Saturday, September 21, 2019

Born at the Right Time

“I was born at the wrong time.” 

Do you ever say that to yourself? Or hear other people say it? I hear that a lot up here in Alaska, which—perhaps *slightly* more in myth than in reality— is 100 rolls of duct-tape deep in wilderness survivor, free-thinker types. Like peeps who are all about climbing into their aluminum skiff and disappearing for a week to shoot their own hot dogs in avalanche country.

Let me be the first to say: that ain’t me. Not by a country mile. Don’t get me wrong, I LIKE camping and hiking and boats and gardening and stuff. I just don’t want to like, HAVE to grow my own kale to survive. Like I don’t want my ability to raise a healthy crop of nasturtiums to be the only thing standing between me and the Grim Reaper.

Which is why I know I was born at the right time. The era of the single-serve Costco guacamole. The time of battling unsupported accessories for Apple products instead of, say, the Confederacy.The days of weighted blankets and meditation apps as a cure-all for sensory overload. 

And I know I’m in the minority here, but I will die on this hill: When the Zombies come, I’m just gonna go. It’ll be like oh I can’t use Wayze to get from Rock n’ Jump trampoline park to the Cheesecake Factory ever again?

Fuck this shit. I’m OUT.

I thought about this when a friend posted something he’d seen in an exhibit at a museum in Anchorage: Nineteenth century wooden maps that the Greenlandic Inuit used to travel through their icy, fjord-dotted wilderness in kayaks. Each bump on the wooden stick represents a piece of the Greenland coast. They would keep these sticks in their mittens, and navigate the coast by touch.


This, above all, is how I know I was born at the right time. Do you have ANY IDEA how FUCKED I would be if I had to navigate the coast of Greenland? In the time before Trump threatened to buy it? In a kayak? With a bumpy stick hidden in my FUCKING MITTENS?!

Without fail, kayaking makes me vomit; and I’m lucky if I can successfully use Google maps to find that one dude’s house—the one who has all the Little League gear my kid needs—in the depths of the Mendenhall Valley.

I want to see an old married couple kayaking around Greenland in 1800 arguing about how to get to the next fjord:

“My mitten stick says it’s this way!”
“Honey I think we paddled past it four icebergs ago.”
“I think you’re feeling the wrong bump.”
“I think I know how to feel a stick map in my own mitten, thank you very much!”
“It’s getting late and we might hit whale pod traffic. I think we should stop that other kayak and ask for directions.”
“Absolutely not! I know exactly where we are!”

No thanks. 2019 sucks donkey tits, and there’s not much light at the end of the tunnel, but at least hell has GPS.

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