Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist.

Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist.

Slack Tide: Self-care, it’s for Alaskans now!

We need products as rugged and exotic as the Alaska presented by the Discovery Channel.

It’s no secret Alaskans tend to be extremely casual when it comes to personal appearance. Think about it. Does your concept “evening wear” include rubber knee-boots? In fact, does your shoe collection contain anything other than rubber boots? (Okay, Crocs, fine).

And when was the last time you wore a suit that wasn’t an immersion survival suit? Or a skirt that wasn’t insulated with PrimaLoft? How many fleece garments do you own, and of those, how many aren’t completely covered in dog hair—even if you don’t own a dog? When was the last time you shaved? Or showered?

Now compare yourselves to all the tourists at your local glacier, bear viewing platform or tanzanite shop. See how well kempt they are, with their un-stained clothes and store-bought haircuts? That could be us!

Listen up, Last Frontier: self-care isn’t just for cheechakos anymore. That’s right, Alaska, it’s for dog mushers, gold prospectors, bush pilots, wilderness racers, Bering Sea crab fishermen and ice road truckers just like you and me.

Because like it or not, Alaska, people are watching us, and not just reality TV viewers anymore, either. Remember that spy balloon the military shot down this past February? By the way, credit where credit’s due: Sarah Palin was right. Still, do we want Putin to think we’re vulgarians?

Problem is, the whole personal care industry fails to recognize our unique grooming needs. Sure, regular products work fine for whatever it is they do in the Lower 48, like sitting in traffic or watering the lawn. But we’re up here dog mushing, gold prospecting, bush piloting, wilderness racing, Bering Sea crab fishing and ice road trucking, every day. We need products as rugged and exotic as the Alaska presented by the Discovery Channel.

Well, finally we have them:


If you live here, chances are your skin exudes not so much of a “healthy glow” as a “cadaverous vitamin D deficiency.” Enter, MAK-up, made from actual salmon blood—a little dab’ll do ya! Your mAKe-up kit also includes duct tape, WD-40, super glue, and a bottle of Old Granddad, because after all, there’s nothing that can’t be fixed with duct tape, WD-40, super glue and Old Granddad.

Vitamin D+

Speaking of vitamin D deficiency, not only does Vitamin D+ administer a dose of vitamin D the equivalent of spending a week in the Mojave Desert, they’re also packed with “Vitamin R.” That’s right, Rainier Beer, now in convenient pill form. Take two of these and call me in the morning!


Don’t just look like Alaska; smell like Alaska! Available in a variety of patented scents: Black Mold, Wet Dog, Chum Bucket, Burn Pile (Original and Chemically-Treated), Defrosting Outhouse and Retail Dispensary (don’t spray that one until the kids are asleep).

All the Random Fireweed Bath and Body Products You’ve Won at Silent Auctions Over the Years and are Now Sitting in Your Bathroom Collecting Dust (and it’s that Gross, Sticky Bathroom Dust, Too)

Use them yourself, or re-gift them to your kids’ teachers at Christmas.

Home Liposuction Kit

For those extra 10 pounds of nachos weight you put on every winter (s’mores weight, every summer). In the true spirit of Alaska’s Do-It-Yourself culture, perform your own liposuction surgery in the comfort of your own homestead. Kit includes a filet knife and a shop vac. Duct tape, WD-40, super glue and Old Granddad sold separately.

Now, I realize being a slob is every Alaskan’s naturally given right. Honestly, that’s the primary reason I live here (the reindeer sausages are nice, too). Plus, we’re not slobs all the time, either. Like every once in a while we’ll put on a vest. And, of course, some Alaskans work in the artisan food and beverage industry, so their neck tattoos and mustache wax have to be just so.

Still, there’s always room for improvement. And we can each do our own small part to show the world what Alaska really looks like. As opposed to, you know, what Alaska really looks like.

• Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears twice monthly in Neighbors.

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