SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Happy as a Marten Crossing the Road!



May 23, 2016
Monday PM

Ketchikan, Alaska -
Just about a year ago, those wacky pollsters at Gallup up and decided that Alaskans were the happiest people in America.

jpg  Dave Kiffer

If you recall, I questioned some of their methodology, because I know for a fact that Hawaiians are happier than Alaskans.

For example, every day that 5 inches of cold, wet precipitous deluges upon us I am pretty sure that we are all wishing we were in Hawaii and you can take that to the First Nui Kala Bank.

Yes, life in Our Fair Salmon City has its moments, such as when whales are cavorting inside our harbors and martens are dragging chickens across the road causing car crashes.

Which of course led me to have to answer several Outside emails to explain what a "marten" is. It would have been easier, of course, to just say weasel, but that would have been taxonomically incorrect. And this time of the year, you do not want to taxonomically incorrect.

Imagine THAT audit.

"Uh, Mr. Kiffer, we have some questions about some of these deductions. Just what do you mean by 'stock lossage due to mustelinae predation?' "

Well, you see, I was just trying to answer the question about why the chicken crosses the road and.......

But I digress.

Anyway, the folks up in Los Anchorage at the Alaska Dispatch News (nee Anchorage Daily News) are also curious about Alaskan happiness so they commissioned a poll to determine how happy Alaskans are.

On a scale of 1-7 (apparently they were too cheap to go 1-10), 750 Alaskans surveyed say they are 5.4 happy.

Fine. That means that Alaskans are 77 percent confident about being happy. Well, okay. That does sound a little fishy. The only thing that I am 77 percent confident about is that it will rain tomorrow.

That and the fact that I am also 77 percent confident that one of my fellow Alaskans will complain to me about something or someone tomorrow. There is reason that Our Fair Salmon City is also known as "Kvetchikan."

The other day, the sun (I think that's what that blazing orb was) was beating down and natch someone muttered about it being "too hot." Wow, just wow.

Anyway, the ADN has also come up with just whom in the Last Frontier is the happiest, according to the survey.

Let's take a look, shall we?

Men - Men are happiest. I suspect this is a certain type of man. The kind who hunts and fishes no matter how bad the weather is. This, of course, is not me. The other day my teenaged son asked why we didn't have a boat. He would like to go fishing. Which is funny because he used to always hate the "fish pond" at the Kayhi Senior Carnival. I loved the "fish pond." It is the only time that you were guaranteed a "catch." Then again, we say we are "fishing." We don't say we are "catching." Go figure.

People aged 65 or older - I'm not quite there yet. So I will have to take ADN's word for it. But now that I getting older and more tired, I am beginning to understand this whole "snowbird" thing. I used to think those folks were wimps for bailing on the rest of us when the weather got tough. While I am not ready for Phoenix or an armed compound in Mexico, I can see the advantages in not shoveling snow or wearing a rain poncho 24/7.

Whites - I am so white, that I am translucent. I guess I should feel happier. but really I just want to take a nap. (see above).

People with an income over 100,000 - Also not me. After all, all the happiness in the world can't buy you money, to misquote Mark Twain. Or maybe it was Toby Keith. Of course, I have yet to meet up with someone with an income over $100,000 who was not happy. They say that money will "spoil" you. I'm willing to risk it.

Married people - No, "happily married" is not an oxymoron. At least as far as Alaskans are concerned. There is clearly a good reason that marriage applications spike when the days get shorter every fall. Of course, divorces spike when the sun increases in the spring but that is a discussion for a different day.

Parents - Yes, being a parent can be a great joy and comfort in one's "snowbirding" old age. Although, just for the record, being a parent of a teenager doesn't always make me happy.

Residents of Southcentral towns outside of Anchorage - This one strikes me as a bit odd. I would have thought that people in towns furthest from Anchorage would be happier. What is it they say about poor Eagle River? So close to Anchorage and so far from God?

Alaskan residents 15 years or less - So us lifers are less happy than the blow ins. I guess that's because the blow ins are still thinking there is a chance that the weather may get better or that our state airline will actually have a "special" to somewhere someone actually wants to go. Bummer.

Those who aren't supporters of a particular party - That makes sense. Folks who strongly care about any political party or politician are doomed to disappointment. In the same way that Mariner's fans are.

So apparently a 65 year old white guy from Wasilla is the happiest person in Alaska?

I think not.

Has the ADN ever listened to talk radio in Alaska? If those folks were so goll danged happy, wouldn't they act a little more happy?

Heckfire, those people are the "Kvetchers" I hear most from.

If those are the "happy folks" in Alaska, this state is gonna need a bigger handbasket.

Either that or the marten might as well be dragging all of us "across the road."

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Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
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