Unhinged Alaska: Here we go again …

If memory serves, the years leading up to 2008 inflation had quite a run

I received a call last week from a close friend and fishing addict advising us that he and his lady love will not be making their long-anticipated sojourn to Alaska this summer.

They have been to Homer several times and love our little burg. His wife for the ambiance and eccentric dwellers of the hamlet. He for the opportunity to chase anything with the word “salmon” attached to it although with a notable hesitation when the word “pink” pops up.

They’ve always enjoyed fifth-wheel camping on their way north but, when their expense calculations for fuel expenses shot over three thousand bucks just to get here, their enthusiasm waned. The situation didn’t improve after they realized that the way prices were rolling in Canada and the U.S., it would cost four grand or more to get back.

I drew crickets when I replied that it probably wouldn’t be that bad because it was all downhill from here.

His cold silence suggested that, if I had been standing there, he would have given serious consideration to an impromptu demonstration of his new home security system, “Cujo.”

The beast is highly trained in the mystic arts of Gung-Chew and has been known to scare the bejesus out of antagonists by seizing key human anatomy munch points requiring calls for assistance in high soprano.

Hey, maybe we’ll see them next year if prices chill along with my buddy.

If memory serves, the years leading up to 2008 inflation had quite a run.

Weeks before the 2008 Memorial Day holiday, media outlets around Alaska were predicting doom for those expecting the usual influx of tourists. Some claimed that the price of gas was so high that people would be pitching tents in the backyard and running extension cords to their T.V.s.

In fact, things did look a bit gloomy. Gas stations had started hiring number runners just to keep their sign prices updated. The costs were going up so fast that one couldn’t run to town and back without them sneaking out and raising the gas prices another 10 cents a gallon. Starting to seem familiar?

Politicians were yelling at the oil dudes for price gouging and the black-gold boys were talking smack that Congress was a collection of major tools that stood in the way of the U.S. developing its own resources.

My vet bro Turk, who was a fishing guide back then, received several calls asking what action he was going to take to conserve fuel and fight global warming. A couple of them even encouraged biking to his boat. Turk replied that he thought they had an excellent idea and would do so as soon as he installed new spark plugs in his Harley Low Rider.

The debates became so insane that “Indiana Jones” star Harrison Ford appeared in a Conservation International T.V. ad where he had his chest waxed and his hair ripped out to raise awareness about the effects of deforestation on global warming.

Still not sure what in the hell that was supposed to prove. The act would have been much more effective if he would have relocated the whole procedure south of his personal equator line where the “deforestation” would have brought tears to every man on the planet.

But I digress.

It turned out that most of the angst stirred up by reporters prophesying that the only traveling Alaskans would be doing would be to a convenience store via their kid’s tricycle was exaggerated. The Homer Spit’s campgrounds hummed and the visitors I spoke with were having a phenomenal time despite the price of gas.

Let’s hope we’ll see a rerun this time around.

A minor positive:

As of this writing, gas prices still have a while to go before they break the 2008 record. Adjusted for inflation, the real cost of a gallon of gas from July 2008 shot up to $5.37 in today’s dollars which is close to the current U.S. average of $4.26 per gallon and $4.67 in Alaska. See? It’s not all gloom, despair and agony … Cough

I will leave you with a suggestion.

Type in “bloomberg opinion inflation” on Google search, then scroll down and click on Teresa Ghilarducci’s “Inflation Stings Most If You Earn Less Than $300K. Here’s How to Deal.”

In the humble opinion of this less-than-300K serf, the elitist author needs a serious attitude adjustment by Cujo.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t seething over pompous prigs and $52.99 a pound for king crab legs.