Hell in the morning

By David Grima | May 13, 2020

A few weeks ago there was a craze going around, infecting individuals with the desire to dress up and imitate famous paintings.

At least one Rockland gentleman took to his bathtub and imitated Monsieur Marat, a figure in the French Revolution who was apparently slaughtered in his bathtub and painted in that way by David.

Strange times indeed.

* * * * *

I wish to explain why the Blessed Lord Prez Trumpleton was so keen to make sure meat-packing factories stay open during our current circumstances.

It is because he simply adores what he calls hamburglars, and eats several for each meal. And just look at him; he is as strong as an ox. The plague simply bounces off him.

So devoted is the Prez to this particular edible, the rumor at the White House is that he is thinking of ditching the current vice president (I can’t remember his name offhand, but I think it’s that weird little chap who is terrified of dining with women) and replacing him on the ticket in November with Ronald McDonald.

* * * * *

Last month the good people of Norfolk in the UK were terrified out of their wits by the sight of a man roaming around dressed in a 17th-century plague doctor outfit.

This remarkable outfit consists of a dark brimmed hat, a long dark coat, dark boots and a particularly frightening plague mask, also quite dark. It does sound like something a comic book villain might wear, especially when you consider the plague mask involved is a long thing resembling a bird’s beak. Quite horrifying.

In the 17th century, plague was not understood as it is today. They thought bad smells, rotting stuff and all that spread the plague. So plague doctors wore these elongated beak masks stuffed with fragrant herbs to prevent the poisonous smells infecting them.

Ignorance is indeed bliss, if your definition of bliss is being able to overlook the facts because nobody knows them. Today, the thing that most troubles the ordinary man and woman on the street is that we no longer have the excuse of genuine ignorance, especially about the new plague. People in many ways are terrified of the scientific knowledge available.

The main philosophical problem with this modern desire for the protection of claiming ignorance is basically inexcusable. We all know full well the current plague has nothing at all to do with avoiding nasty smells, but that it spreads invisibly. And so it will only get worse, as people attempt to pretend they don’t know anything about it.

Perhaps you remember the old tale of Adam and Eve in the Garden, whose sin was to eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Before they did this, they were excused all morality and its associated guilt, because they did not know right from wrong.

It was as impossible for them to sin as it would be for a cat or a parrot to sin. But once they learned right from wrong, they became responsible for the morality of their actions.

And how do you think this story applies to our modern situation, dearest reader, now that nobody can deny knowledge of what faces us if we do not beat this plague?

To refuse to accept what you know to be truth is to accept, instead, a terrible moral responsibility. In the centuries long ago, for example, people were genuinely ignorant of what caused plagues, and had no moral responsibility for it and were not guilty.

Nobody today is ignorant any more, but you know they wish they were. And so they pretend not to know. Like Adam and Eve, they sew fig leaves to hide their nakedness, but we can all see through them. Not a pretty sight.

Why, bless me if it isn’t so, but large parts of the federal system in our poor country are currently based firmly upon pretending that true things aren’t true.

* * * * *

There are some remarkable things out there, if you know where to look, and not all are sources of distress. Why, the other day I saw video of a Welsh gardener planting corks while muttering to himself in his native language, and later harvesting full bottles of wine.

* * * * *

Speaking of raising things, I heard a neighbor in the Blessed South End of Rockland is thinking of putting in some chickens. I don’t know how many eggs you need to plant to get a row of chickens, but I am sure it will work out quite well.

My only concern was that, while chickens are fine, if there is a single rooster among them it will be hell in the morning. No rooster, I was assured. So off I went, happily on my way.

* * * * *

Speaking of the plague, I heard a first-hand report last week of what it’s like to go for a COVID-19 test at Pen Bay Medical Center here in Knox County.

It’s somewhat like going for an oil change at Prompto, I was told. You stay in your car in line behind the others and gradually approach the testing tent. Then someone comes to your car window and sticks a collecting device up your nose. Then you drive away and spend the next 24 hours in quiet misery, waiting to find out the results.

* * * * *

Reach for your box of handkerchiefs or put your face masks over your eyes, for TV station WABI in Bangor has put together the following partial list of Maine events canceled so far due to the modern plague:

  • North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland will broadcast scheduled artists on the radio instead
  • Maine Boats and Homes Show in Rockland
  • Union Fair (say it ain’t so!)
  • Common Ground Country Fair in Unity to be held in virtual format Sept. 25-27
  • Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland (first call off in 73-year history
  • Maine State Federation of Firefighters Convention in Waldoboro
  • Maine Celtic Celebration in Belfast
  • 44th Annual Great Schooner Race and Parade of Sail
  • Maine American Legion baseball season cancelled for sponsored games
  • Maine Farm Days
  • 2020 Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival
  • Fourth of July parades and events in Augusta, Belgrade, Eastport and Winthrop
  • Memorial Day parades in Gardiner, Winthrop, Belgrade and Wayne
  • Great Falls Balloon Festival, Lewiston-Auburn
  • Yarmouth Clam Festival
  • Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco will not open
  • Trenton Volunteer Fire Department June and July breakfasts.
  • Island Explorer bus service on MDI indefinitely postponed
  • Kiwanis Karnival and Central Maine Egg Festival in Pittsfield
  • Acton Fair
  • Harmony Free Fair
  • Litchfield Fair
  • Monmouth Fair
  • Ossipee Valley Fair
  • Topsham Fair
  • Waterford World's Fair
  • Fort Halifax Days Festival in Winslow
  • Machias Wild Blueberry Festival
  • Memorial Day parade in Bangor and Memorial Day at the Cole Land Transportation Museum
  • 2020 Sidewalk Arts Festival in Bangor
  • The Bay of Fundy International Marathon in Lubec
  • Margaretta Days Festival in Machias
  • Acadia Birding Festival on MDI
  • Southwest Harbor and Tremont Chamber of Commerce Board 4th of July fireworks
  • Acadia's Annual Oktoberfest in Southwest Harbor
  • Potato Blossom Festival in Fort Fairfield
  • Northern Maine Fair in Presque Isle
  • Wilton Blueberry Festival
  • TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race

I doubt this is a full list by any means, ladies and gentlemen. Have a nice day!

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

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Comments (4)
Posted by: Anita L Knowlton | May 18, 2020 09:11

David , Your articles are a true bright spot in my week ( I am sure that Lord Prez likes them too . )

I have a new mission for you . Please find out what has happened to all the trampolines in the world ( I think they have gone the way of all toilet paper ) . This needs to be investigated, my Step Granddaughter needs one badly I am told ! These disappearances need to be investigated , somebody out there is able to wipe there butt

whenever they want and the go outside and jump to their heart’s content. It is not fair !



Posted by: Anita L Knowlton | May 18, 2020 09:10

David , Your articles are a true bright spot in my week ( I am sure that Lord Prez likes them too . )

I have a new mission for you . Please find out what has happened to all the trampolines in the world ( I think they have gone the way of all toilet paper ) . This needs to be investigated, my Step Granddaughter needs one badly I am told ! These disappearances need to be investigated , somebody out there is able to wipe there butt

whenever they want and the go outside and jump to their heart’s content. It is not fair !



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | May 13, 2020 10:41

WHAT IF!! What if nurses, doctors, other healthcare workers and their supporters out numbered the flat world crew protesting in Augusta Saturday.  It could happen. All at a respectable distance and with masks on.   I would be there and head for the Red Barn for their delicious fried clams afterwards; killing two birds with one stone one might say. ;)



Posted by: Gayle Murphy | May 13, 2020 10:40

Perhaps next week you could provide a list of all of the businesses in Maine that have permanently closed their doors due to the “modern plague”. It should be close to 100 by then.

 

JGM



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