When I was playing music in the Gold Pan Saloon, I used to see all these young men and women coming into the Yukon. They were either coming back from university, or up looking for work. And I always told the women that if they planned on staying through the winter and were looking to possibly settle down and start a family, then they’d better start looking for a real man because those little “lumber-sexuals” they were snuggling up to would be as useless as a three-legged wheel dog, come winter.

I told them the first thing you look for in a good man is dirty fingernails and greasy hands, cause that means he’s not scared to take apart a water pump, the same water pump that could be supplying water to wash diapers for all those rugrats you want.

Second thing to look for is gnarled knobby hands, cause that means he’s used to working in the cold and won’t be afraid to get under the hood and change an alternator at 40 below. And if you’re going into contractions in mid-February, he’ll make damned sure you make it to the hospital on time.

Another sure sign is blood on his hands, evidence that he’s just gutted a moose, meat that’ll feed your ever-growing brood. Also, look for sawdust in his boots, which means he’s just cut a cord of wood to keep you warm when winter rolls around. If he smells like gas, that means he’s just run his trapline and the fur he’s caught will pay for your mom to come visit you, next summer, when you need a break from all your kids.

Also, look for missing front teeth, cause that means he’s not scared to stand up for what he believes in. Being politically correct has its place, but when a guy knocks over your jug of draught in The Pit and is not willing to replace it, then it’s time for some Yukon-style diplomacy.

Also, make sure he’s driving nothing more than an ’85 F150. That indicates a guy knows a good truck when he sees one, and has no need to waste money buying anything newer than that. And check if there’s a bungee cord holding the hood down (that just means he’s thrifty). And don’t be alarmed if it backfires. That just means it’s still got good compression and should make it through another winter. Also, be sure he’s got a dog in the front seat—because that means he runs dogs too.

If the guy uses rubber boots all summer, count yourself lucky cause the guy doesn’t need to change his boots with the seasons, like them little lumber-sexuals who need to match their boots with the seasons. Also, check the insoles … if they are made of cardboard, then you know a guy knows how to make something out of nothing.

I also tell the guys that if they are looking for a good Yukon woman, then forget about the bleached blonde with the ten-dollar latté. Cause there’s only one place you’ll find the best Yukon woman, and that’s at the dump, looking for parts. If she’s ripping the ball joint off an old Ford, then you’ve got it made.

If she can roll a cigarette in one hand and change a diaper with the other, you’ve hit the jackpot. Also, get close enough for a good whiff. If her B.O. is worse than yours, bingo, she’s a keeper. Nothing worse than a high-end woman who spends all her time in front of the mirror. A good way to test out a potential female partner is a good-old arm wrestle. If she can hold you for at least a minute, even if you beat her, she can punch dough till the cows come home.

So there you go, boys and girls, you can take my advise—or leave it. But don’t blame me when your little lumber-sexual comes whining cause he doesn’t want to change your tire cause it’ll rip his nails, or that little bleached-blonde’s high heel just broke off and she can’t chop any kindling.