People who eat puffins
This being the week for international fun and games in London and in Rockland, let’s start off with the heart-rending news that they are not letting us into the Lobster Festival free of charge on the first day of the annual binge, this year.
Apparently we are only being let in gratis on Sunday, the last day, and it rather seems sad that we hometown locals have been sort of shuffled off to the tail end (pun anybody?) of the program this summer. Oh well. Perhaps I’ll spend the time I would have normally gone to the fest sitting up here in the east grain tower, mending my socks and training those wharf rats I mentioned last week.
As far as the fun in London goes, I am warned by my legal department based in the south tower at Level 13 that I am not allowed to use the word “Olympics” to describe the event. This is because the word “Olympics” is reserved for official sponsors of the Olympics, and I risk a jail sentence and millions in fines if I use the word “Olympics” as a non-sponsor.
If that sounds absurd, in fact it is pretty much the truth in England. At least one London storekeeper has been fined for his entrepreneurial use of the word “Olympics,” and even the BBC has not been allowed to use the word “Olympics” in the title of a radio show that will be covering — wait for it — the Olympics!
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Thinking more about Fabulous Bob’s problem with parking lot hit-and-run drivers, as explained last week, I have come up with a suggestion.
Perhaps parking lots should have confessionals installed, so that the guilty drivers who have hit Bob’s car (and other cars too, I hasten to add) can go there anonymously to unload their consciences and rescue their mortal souls from the particular part of Hades reserved for their kind.
Parking lot confessionals. Think about it. You heard it here first.
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P and E from Crescent Street went on a puffin-watching cruise this week, and saw puffins. This led to a conversation at breakfast Sunday morning (in the dismal murky environs of the south tower with fog at our ankles and gulls at our ears) about people who eat puffins.
These people are called Icelanders, apparently. Puffins are a delicacy in Iceland. I don’t suppose they have whole lot of choice about what they call a delicacy.
(Al once claimed to have eaten a puffin burger when he was there. He said he took exception to their little feet sticking out from the bun, but I think he was making that part up.)
Our considered opinion about all this is that eating a puffin would be like eating a teddy bear.
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PS If we need a word for the naughty practice of eating puffins, let’s try puffinophagia.
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Atlantis has risen; the little traffic island betwixt courthouse and rec center has been restored to us, after being dug up and evaporated by the road men a few months ago. I am taking this as a sign that the near-constant “roads and mass community plumbing project” we have been enjoying so much this summer is nearly over?
Am I an optimistic fool? Well, I am the one who is trying to train seagulls to deliver fresh water to my tower. But wait! Maybe puffins would be a better choice?
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Speaking of cars that are struck by drive-off fiends, Bonelda reports that she has had three cars totaled in her entire life. Oddly enough, she wasn’t in one of them.
I am unclear about the circumstances surrounding the first destruction, but the second occurred when the truck that was hauling her car away to be repaired went off the road on South Main, hit a house, and destroyed it.
The third unfortunate incident involved her car sitting peaceably in her driveway, when some neighbor’s youngster got onto his folks’ vehicle and released the parking brake, or something. It rolled into Bonelda’s car and wrecked it.
If I were her, I’d think about getting a Sherman tank.
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On July 24 my attention was drawn to an alleged news story about a man in Utah dressed as a goat. No Pan or other form of demon was involved, just a guy who claimed to be a hunter practicing sneaking up on goats, who said he was merely rehearsing for the upcoming goat hunting season.
His goat suit turned out to be a painter’s white coverall, and a fleece. He appeared on my screen in a photograph from the air, obviously taken by the Utah Department of Goat Defense.
This of course reminds me how, years ago, Mrs. B made some pumpkin squares for a friend and left them at her house. The friend tried to eat one but found it to be absolutely awful. They were all awful. She probably thought it was a deliberate poisoning attempt, but was polite enough not to mention it.
In the end Mrs. B confessed to having run out of real milk while she was in mid bake, and having substituted goat milk instead.
Horror of horrors!, for all goat-milk products are off the list of acceptable foods up here in the tower. Not even the seagulls will touch the stuff, and I have undertaken a strict and rigorous program of de-goatification.
No goats on the menu, and certainly no puffins.
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The same day the goat man drifted into my field of concentration, I saw the first red and orange leaves of the season. They appeared on what might be called an unhealthy branch of a tree off Waldo Avenue, and therefore might not strictly speaking be genuine fall leaves.
Fingers crossed. Usually we don’t see changed leaves this early, but then several things have been happening very early this summer. The appearance of shedder lobsters, for one.
This has had an impact on the price lobstermen are being offered at the dock, which led to a mass tie-up of lobsterboats, which nobody admits was organized (wink wink.)
David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at email@example.com, or in the goat-free section at Hannaford.