Grover just lost his job on Sesame Street

By David Grima | Dec 07, 2012

That was quite a freezing introduction to wintry weather, we had the other day. My socks, which I had draped over the end of my bed the previous night when I went to sleep under the stars, were stiff with frost in the bleak morning.

I was forced to tie an inverted pigeon to a long stick, to use it as a broom to sweep the thin layer of snow from my bed at the top of the west grain tower. The pigeon was none too happy, I can tell you. Bloody pigeons.

* * * * *

You will no doubt remember the peculiar financial system that came to President Reagan in a dream, one night? Roughly described, his vision was that by making rich people even richer, the poor people would become less poor.

The fact that it has never happened before, and the fact that it didn’t work then either, did not prevent him believing in it with all his jolly heart and soul.

I think his theory was that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” but what he never stopped to ponder was the problem a rising tide causes for boats that are anchored on a short rope. In their case, a rising tide simply swamps them. Blub, blub blub, et cetera.

Or else he called it Trickle Down Economics, in which I suppose the poor would simply sit around and wait to be dripped on.

Anyway, this brilliant financial vision came to be known as Voodoo Economics, in that it relied rather more on magic than facts. (Didn’t George Bush the First coin the phrase? I could be wrong.)

Well, the other night I witnessed the dawn of something at least as peculiar as Voodoo Economics.

I was using a cordless power drill in a friend’s kitchen, trying desperately to open up a few stale turkey sandwiches to let the air in, in hopes of restoring their edibility. While I was making this bold but futile attempt, my deranged kitchen mate was trying to play a record on the record player in the other room.

(For record players, see the Dictionary of Defunct Technology. Kids, it’s what we had before we had CDs, which are what we had before we had iPods… etc.)

Each time I turned on the power drill to work on the sandwich, the record player stopped working. So she said. I couldn’t hear a thing to begin with. The third time this allegedly happened, my friend began screaming that the drilling was stopping the music.

“Stop it, stop it, stop it, David! You’re making the record player not work!”

There was, of course, no truth in this. It was a mere coincidence. But she was convinced. She had invented Voodoo Electronics.

* * * * *

By the way, the record we played was a medley of Christmas carols. It was all very jolly.

I plan to play carols long, loud, and unceasingly from the parapet of the north grain tower all through December, the sound amplified a million times by a big electronic trumpet.

My simple goal is to make everyone in the South End happier than they’ve ever been in their lives. Happy, happy, happy! I’ll make them so happy they won’t know what to do with all their happiness. Dammit, this is what Christmas is for!

* * * * *

Talking of making everyone happy, or perhaps not, Maine Public Broadcasting has shot itself in the foot (as far as I am concerned) by replacing the unique Toby Leboutilier’s Friday afternoon old record show (for records, see above) with some wretched news show.

In one single brilliant move, we have gone from interesting and diverse broadcasting to the dull and the cloned; from locally-produced good stuff to generic nothing to do with Maine bore-us-to-tears same old stuff.

Pooh to all that, I say. Simply pooh, pooh, pooh.

* * * * *

Pardon me if I am wrong, but does anyone know why Grover Norquist just lost his job on Sesame Street, the famous children’s public television show?

I think he was the big blue monster, or was he the cute red one? It probably had something to do with cookies. I think he was Big Bird’s arch enemy. No, wait a minute, that was Mitt… Mitt… Mitt…? Someone help me out here.

* * * * *

Speaking of local radio, does anyone remember when WRKD was in a storefront on Main Street, opposite Limerock? You could walk by and see the DJ broadcasting live most of the time.

Mind you, you could never watch them cleaning and dusting the broadcast studio. My big impression was of dust everywhere, the DJ being generally up to his armpits in it.

But at least it was local dust, not some dust imported from out of state.

* * * * *

Speaking of broadcasting, when did they stop blowing the Rockland fire horn at noon? Or did they stop at all? Have I just gone stone deaf, instead?

* * * * *

Last week in the public library (cultural center of the universe) I saw a book whose author has the astonishing name of Sarah Ban Breathnach. Stuff like this never ceases to amaze me.

* * * * *

Mitt…? Mitt…? Et cetera.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at or by tying a message to a stick tied to a pigeon.


Comments (7)
Posted by: Narda Sue Smith | Dec 12, 2012 10:50

Bill didn't work---sorry try to the rest of the readers-trying to connect to an old school chum

Posted by: Vince Bemis | Dec 11, 2012 07:48

JFK said "a rising tide lifts all boats".

Posted by: William Spear | Dec 10, 2012 18:54

Go to  It's a secondary address I can check everyday. Just say hi and I'll send you my primary address.  Once I get your address we can chat in private. Bill 

Posted by: Narda Sue Smith | Dec 10, 2012 10:11

I do remember (OMG) you never know when you are going to get a blast from the past--I still have the wrist watch you gave me for my birthday. Do you face book????

Posted by: William Spear | Dec 09, 2012 15:42

I'm with you there Narda. The kicking and screaming part. I hate my computer. I bet it was in the shop 3 different times this year with viruses. From good web sites. An ecard site zapped me one night. Drives me crazy. But I can't live without it either. I bet we'd love each other's music collections. Supremes and Monkees sure. But give me Herman's Hermits and Simon and Garfunkel anyday. I have hundreds of 45s, dozens of albums and cassetes, and a few CDs. Lost my last 8 track during my last move. Hard decisions when you move. I was done with 8 tracks. Had tossed the palyer so the tapes went also. Was that a tear on my cheek ? Yeah, maybe. Bet you didn't know we have a song. From 1970. That night at your place we were standing in the driveway. You turned on the radio in your dad's pickup. Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum came on. So whenever I hear that song now I think of you. For 42 years now.  

Posted by: Narda Sue Smith | Dec 08, 2012 07:51

I remember the radio station quite well==my girlfriend and I got to go there and be on the air for something to do with caroling at Christmas with the 4th grade in Rockport. It was very DUSTY.... Also==don't forget that between records(which I still have my Supremes and Monkeys) there was the famous 8 track. I still have some of those also. I am one who has been dragged into this computer world kicking and screaming....

Posted by: RUTH ROWLING MAXFIELD | Dec 07, 2012 12:17

Re: the fire whistle . . . . I too wondered about it but then from the vantage point of the Public Landing (Oops! 'Scuse . . "Harbor Park") I began hearing it on Thursdays at noon while there at the farmers' market.  Made me smile! 

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