I got back Monday afternoon to the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live, to find a message delivered by carrier pigeon waiting for me. It was fresh news from the White House.

It was from Lord Prez Trumpleton himself, advising me not to worry about coronavirus. He made the following remarks, which delivered much comfort and relief:

"The coronavirus is fake news. Coronavirus is the devilish invention of the Democrats. Coronavirus will go away soon. Coronavirus was never here. It does not exist. People who say they have coronavirus, mostly Italians and Iranians, cannot be trusted.

"Nobody has died of coronavirus. It is just a cold. People who say they died from coronavirus are lying. There is no such thing. It will go away as soon as the weather gets better. Masks should be work over the ears, to prevent news of it reaching us."

I am sure you are all much relieved to hear this, as it is straight from Our Leader.

You will no doubt remember that this also how he abolished climate change and I am mighty glad he has such powers at his disposal.

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Speaking of asterisks, in a recent edition they only let me have three between each section of this highly reliable weekly informational article. But I have always provided five.

This means somebody at Courier HQ is skimming asterisks off me and using them for some other purpose. It is an outrage, etc.

So I would urge you to be very careful about buying asterisks from anybody offering them at cut prices, especially online or from a street vendor, as they are probably stolen from me and I have received no compensation for them.

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Speaking of coronavirus, I think the Episcopalians have the best idea. The newsletter from St. John Baptist in Thomaston (which, confusingly, is not a Baptist church at all) states that people should wash their hands often and carefully.

The detailed advice from SJB is to wash one’s hands while reciting the Lord’s Prayer, although not because this is some kind of magic spell that will make you immune. This would be grossly disrespectful, perhaps even heretical. (See bit about Democrats above.) Rather, it is because saying this prayer this will make sure you are washing your hands long enough for it to be effective.

People who cannot remember the Lord’s Prayer will take even longer trying to recite it, which is to their distinct advantage, and those who sometimes get lost in the middle should seriously think about starting again, so they will wash their hands even longer.

I admit that sometimes I forget the middle bit, even after decades of practice. I also admit that the advice in the above paragraph is my own and not the church’s, but it seems quite sensible, don’t you think?

Surely, nobody can object.

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This reminds me that Gandhi decided that while he was brushing his teeth he would use the time to also learn verses of Hindu scripture.

It might have worked as far as learning verses is concerned, although any photo of him later in life will disappoint anybody who might have thought he would also have an excellent set of teeth.

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After a private consultation with a senior city officer, I am advised that Wink’s swap shop at the dump will eventually open again. But only when the dump people figure out how to stop people dumping ordinary trash there.

There is also a suggestion that human waste was once found there.

At any rate, the individual (whose name I am withholding as an act of kindness) who caused the final altercation that led to the place being padlocked was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

Responsible volunteers are now being sought to help supervise the operation of this highly valuable public resource.

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Maine Public Radio tells us that Maine is looking to build a space rocket launch station somewhere in Washington County, which is just about the only convenient place on the East Coast where a rocket can be launched south over water.

But those naughty Canadians are also trying to build a space launch pad, as they also claim to have south-facing coastlines somewhere east of here. Personally, I think they’re making it up.

However, we should not forget that Lincolnville Beach is also a convenient site for a rocket launching facility. In fact, it has already served that purpose at least once before in history.

I can no longer remember the exact date, but I believe it was in the 1950s when amateur rocketry was all the rage in America, that some chap decided to find out if the mail could be sent to Islesboro by rocket instead of by the regular method.

According to the front page of The Courier, the rocket launched successfully but landed in the water betwixt the Beach launch site and the Islesboro post office. The mail was reported to be lost.

I still cannot believe that genuine mail was entrusted to this rocket and can only suppose they made up some kind of equivalent dummy payload to simulate the real thing.

It is a funny world, after all.

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Speaking of the recent voting, which I suppose I wasn’t but I was thinking about it, I heard a tale or two the other day.

A town in Knox County that will remain anonymous is the scene of the first tale, in which a relatively young citizen went in to register to vote a little while ago.

By “young” I mean anybody under 73. I assume this year’s federal census will yet again confirm our honorable status as the oldest people in the nation.

Town officials refused the registration, saying the citizen did not provide enough paperwork to satisfy them. The citizen, however, was not to be deterred by such bureaucratic bluster, explained the law and then insisted the town officials make a telephone call to check the facts.

The call was made and the facts proved to be just so. The town officials retreated, and the citizen was registered.

The second tale relates an event at the polls on Super Tuesday, and has no bearing on the actions of public officials. I have decided it is too silly and I will not mention it.

* * * * *

Many people wandered the streets Monday afternoon, enjoying the warm sunshine and balmy breezes. Kids aplenty at the park by the Rec Center. Sigh. No doubt, then, it will snow again soon.

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To cap it all, a motorcycle was heard in the Blessed South End at lunchtime Wednesday, March 4. A sure sign that spring is on its way.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at davidgrima@ymail.com.