Down East 2013 ©
In a clandestine, pre-dawn strike late last week, an overwhelming guerilla force from Boston took control of key assets in Portland, effectively incorporating Maine’s largest city into Massachusetts.
Portland police, the state’s National Guard, and the municipal parking attendants were caught unawares by the attack and were quickly subdued by boxes of free doughnuts and t-shirts that carried the slogan “Proud To Be A Mass-hole.” Within hours, the insurgents had seized control of the media, which was compelled to inform the public of the coup d’etat in a manner carefully designed to avoid fomenting any public unrest.
The leader of the rebels announced he was assuming the powers of the city’s mayor, but would not take on that title. Instead, Danny Ainge  insisted he be referred to in all official communications as the president of the Boston Celtics. Among Ainge’s first acts was to end the player development agreements between the Maine Red Claws , an NBA Development League team that plays in Portland, and the Charlotte Bobcats and Philadelphia 76ers. Instead, he said, the Celtics would assume full control of the Red Claws  basketball operations.
There were a few weak pockets of resistance to the takeover. Red Claws president Jon Jennings  apparently got advance word of the military operation and fled with his entourage to Thompson’s Point, where he is reported to be constructing a fortress or a basketball arena or something. Ainge dismissed the significance of his forces’ failure to capture Jennings, saying that even if it took a couple of years, the Red Claws would someday be playing in that new arena. “If he does not want his head used for a ball,” said Ainge, “he will submit to my authority.”
Ainge pronounced “authority” just like Cartman  from “South Park,” which was sort of creepy.
In any case, Ainge said the rest of Portland would be run just like Boston, which should be pretty much the way it runs right now. Except it’ll have to import some extra corruption. And same-sex marriage will be legal – and possibly mandatory. Oh, and health insurance will be required, no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court says.
In the wake of the coup, streets in the city appeared calm. In part, this lack of dissent was attributed to the decision of the new regime to finally draft an ordinance allowing food trucks . These mobile restaurants will be permitted in limited areas of the city from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., but can enter the downtown and Old Port later in the evening when drunkenness could lead ill-advised youths into counter-revolutionary activities. Ainge said providing more and better outdoor dining options would distract these potential insurgents from their mission, “much like the way I have distracted Stan  and Kyle  over the years.”
Ainge then went on to predict that with Portland firmly in his grasp, it was only a matter of time before his remaining enemies were forced to capitulate. “LeBron,” he shouted, “the lobster is coming for you.”
It’s not clear if Ainge was referring to the Red Claws’ mascot, Crusher , or to food trucks that serve lobster rolls.
The rest of Maine took the news that Portland had been conquered by Boston with surprising equanimity.
“Cool” said a resident of Kennebunkport. “Now they’ll be more like us.”
“That’s great for Lewiston,” said a denizen of that city. “If Portland is officially annexed by Massachusetts, that makes us the most populated municipality in the state. Maybe now somebody will open a decent bar here.”
“I won’t miss Portland being a part of Maine because it is a hotbed of deviant behavior, immoral attitudes, and soul-destroying hedonism,” said a churchgoer in Wilton. “I wouldn’t go there at all, except I have to check in each month with my probation officer and get methadone.”
In other news of the week, independent U.S. Senate candidate Angus King released the form he’s required to file with the federal government revealing his assets . The required information only indicates ranges of income, so all we can conclude from the release is that King falls somewhere between “way richer than you and all your seedy friends put together” and “more money than God.”
King’s opponents in the Senate race – their names escape me at the moment – didn’t file the disclosure forms on time because one of them “forgot” and the other “couldn’t afford the postage.”
All three candidates issued statements criticizing the seizure of Portland by alien forces, and they all promised to do something about it, like form a committee to study the issue or request unarmed United Nations peacekeepers who would only be allowed to observe food trucks in the city and only before 10 p.m.
In spite of all this upheaval, Portland hasn’t forgotten about the arts. Except whatever art it is that involves wrapping prominent landmarks in plastic and stuff like that. And that’s just as well.
But the rest of the arts are on Portland’s mind, even in the midst of regime change and cultural upheaval. So the city residents were delighted this week to accept the gift of a huge granite sculpture called “Tidal Moon.”  It will be placed near the entrance to the Portland International Jetport (disclosure: not actually international and “jetport” isn’t even a real word), where it’ll greet visitors with the message “Portland is flashing you a giant moon."
Talk about revealing your assets.
Danny Ainge, who’s is not only a great military, athletic and political leader but an astute critic of the fine arts, proclaimed it “better than Cheesy Poofs .”
Al Diamon has armed himself, taken to the hills and joined the resistance, but can still be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org .