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Go Forth and Humidify



June 11, 2014

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The other day, a friend asked me if this was one of the worst “droughts” in Ketchikan history. I think she was being a little sarcastic.

After all, one inch of rain in two weeks does not constitute a drought. Even in Ketchikan.

Her point was that one inch (as of this writing) in June following a May in which we only got six inches of rain (three of which was on one day early in the month) may indeed constitute cause for concern.

(The fact that we had 21 inches in April seems to now be water under the (Stedman Street) bridge)

Yes ma’am, soon the Forest Service will be talking about fire danger. The timber will be dry and massive fires will rake the Tongass.

And Fish and Game will be horrified that the creeks are too low for proper escapement. Millions of returning salmon will be forced to pool up in the creek mouths causing massive die-offs and leading to absolutely no returning fish runs in 2-4-6 years.

Well, I doubt the Governor will declare us a disaster, at least not any more of a disaster than we normally are in Southern Southeast, but you never know.

Of course this impending doom could all be washed away by six inches of rain tomorrow.

Speaking of drought, it has to be a rare thing up here because for the life of me I can never spell that word correctly. I always want to add an extra “h” or a “silent b” or some such other thing.

But then it’s not like I ever heard the word or saw it in print growing up. I bet there aren’t more than one or two “Ketchikan kids” who have even heard the word “drowgt” (sic). It doesn’t occur in normal conversation much in these here parts.

As usual, I digress.

Naturally, all this kvetching is tsk-tsked by residents of some of our sister states (not to be confused with sister wives states) that really know the meaning of “drowt” (sic).

USA Today says there are seven states facing severe “droubt” (sic) . Even worse, those states are “running out of water.”

California, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico and Nevada are all running out of water.

What was it my grandmother used to say? Oh yeah, “don’t run you’ll get there soon enough.”

Actually, what she said was “what’s your hurry, sonny, we all get to the same place eventually.” But that was too morbid, even for childhood me.

Anyway, grandma would be telling those states to walk, not run, out of water.

When you think about it “running out of water” is a lot more DIRE sounding than simply being in a “droubgt” (sic).

Running out of water means, well it means that when I turn on the spigot, nothing comes out. Well, nothing besides chloramine, but that’s a whole ’nother issue.

If no water comes out of the spigot that means that I just have to drink directly from the down spout. If I do that, then I end up ingesting all those leaves and needles and other “Southeast Alaska fibers.”

If I am ingesting that stuff, I am not getting my recommended daily allowance of chloramine. And the Environmental Protection Agency will fine me. Yikes!

Meanwhile, I can also hear the mellifluous voice of former Governor Hickel saying “water pipeline” over and over again. He always thought we should be sending our water south to those in need, at a significant markup, of course.

Yet, if we are having this local “drowght” (sic) then we can’t help much in terms of alleviating other state’s woes.

What would happen if we build a water pipeline and then the amount of water in it starts to decrease and we have to give Big Water zillions of dollars in order to frack more water in order to fill up the pipeline?

Yeah, yeah, that would soooo never happen!

I think the problem is that too many locals have been traveling elsewhere lately and they have taken the rainfall with them.

What? You think I am kidding?

Ketchikan folks always take their “bioclimes” with them.

Just look at Facebook. All those pictures that people post from their trips showing all those sandy beaches and sunsets? Fake, fake, fake.

Those are screen grabs from tourism websites.

When a Ketchikander goes to Hawaii (like we did a few years back), it rains!

When a Ketchikanite goes to Disneyland (like we did a couple of years ago), it rains!

When a Ketchikanuk goes to Washington D.C. (like I did two weeks ago) it rains!

And of course it goes without saying (I just said it!) that every time a Wet Head steps foot in Seattle and Portland, it rains.

Which is why Oregon and Washington are NOT running out of water. You can thank us later.

I guess, the only way to help out California, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico and Nevada is for Ketchikan residents to visit those states more often.

That I believe is our mission, to share the wealth, or in this case to share the wet.

I will close now with a favorite reading from St. Egregious’s Second Epistle to the Precipitarians.

“And whilst traveling you will take your climatus with you. You will break the droubts (sic) in the desert lands and you will fulfill the reservorious coffers of the unwatered people in all ways. Be of great faith for precipitation will favor you all the days of your lives.”

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