Maine: The Week in Review Blog Archive 2011
I’ve just returned home from spending Memorial Day weekend watching the Portland Sea Dogs play baseball. Or some rough approximation of the sport.
On the whole, my experience at Hadlock Field wasn’t unpleasant. The weather was warm. The beer was cold. The ballpark food was satisfyingly unhealthy. I should have been contented.
Instead, I wanted to punch somebody. Preferably, somebody in charge of assembling this team.
What do the following words have in common?
Eastern pipistrelle, eastern small-footed myotis, northern myotis, big brown, little brown myotis, eastern red, hoary, silver-haired, Bruce Wayne and Louisville Slugger.
That’s right, they’re all names you wouldn’t give to your newborn child.
Also, they’re all species of bats found in Maine.
I mention the bat connection not because I’m fond of bats (although I am), but because some of these night-flying creatures face a hideous threat:
In Maine, no municipality is more associated with horror-writer Stephen King than Bridgton.
Well, except for Durham (the likely basis for fictional Castle Rock), Bangor (where King currently lives part-time and which serves as the inspiration for the nonexistent Derry), and every suburb north of Portland (all of which claim to be the real location of Jerusalem’s Lot).
I don’t want to unnecessarily upset anyone, but get out! Get out, now! Run for your lives! Don’t look back and don’t ask any stupid questions, such as “Why”! If you don’t follow these instructions exactly, you’re going to die!
Come to think of it, even if you do follow them, you’re probably going to die, eventually. That fact makes the situation appear sort of hopeless, and I wouldn’t even bother finishing this posting, except I need the money for gas to escape impending doom.
Happy Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday celebrating the invention of mayonnaise.
For the fifth time.
It appears that the scientists in charge of four earlier mayo experiments didn’t bother refrigerating the end product, resulting in fatal salmonella outbreaks each time they celebrated their creation by making egg salad sandwiches for the entire staff.
According to a respected group of cartographers (those are people who graph carts or, possibly, cartos, whatever they might be), if Maine were a country, it would be Morocco.
Actually, the cartographers said Maine would be “Moroco,” which seems to indicate that many people who graph carts for a living aren’t proficient in spellology, which is the study of what letters go in particular words, a practice that’s greatly enhanced by hitting the spell-check function on your computer once in a while.
Dave and Lacey Castro of Alfred are not related to Raul and Fidel Castro of Cuba. The Maine Castros have no record of engaging in tyranny, exporting terrorism to Latin American nations, or dressing for formal occasions in battle fatigues.
On the other hand, Raul and Fidel have never been linked, even by implication, to international wife-carrying competitions.
So, it’s about even.
Wife carrying is a major sport in some countries, such as Finland, where life is almost unspeakably dull. And Estonia, which may not be a country at all, but a stomach ailment.
I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about the digestive system of earthworms. In fact, since high school – when I had to dissect a worm and locate all its major organs, of which there didn’t seem to be very many – the subject has never crossed my mind. I seem to recall that worms take dirt in one end (only another worm can tell which end is the right one) and pass the same dirt out the other, a process that has metaphorical and philosophical implications that could fill volumes.
I wouldn’t have thought Maine would have a chance in the Institute for Economics and Peace’s competition to find the most peaceful state in the U.S. To take the title, the Pine Tree State would have had to defeat places like North Dakota (“The Nothing Ever Happens Here State”), Kansas (tourist slogan: “Unvaryingly Dull”) and Iowa (road sign at border: “You Were Probably Looking For Ohio”).
(Editor’s note: DownEast.com apologizes in advance for this edition of the Week in Review. At the last moment before deadline, the regular writer of this feature decided that if Paul LePage, the governor of Maine, could abruptly take off for Jamaica for a week’s vacation, so could he.