Maine: The Week in Review Blog Archive 2009
“Is it snowing where you are?” the excited telephone caller from southern Maine asked. “It’s just raining where I am.”
Yes, I said, it’s snowing. It does that every year around this time here in the western Maine mountains.
It’s partridge hunting season in Maine, and on opening day, a friend of mine set out with his shotgun to fill David Cassidy with birdshot.
Just kidding. There’s no hunting season for David Cassidy. He’s fair game anytime. Be warned, however, that if you’re planning to go after Danny Bonaduce, there’s a special permit required to carry firearms in Old Port bars and other dens of inequity. As for the rest of that family, the state sets a bag limit of two a day.
Every weekday, thousands of innocent children go to school in Maine, seeking the knowledge that will allow them to make explosive devices out of common household chemicals. Their young minds are open to all manner of influences, some positive – such as listening to adults blather on about whether our state’s youth should be allowed to learn that homosexuals exist, living things evolve, and President Obama wants them to work hard – and some negative.
Until recently, if you drove your car into the office of the chief of the Bangor Police Department and told his secretary you only planned to leave it wedged in the doorway so he couldn’t get to his desk for a few minutes while you ran a couple of errands, ate lunch, caught a movie, visited your gabby aunt in the nursing home, and had organ-replacement surgery, you wouldn’t have had a thing to worry about. The Bangor cops issued parking tickets with about the same frequency as Maine voters decide to throw incumbent U.S. senators out of office.
Maine has come through a week of almost unspeakable horror. I say “almost” because I’m capable of speaking about it (well, technically, I’m capable of writing). I’m putting myself through this excruciating exercise in wordsmithing (which I don’t think is actually a word) in order to preserve these events for posterity. I’m doing it to help bring these tragic occurrences into perspective. But mostly, I’m delving into the gory details because my editor expects a thousand words from me, or there’s going to be even more violence.
When I was in high school, I took a drivers’ education course in which we had it drilled into our impressionable young skulls that drinking and driving don’t mix. This proposition seemed entirely sensible to me, so I promptly gave up driving.
But that was a simpler time. The list of things you weren’t supposed to do in cars was relatively short. The only other item on it besides boozing it up was having sex. By the time I was actually having sex, I’d discovered that a bed was a vastly superior location.
Bon Appetit magazine (motto: We Will Never Admit We Had A Can Of Dinty Moore Beef Stew For Dinner Last Night) has named Portland “America’s Foodiest Small Town 2009.”
As a veteran reporter and columnist with more than thirty years experience, I’ve often found myself in harm’s way. By which I do not mean I was trespassing on the private road of that name in Belgrade. I mean I’ve been in situations where the threat of violence against my journalistic person was a possibility to be taken seriously:
As part of this feature’s ongoing series profiling Mainers who have distinguished themselves in the great big world beyond the Piscataqua River Bridge, this week I am distressed to inform you that nobody qualified.