If you have noticed, in order to survive and even thrive in the isolated rugged North Country, it’s best to have a great sense of humor. In Atlin, the Fun Days entertainment, Halloween and The Dominion Day parade are all good examples. My mom had a great sense of humor as you can tell by her tongue-in-cheek writing. One spring day over coffee, Mom and a few friends were complaining about the lack of time to get everything done at home as well as hold down a job, take care of the kids, and all the other things needed to survive in Atlin. As they jokingly bantered back and forth, the following was what they came up with.
Atlin News Miner June 1977
Diane Solie Smith
The five members of Atlin Ladies Co-Op wish to share a househusband. No previous experience required. However, applicant must be amiable, charming, tall and have clean fingernails. He should also be bi-lingual, Canadian and American. He must be resourceful, ingenious and patient. He should have a basic knowledge of child psychology, diapers and runny noses. Although cooking meals is not required by all Co-Op members, those wishing him to cook will expect well-prepared nutritious meals that are attractively served and low in calories.
Applicants must be able to do bookkeeping, although not definitely required, a degree in economics and business administration will be given special attention.
Househusband applicant should furnish his own calculator, cookbooks, aprons and aspirin. Candlelight and wine will be provided by Co-Op members as required.
Applicant at times will be required to carry on normal household duties such as laundering, cooking, cleaning, scrubbing grubby kids in residence where there is no running water (or often no water at all if the truck breaks down), no indoor plumbing or aides such as dishwasher, bathtubs, automatic wash machines or dryers.
Applicant must be able to operate all regular electrical appliances such as vacuum cleaners, blenders, eight-track players and diesel generators. He should have a good working knowledge of chainsaws, bicycle pumps, tinker toys and Frisbees.
Househusband duties will cover the period between eight A.M. to eight P.M. daily as well as the hours from ten P.M. to midnight for one Co-Op member who prefers companionship only.
Fringe benefits will be given at the discretion of each Co-Op member. Salary will be worked out on a running scale and awarded according to efficiency and amount of work accomplished.
All interested men may send applications to P.O. Box 000, Atlin, B.C. You will be informed of place and time of your interview within the week.
Atlin Househusbands Co-Operative
Atlin News Miner July 1977
Diane Solie Smith
Due to the overwhelming response for membership applications to the Atlin Househusband Co-Op and a disappointing lack of applicants for the househusband position, we have decided to change the requirements, thus making it possible for more interested men to apply. The demand for househusbands has definitely increased over the last month.
First of all, since there are few applicants that can fix a Frisbee this requirement has been deleted.
Degrees in child psychology, economics and business administration will be waived in lieu of on-the-job training.
Calculators, cookbooks, aprons and aspirin will now be provided by the Co-Op members.
Normal household duties such as laundering, cooking, cleaning and scrubbing grubby kids will be compensated for by additional fringe benefits.
Hours of duties have been changed to noon to four-thirty P.M daily. Four-thirty is happy hour time which will of course be attended by Co-Op member and househusband. Applicant will no longer be required to speak American or, for that matter, Canadian — just body language.
The hours from ten P.M. until midnight for the Co-Op member who prefers companionship only have been reduced after heated negotiations from ten P.M. to eleven-thirty P.M.
Fringe benefits have been substantially increased as has the salary. Both will be worked out on a sliding scale and awarded as originally planned according to efficiency and amount of work accomplished.
A relisting of requirements for househusband applicant is as follows.
Must be male
All interested men may send applications to the Atlin Ladies Co-Op, P.O. Box 000, Atlin, B.C. Just think, you may be the person we are seeking! Looking forward to hearing from you.
As a real box number was used, this actually did get a response from a gentleman in Vancouver who for a while played along with the premise and he and my mom exchanged letters.
For many more Atlin stories, read Atlin Where Everyone Knows Your Dog’s Name.