modern day.”

“Do you guys have a McDonald’s there, does it sell salmon burgers?”

What you want to say: “Yes, and they are amazing!! Also, if you order a Happy Meal, it comes with a sno-cone and an Ulu.” “Huh, whats an Ulu you ask?”

What you should say: “Yes. We have McDonald’s actually, and although Mcadees has been known to cater its menu for certain demographics around the world, this was not the case for the last frontier. McDonalds has tried everything from patties made of potato and chickpeas, sides of corns, even something called the McLobster… but no, our McDonald’s does not serve a salmon burger.  Although now that we’re on the subject, some McHalibut Chunks does sound mighty tasty right now.”

“How are you cold right now, aren’t you from Alaska?”

What you want to say: Do I look like Jacob from Twilight? You know what, I almost forgot… we Alaskans do have body temperatures that are warmer than a human’s body should be, it reaches about 108.9 °F (42.7 °C), which allows us to withstand very cold weather. I am also wearing this shirt as not to make you look bad, we are all very muscular and ripped.

What you should say: People who live in cold climates do acclimate to the winter temperatures via increased thyroid hormones, but… “you know what?” “Im Frekin Freezing Fool, Gimme a Goddamn Jacket!!”

“Is it true you guys get paid to live in Alaska?”

Moose in Drive thru.

What you want to say: What? You don’t where you live? Oh we make it rain in Alaska, although it usually freezes before it hits the ground.

What you should say: We don’t actually get paid, but yes since 1976, Alaska has rewarded its residents via whats called the Permanent Fund Reserve. We Alaskans for short refer to this check as “The Dividend”. The payouts are funded by Alaska’s oil royalties and are divided up evenly among residents. The largest dividend was $3,269.00 per person in 2008, when a one-time $1,200 Alaska Resource Rebate was added to the dividend amount. {Lesser known fact} This gigantic dividend was thanks in part too… Ahem, a certain person we call SP100.

“I know someone from Alaska, maybe you know them?”

What you want to say: Oh, I dunno know.  But I’m kind of a big deal there tho, so maybe they know me?

What you should say: It is estimated that there are more than 700K people that live in Alaska as of January 1st 2014. More than half of the state’s population lives in Anchorage, Juneau (the states capital) and Fairbanks, with two-fifths of its residents in Anchorage alone. So unless your friend has an extensive Facebook page, its unlikely we’ve met.

Have more “Dumb Alaskans Questions” you wanna share? Leave them in the comment section, we need to resolve this mane.

Phillip Crawford

Content creator and video/photographer for 907Life.com You can follow Phillip on Twitter and Instagram - @phillip907