Ban the lot

By David Grima | May 17, 2018

In view of the serious threat of invasion now being faced by the good people of Rockland, Maine, I propose the City Council act immediately to block off Route 1 at either end to prevent cars from getting into the city.

After all, they only fill up our streets and parking lots, and many of them simply drive straight to Camden.

Those who stay are often responsible for the fact that tables in our restaurants are occupied, our stores are obliged to sell stuff, our inns get so full there is hardly a bed empty in town, and our bars find themselves forced to serve beer.

I won’t even go into what this nightmare invasion means for the post office on Limerock Stree, each day. For pity’s sake!

After all, if we cannot have cruise ships in the harbor, why should we put up with cars and assorted other means of bringing utter strangers into town? Ban the lot, I say, and be done with them all.

* * * * *

To be quite honest, I have no idea what it is about cruise ships that has so upset the people (several of whom I am told actually live in Rockland) who have signed a petition to have them banned.

I have listened, and I have read, but there seems to be no sensible argument to answer.

So if anybody can enlighten me as to what damage these ships and the people aboard them are doing to the delicate fabric of our city’s culture, I would appreciate hearing the facts as soon as possible.

Until then, I remain skeptical, etc.

* * * * *

There is a report that a hummingbird was seen in the South End on May 7.

Possibly we should ban them, too?

* * * * *

There are some problems that might seem a little more interesting if only we had them. On the ninth of the month I heard about a truck in Poland (which is a country located elsewhere) that overturned and dumped 12 tons of liquid chocolate on the highway. It immediately began to solidify into an enormous chocolate bar.

We should be so lucky. Normally, all that gets dumped on our streets now and then is fish bait. And even that hasn’t happened in a while.

* * * * *

According to the tattered remains of the local media, the town of Bristol down in Lincoln County wants to have a town flag. It has gone so far as to engage a flagologist from Washington (a town in Maine) to design them a nice blue and white municipal banner.

What would Rockland’s flag look like, if we had one?

Certainly it would be an awful flag if all they did was stick the city seal on it and call it good. Flags that carry any kind of seal on them are usually dull flags, and hard to tell apart from anyone else’s.

The state o' Maine flag is one such flag, unfortunately, because at a distance of more than a few yards it seems to carry the image of a pot of spilled paint on it. Not very inspiring. Likewise, if Rockland’s “beehive” seal were to be placed on a flag, anybody looking at it from further than five feet away would assume it shows a bad hairdo.

Indeed, my secret consultant, Mr. Limerock, has been agitating for some time now for the restoration of the old Maine state flag, something plain with an unmistakable green pine tree on it. Very easy to see and feel good about.

So what could we do to produce a decent Rockland flag? What emblem upon it would best signify our great city?

Once upon a time, we could have made a case for a nice fighting tiger, much like the fine fiberglass beast that graced the main façade of Rockland District High School from about 1964 until just a couple of years ago.

A gentleman who graduated from there in some long-forgotten decade tells me he thinks the RDHS tiger was once a promotional sign at an Exxon gas station in the South End, part of the campaign to “Put a Tiger in Your Tank.” If any reader can improve on these facts, with dates and origins for our poor, lost tiger, I would love to hear about it, please.

But we can no longer boast a tiger, or expect one to be put on a Rockland flag. What, then?

Possibly a picture of our harbor with a gate nailed shut across the entrance? (See nonsense about a petition, above.) Possibly a fighting lobster?

Whatever kind of flag we might come up with (and of course, we never will), I would be more than proud to fly it high above the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live.

* * * * *

I see the boys from Public Works are at last painting new crosswalks in town, this year choosing a relatively new pattern of broad white bands over the older ladder-style design. Nice.

* * * * *

The other week I came home to my concrete towers, and found a note hanging from the knotted rope that I use to climb up to reach my cardboard box.

It was from a friendly local Realtor asking if I was interested in selling my cardboard box, as the market for property in Rockland is getting pretty hot.

Surely there is by now quite some cash value in my humble abode. Certainly my towers command fine views of everything happening along the shore, and a considerable distance inland. Why, on clear days I can sometimes even see Owls Head.

The idea rather fascinated me. It’s not the first time I’ve had such offers, and the idea of making bundles of money did seem fascinating. Visions of sugarplums, not to mention martinis on some tropical beach, danced in my head. But I know this is always a warning sign that I am about to do something extremely stupid, so I consulted with a certain person on whom I rely in such situations.

The advice I received was crystal clear.

“If you sell up, where will you live? You’ll obviously have to buy a new cardboard box somewhere, and you know you won’t get another one with such a fine view as you already have. Why, you might not even be able to afford a new cardboard box in Rockland at all!”

Point made. In sheer terror, I tore up the Realtor’s note, poured myself a strong restorative, and went inside my dear cardboard box to lie down.

That was a close one!

Comments (2)
Posted by: Alison S McKellar | May 21, 2018 23:46

Just delightful to read.

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | May 17, 2018 17:17

David, you never cease to amaze! A lot of tomfoolery and yet it all makes sense! Imagine!

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever

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