I’m a sourdough now.”
“Oh yeah, by whose account?”
“By mine, by everybody’s – you know, if you’ve seen the river freeze over and thaw, blah, blah, blah…”
“No, no, my friend – that’s just the tourist rap. You can see the river freeze over and thaw up here in one afternoon and all that makes you is in Whitehorse for the afternoon. I’m talkin’ details.”
“Yeah, like what?”
“Okay, you’re on. Do you know how to give directions to the old Canadian Tire without naming any street names? Aha, I thought so – a cheechako through and through.”
“So, I know a few street names – big deal. I’ve been up the Two Mile Hill and back under my own steam. That’s kind of like the river thing, isn’t it?”
“All depends – tell me more, my friend.”
“I made it up Two Mile Hill on my bike in December without snow tires while simultaneously beading a pair of moccasins. And did I mention that I had a gizmo attached to the pedals and made a high cranberry yogurt on the trip up?”
“Oh, that is so lame – you made that crap up. All you people who come up here expecting to be ‘locals’ the minute you step off the plane. Might as well rename this place Yukon-tario. I bet you even have a remote start for your car.”
“Whoa… not so fast, you’re not pinning that one on me. Come December first, you can’t even see down Main Street because of all the exhaust and I’m pretty sure there’s some born and bredYukoners parked along there. Unless, of course, they don’t want their beer to get warm or their moose to get cooked.”
“Are you making fun of us?”
“No, no, I’m just sayin’ – just sharing my knowledge as it were, just like a YTG interview – just keeptalkin’ – you’re bound to score some points sooner or later.”
“Okay, smarty pants, you’re warmin’ up – what else do you know?”
“I know that everybody loves it up here but first prize in every raffle in town is two tickets on Air North. I know that there are places in town where a chocolate bar costs the same as a gold bar and I know from experience that foxes don’t make good pets.
“I also know from personal experience why most of the dogs at the Mae Bachur animal shelter are Husky/Cross. I happen to have ten remaining shoes in my closet and none of them are a match thanks to the above personal experience.
“I know that if a coyote crosses a parking lot, sooner or later, there will be a festival named after it and Kevin Barr will be the opening act. I also know that some people tie dogs around their waists and call it a sport and some people actually prefer to use outhouses and not shower on a regular basis.
“I also know that people won’t leave you stranded on the road and a gentleman’s agreement is as good as a contract. I also know that the Yukon is the Bermuda Triangle for carpenters. Where do those poor fellows go?
“And the last thing I know for sure is that you’ll never go hungry in the Yukon. There are some generous folks up here and the kettle’s always on. There, are you satisfied? Is that what you wanted to hear?”
“Not too shabby, my friend. You did yourself proud. I almost shed a tear there once or twice. You’re a true Yukoner after all. We should go out and celebrate.”
“Cool, thanks… How about this weekend?”
“Can’t – I’m going to Van. To get my hair cut.”