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An Alaska Parks And Rec Department Turns To Humor In Hard Times



This is a time in which people discover greatness as they deal with the unexpected. The Parks & Recreation Department of Juneau, Alaska, which, is, in fact, a municipal department, not a sitcom, is essentially closed in these times of the coronavirus, so they've turned their daily hiking hotline into a joke hotline. It's just a joke a day, says Dawn Welch, the Juneau recreation coordinator. Call the number, and you'll hear a joke. Don't sprint for your phone. There's been a backup because of all the demand. The number in Juneau is 907-586-0428. We persevered and got through early this morning.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: What kind of music is scary for balloons? Pop music.


SIMON: But I got an Alaska joke. Bear walks into a bar and says, give me a shot and a beer. Why the big pause, asked the bartender. The bear shrugs. I'm not sure. I guess I was born with them.

(SOUNDBITE OF DIE KNODEL'S "LANDLER") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.
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