I respond with a sense of shock, horror, dismay, etc. to the news that at least two homes in the Lime City have sold recently for more than a million dollars each.

What disturbs me most, of course, is that I seem to have missed out on the sales boom altogether. I am sure I could have tried to sell off the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am still forced to live, for at least half a trillion dollars.

After all, when there is no fog, the view is quite attractive.

Not everyone who lives ashore in the blessed South End agrees with my adoration for these towers. Several say they would be happier if the things had never been built. I assume this is just some kind of displaced envy, and will be kind to them despite their severe opinions.

*   *   *   *   *

So, this is a surprise to find myself once more appearing in print on this page. (I give not a fig for what they do with me online as nothing there is real, but you can swat flies with a newspaper, so newspapers are what I think of as real.)

I was just settling down for a nap in the closet where they put me 18 months ago when there was a rattling on the door and somebody stuffed a draft notice under the door and ran away.

It seems the final straw, the thing that made them dust me off and put me to some use, was the realization that there is now a sequel to the movie “A Christmas Story,” with most of the original cast. And if the movie people can do that after a 39-year gap, I suppose putting me back to work at a local newspaper after a much shorter time seemed reasonable. To someone.

I have no real idea what they hope to achieve by doing this, but just remember that I am also the original cast.

*   *   *   *   *

They were short just two tiny reindeer the other night, as I was barreling along Wadsworth Street in Thomaston, trying to make it back to the towers before curfew.

There were actually only six of them, none with so much as a trace of an antler, walking peacefully up the hill when I came driving up behind them at the statutory 25 miles an hour. They tried ignoring me, but when I began to follow them up the hill they changed their collective mind and ran off toward the railway line.

*   *   *   *   *

Speaking of the speed limit, I do think it is a bit rich the way Thomaston has been using its flashing roadside speed warning, lately.

None of us can seriously object when being told that we are going over the speed limit, and this is a fairly traditional use of these electronic devices. Rockland also used its own speed warning indicator recently, to warn us against running into deer (seems justified) and other natural beasts along Old County Road. This is fair enough.

But I see no reason why the traveling public should also be subjected to snark and bitter sarcasm by these flashing signs in Thomaston.

We all know full well that some people in Thomaston are suffering from twisted underwear at the outrageous speeds they think some cars drive by their homes, and we all know how Thomaston likes to park a cruiser up the hill from the Wadsworth Street bridge now and then, to catch speeders unawares.

Even so, this can all be considered as fair game, even from a town that has some of the most annoying traffic light intervals in the history of Route 1. Generally speaking, we are at their mercy and they know it.

But these snide little remarks they were posting on the flashing sign a few weeks ago were more than anyone should have to put up with. If I remember even half-way properly, they were showing something to this effect:

“Yeah, the G-D speed limit is still 25!!! Not 30!!!!!!!!! Not 35!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So slow down or we’ll nail you. And don’t make us put up another stop sign!!!!!!!!” Somehow, they managed to restrain themselves from adding “Na-na-boo-boo!” too. Neither did they add “Have a nice day!” which might have helped a little.

Is this really the sort of message that any self-respecting municipality wants to display to drivers? I notice they waited until most of the summer people went home before concocting this piece of civic disrespect for the rest of us to chew on.

Why don’t they just go the whole hog, and post snipers in trees to shoot out the tires of all vehicles going 5 mph over the limit? It’s obviously what they really want to do.

And if they do go to that extent then I hope they are really careful, because as we all know anyone using a gun around this time of year might accidentally shoot their eye out! (See bit about Christmas movie, above.)

*   *   *   *   *

The Four Seagulls of the Apocalypse sure made themselves scarce in the run up to Thanksgiving last week, when all the heavy lifting had to be done. Not a feather to be seen until after dinner was over on Thursday, when they showed up and tried to make a raid on the leftovers. I was ready for them.

*   *   *   *   *

Rumor has it that more than half a dozen oil furnace technicians in our part of the world quit or retired this past year. If this is true, it does not bode well for the coming winter, which is when most furnaces tend to break down.

It’s getting harder to get all the help we need these days in many places, from the long lines at the supermarkets to short-handed crews at diners and such like. Back in July, having little to do in the towers one afternoon, I decided to look into the reason behind the current labor scarcity.

The most popular interweb conspiracy theory was that vast hoards of people were hiding out in the woods and refusing to work, living instead off free government cheese that was being dropped by parachute. Turns out this never happened.

Instead, the main reason for the situation appears to be the basic unwillingness of young Maine people to have Maine babies. Not that this is only a Maine problem, of course.

All over this great nation of ours, young people are busily engaged all day and all night in not making babies. The current fertility of potential American mothers adds up to around one and three-quarter babies per lifetime. This is not even enough to replace those of us who die, which research shows happens at a terrifying rate of 100 percent.

Meanwhile, those Baby Boomers who everyone assumed would remain on duty washing dishes, selling groceries, fixing furnaces and shooting out the tires of speeding drivers in Thomaston well until the 30th century are, in fact, retiring like work is going out of style. Some of us have been dragging our lunch pails to work every morning since 1965, and many of us are obviously done with the whole business.

Bless my soul, even Gov. John McKernan saw all this coming as long ago as the late 1980s. And last July the Associated Press ran a story pointing out that the mighty U.S. Army itself is running out of recruits, and likely to be 10,000 soldiers short by the end of the current fiscal year.

Why, even the Thomaston Police Department has switched from inflicting its peculiar brand of biting sarcasm on passing motorists, and is now literally begging them to stop by the town office and get a job application.

So, there’s another foolish conspiracy theory well and truly down the tubes. Have a nice day!

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