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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE DIALING)

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

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Ouch.

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.