Alaska Ear: Punch line needed (5/12/13)

Sheila Toomey

PUNCH LINE NEEDED ... Or perhaps not. There's a joke going around that starts:

"Did you hear the one about Bill Walker, Sean Parnell, Joe Miller, Mead Treadwell, marijuana and oil taxes all getting together on the same Primary Election ballot?"

So far, no one's come up with a good laugh line.

FONDU DUE? ... Our perennials may be shivering underground but romance is apparently keeping Rep. Charisse Millett toasty.

Charisse and post-Love Caucus sweetie John Thompson are engaged. John is sports director for Channels 4 and 13 and does a show Sunday nights from the Peterson Towers downtown.

Congrats to the happy couple and all that, but, darlings, this is Charisse we're talking about, so you know there's bound to be something "different" about this engagement. (Remember when she shaved her head for charity?)

Turns out, instead of boring old diamonds and gold, the couple is flashing engagement "rings" tattooed on the appropriate fingers.

"Totally got some sweet ring tattoos" from Serenity tattoo, John told Ear.

And to complete the ensemble, Charisse won a free pair of Xtratuf boots in the company's "FreeShoeFriday" contest. The announcement is right there on Twitter and there can't be more than one Charisse Millett, right?

Anyhow, the Aging Appendage sincerely hopes this relationship is the real deal, that the dishy Charisse is truly striking a blow for love-seeking grandmothers everywhere. (Check her blog for a photo of her and her cutie grandson with Speaker Mike Chenault at a January House session.)

No wedding details yet.

LAST OF THE WHINE ... this is hopefully Ear's final comment on our crummy no-spring weather:


Q: How does an Alaskan decide where to retire?

A: He straps a snow shovel to the front of his truck and drives south until someone asks, "What's that?"

Ear stole this from former ADN editor Howard Weaver, currently enduring the enervating warmth of Southern California.

THIS IS A REWARD? ... So now that Gov. Parnell has decided to run for re-election, who's going to be Capt. Zero's battle commander? Earwigs were entertaining themselves all week speculating about his likely campaign manager. Wigs who sometimes get things right are betting it's Jerry Gallagher.

Well, maybe.

You may recall that Jerry, a former oil company lobbyist and legislative director for Palin and Parnell, was last seen organizing GOP fund-raisers to sink the Senate bipartisan coalition.

The only reason Ear questions this prediction is, given Jerry's success delivering the Great Tax Giveaway, why would his handlers punish him by making him run a Parnell campaign? Remember how the Captain lost the race he was supposed to win against Don Young?

LEGAL NOTICE ... A federal judge in San Antonio has filed what may be the funniest ruling ever written (not counting the Supreme's ruling that corporations are people). And District Judge Fred Biery not only does homage in the opinion to a late, great Alaskan, but he reproduces a color photograph of said notable in the official court document -- standing on her head in a leopard leotard.

Who, you ask?

Miss Wiggles.

Miss Wiggles was a contortionist and popular nightclub performer here during the pipeline era. (She died last fall.) Apparently she performed in San Antonio in the 1960s and clearly made a lasting impression on the judge, who cites her for being exotic while keeping her clothes on.

The judge found this relevant in deciding a case where a bunch of nightclub owners sued over a city ordinance requiring that they make "dancers" wear bikini tops rather than teeny tiny pasties or submit to a bunch of regulations. The April 29 court order is fraught with double entendres:

"Plaintiffs clothe themselves in the First Amendment seeking to provide cover against another alleged naked grab of unconstitutional power ... fear enforcement of the ordinance would strip them of their profits ... seek an erection of a constitutional wall," etc.

The club owners lost. The order is worth reading. Check it out here.


ALASKA'S DIRTIEST LAWYER ... Anchorage attorney, gardening guru, and long-time ADN columnist Jeff Lowenfels' second book in his planned trilogy is due out this coming week.

The first one was called "Teaming with Microbes" and went viral (just a little Ear joke).

This one is "Teaming with Nutrients. The Organic Gardener's Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition." It's already on

RHYMIN' DIAMOND ... The Alaska adventure website and JetBlue, plugging the airline's return to our skies for the second summer, sponsored a statewide limerick contest and announced the winner Monday. Cassandra Stalzer of Anchorage won four tickets anywhere JetBlue flies.

Rules were, it had to be clean and on the theme of family travel. Here's Cassandra's winning entry:

There once was a fam'ly from Anchorage

Convinced they lived in cold storage.

A vacation was needed, so packing proceeded.

Right after they thawed out their luggage.


Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message Sheila at or 257-4341.

Sheila Toomey