I decided that Alaskans not bathing should be its own category separate from outhouses. Let me add a disclaimer – I’ve spent little time in Anchorage, so I’m mostly describing Alaskans that don’t live there. Outside Anchorage, however, it’s pretty common to walk past someone who smells so bad you think you’ve just stumbled over a decaying carcass.
This happened to me in the grocery store once – I turned into the cereal aisle and my gag reflex took over. The girl stocking the shelves on a ladder above me smelled like she hadn’t showered all winter. Funny thing was, she went to work smelling like that.
Not bathing has to do with several factors especially in winter. Many Alaskans don’t have running water so that means they couldn’t shower even if they wanted to. The cold also makes sponge baths less appealing. One tier up from no running water are Alaskans who store their water in a huge water tank at their house. This used to be my situation- we had plumbing but had to get our water delivered to us in a truck. Water become our most expensive utility (like $300 a month!), so we showered a lot less.
Additionally, Alaskans are pretty much drunk and high all winter long, so that contributes to general laziness with non essential tasks such as bathing, grooming and doing laundry. Not having running water or affordable water also makes people more likely to wear dirty clothes for weeks or even months at a time.
Don’t be fooled, underneath Sarah Palin’s lipstick lies a true Alaskan dirtball.