All our past sins

By David Grima | Jan 15, 2020

It seem slightly ironic to point out that Maine was admitted to the Union of States 200 hundred years ago on the anniversary of one of history’s great political murders.

Maine became a state March 15, 1820, and Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the senate on the same day in 44 B.C.

Please, no silly quibbles from annoying picky-people who want to point out that our calendar was altered somewhere in between these two auspicious dates. March 15 is March 15, says I.

You often wonder why certain things happened on certain dates, and might even ask yourself why those responsible couldn’t have waited another day or so to avoid the silly comparisons that certain dates inevitably invite.

For example, the Royal Air Force was formally created in Britain by combining the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service April 1, 1918. As you might imagine, this gave rise to the RAF’s sarcastic nickname of Royal April Fools.

Was nobody awake when that date was chosen? Did nobody look at the calendar and think to choose, say, April 2, or even, with a great stretch of the bureaucratic imagination, possibly March 31?

Obviously not.

Anyway, if Mainers have any sense of humor at all, I would expect to see several of them running around the streets this March 15 waving Pine Tree flags and wearing Roman togas.

But I won’t hold my breath.

* * * * *

By the way, hats off to that men’s consignment clothing store downtown, Curator, which was flying the Pine Tree flag Jan. 2. Possibly, they also flew it the day before, but I didn’t look.

* * * * *

This year is not just our fair state’s bicentennial, it is also time for the national census.

I knew things have been pretty thin on the ground when it comes to finding workers these days, but here is some concrete evidence to back that up.

The Census first advertised for workers last year, at a rate of $16.50 an hour. A few months later they jacked up the rate to $17.50, but even that was not enough to attract legions of honest citizens to the recruiting offices.

So now they are offering $20 an hour, and I am still not sure they have found all the people they will need for the count.

* * * * *

I had a chat with Lord Prez Trumpleton after church the other day, as we helped ourselves to the pie and coffee at the after morning services.

The old boy, God bless him, confessed to me that he is getting a bit bored with current politics. He said he needs something to restore the spice.

So we talked through a few things he might do to liven things up a little. I mentioned that blowing up an Iranian general as a spiritual revitalization tactic seems to have fallen a bit flat, as it seem very little fun is likely to follow that particular adventure.

He said he had thought it was worth a try, but nevertheless agreed it hadn’t been quite as exciting as he had hoped.

We went back and forth a few times with various other ideas for chasing away the winter blues, but nothing seemed to inspire him. Suddenly I had an idea, and I asked him when he had been most excited by the political process. He didn’t miss a beat.

“During the Republican primary when I kicked butt with all those sad sacks who were all lined up on the debate stage like so many rice puddings!”

Suddenly the light came on and broke over him, the way that only a true genius like him would understand.

He announced on the spot that we will register as a Democrat, join their primary, kick all their sorry butts, receive the Democratic nomination, and then in the elections in November he will run against himself and win.

Sheer brilliance, I had to admit. Sheer brilliance. This is the man we need in charge.

* * * * *

Nordic Aquafarms, the Norwegian outfit planning a vast salmon farm in Belfast (a community east of here) just made headlines in California, where it also has a facility. They just hired a senior vice president for the West Coast operation, and then they fired him, too.

This is because 15 years ago he shot a lion in Africa, and somebody recently decided that the photo of man and beast should “resurface,” whereupon it was sent to a local rag, which showed it to Nordic, which fired him.

The poor fellow says the lion was acting dangerously, and he was not hunting it for a trophy but shot it in the interests of public safety, but all to no avail. According to, Nordic seems firm in its decision to keep him fired, saying they have company values to sustain.

Heaven help us, but we seem to live in a time and place where all our past sins are chasing us down like banshees.

* * * * *

Speaking of chasing away the winter blues, a Frost Fest is being organized in Rockland for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, down at Harbor Park, put on by Rockland Main Street. The idea is for a bit of a cabin-fever-reliever, as they say.

This was about the time of year Rockland Rotary (I think) used to hold its winter carnival on the ice at Chickawaukie, but they stopped doing it because the ice became less and less reliable, even in the depths of winter. Even a small drowning tends to take to glamour off an event such as that, I and suppose they didn’t want to risk it. Can’t be blamed. However, Rotary is apparently now involved in the Frost Fest.

The free event is described in a press release as featuring “figure skating demos on the Harbor Park ice rink, a hot cocoa bar, horse-and-carriage rides, fire pits, a public free skate session, games supplied by Rockland Rotary, an ice hockey demo, a raffle drawing for a generator, and more.”

* * * * *

Just three days after Christmas, four people entered Rock City Coffee on Main Street, and began to play music and collect money from astonished patrons, who were asked to swipe their credit cards on the convenient little swipe machine one of the four was carrying.

The sheer nerve of this group seemed to overcome all power to resist, and several customers gave away their money and only later wondered what on earth it was all about. Certainly, nobody at Rock City was consulted.

The police were called, but the band made its getaway. According to my source, they also hit up patrons at Fog and at Home Kitchen Cafe.

Their music was described to me by an eyewitness as a kind of mix of Christmas stuff and Mexican mariachi.

* * * * *

Mrs. B decided to make some sugar cookies over the holidays, and dug up a recipe she had written on an index card back in 1988. Finding herself short of the necessary ingredients, she decided to substitute several of them; actually, all of them.

The recipe only called for four ingredients in the first place, but having none of them she replaced each one with something else that she actually had.

The results, as I can personally testify, looked like a perfectly decent sugar cookie. Unfortunately, they tasted like cardboard soaked in cough syrup. Poor Mrs. B.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jan 18, 2020 12:33

You do make me smirk, David!

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever ... +:0).....

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