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Kermet Apio's Laugh Corner

Kermet's Home Page

October 2007




Greetings from an Alaskan cruise ship. No, I’m not rolling in the kind of cash that allows me to vacation on an Alaskan cruise. My budget is more “Bremerton Ferry,” unless the family wants to come. Then it’s rental canoes at Montlake. So this is a work trip for me. Of course, you may not consider two 40-minute shows in 7 days work. I will ponder your argument tonight when I’m at the midnight buffet.

Alaska has become a major player in the tourist industry. In the summmer. In the winter it’s so cold many penguins own time shares in California. So now that I’ve been to both Hawaii and Alaska, I’d like to do a compare and contrast the two for prospective tourists. I think when seen side by side, the two states each have compelling arguments to win your tourist dollar. Consider it a travel guide that is useless yet mildly entertaining.



WEATHER: This one is a no-brainer. Alaska doesn’t get warm, just less cold. It’s a summer vacation that requires a ski jacket and mittens.

Winner – Hawaii

CHANCE TO SEE A GLACIER : Fine. You get this one. We didn’t want it anyway.

Winner - Alaska

CHANCE TO SEE A MONGOOSE : Bam! There it is. Take that.

Winner - Hawaii

SOUVENIRS : Hawaii has t-shirts, keychains and coconut bras. Alaska has t-shirts, keychains and the ulu knife, which has a 5-inch curved blade and is perfectly designed for finger removal.

Winner – Alaska

BETTER REPRESENTED ON TV : Alaska is prominent in the show “The Deadliest Catch” in which rugged fisherman battle angry seas and freezing temperatures to fish for a delicacy. Hawaii is portrayed on “Dog the Bounty Hunter” in which meth addicts are hiding in the storage closet.

Winner – Alaska

BETTER REPRESENTED IN MOVIES : Hawaii has “From Here To Eternity”, “ Jurassic Park”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, “Watwerworld” and many others. Alaska has that movie where Cuba Gooding rides a dog sled.

Winner – Hawaii

DANGER OF ANIMAL ATTACK : Hawaii has sharks. Alaska has bears.

Winner – Tie

NUMBER OF ISLANDS : The state of Hawaii has eight islands but one of them really doesn’t want you to stop by and another one is inhabited only by seagulls and unexploded bombs. So theoretically the number is six. Alaska has somewhere in the neighborhood of four million islands (we don’t know the exact number because a study was commissioned to count the number of islands in Alaska but after a year the group got frustrated, packed up their counting clicky things and went home).

Winner – Alaska

LOVE OF SPAM : In Anchorage you can visit the Fly By Night Café, a kitchy restaurant/showroom decorated by Christmas lights and pictures of people holding SPAM cans all over the world. For seven months they do a musical with funny songs and sketches, many of which deal with SPAM. In Hawaii you can get SPAM almost anywhere like McDonalds, 7-11, and I believe movie theaters.

Winner – Hawaii wins it purely on volume

FOOD IN GENERAL : Hawaii is literally a melting pot of flavors, blending cultures and styles to offer a wonderful variety of tasty foods. In Alaska, hope you like fish. The other day I tried reindeer sausage in a Ketchikan cafe. You get a deep sense of guilt when you realize you’re eating Blitzen. I’m pretty sure Santa and I are on the outs this Christmas.

Winner - Hawaii

HIGHEST MOUNTAIN : Mount McKinley is about four million feet high (a study was commissioned but they got altitude sick). Although McKinley is the highest mountain in America, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world if you measure it from the ocean floor, which we should do. I’m 6’2” but if I’m standing in two feet of water does that mean I’m only four feet tall?

Winner – Judges are still trying to figure out my logic.

IF YOU ARE A FELON : Investigators are more willing to travel to Hawaii to find you, because getting pulled apart by a polar bear is not worth finding the guy who wrote bad checks. Also, there’s a chance in Hawaii that a guy with a mullet, leather pants and a camera crew might find you and put you on a television show ironically broadcasted on the “Arts and Entertainment” channel, of which the show is neither. My theory is that Alaska has many people running from the law. They should tape “ America’s Most Wanted” up there. Then they wouldn’t have to hire actors.

Winner - Alaska

NIGHTLIFE : Hawaii has many night clubs with live and recorded music ranging from Hawaiian to techno to hip-hop. Alaska has taverns which feature rock music and fighting.

Winner – Hawaii

In truth, you can’t go wrong with either place. My suggestion at both would be to experience beyond the t-shirts. Both places have indigenous cultures that offer so much to those who care to learn and both places offer breathtaking views of nature that can only be seen off the beaten path. So who wins our little competition? Well, a study has been commissioned to sort it all out. Expect the results next year.

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