No harm in trying

By David Grima | Jun 06, 2019

Lord Prez Trumpleton has landed in Britain in fine form, I see, firing off Tweetification Missiles to the mayor of the very city he was about to visit.

Curious to find out how the Blessed Lord Prez is being received in the Old Country, I contacted my cousin Godfrey de Grima, who lives in one of the spires at Worcester Cathedral.

Normally on these state visits, Godfrey puts on his finest knickers and a 500-year-old red-lined silk cape, and takes part in the parade. On this occasion, however, he was strangely reticent.

“Sorry old boy, rather too busy to take part in the festivities this time around,” he muttered into the mouthpiece of his Alexander Graham Bell original telephone. “Have to put up new wallpaper in the clock tower, and all that.”

Just before leaving for Britain, Trumpleton confided in me that he had already figured out how to get a carriage ride down the Mall in London, even though no carriage was being arranged by the host nation.

He had arranged to have a retired London taxi cab stripped of its engine, and towed through town by several large plow horses. This would suit him perfectly well, he assured me, and he planned to ride in this contraption to 10 Downing Street to meet with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

I mentioned carefully that Mrs. Thatcher, 13th Baroness of Boring-on-Sea, is actually dead and shows no signs of recovering. This did not upset the Lord Prez too much. He felt confident that he had seen her almost burst into tears on TV just the other day, and was sure he’d track her down.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, back here in the Lime City, engineers are busy at work in the South End removing the remains of more than 50 vehicles which have fallen into potholes over recent years, and were expected never to be seen again.

Never inclined to miss an opportunity to promote the dear old city, somebody from the chamber of commerce was recently seen photographing some of the deeper ruts in our fine roads. I asked why.

“Well,” I was told, “there are plenty of postcards of the Grand Canyon, so we thought perhaps tourists coming to Rockland would like to buy postcards of our own canyons. We do have more than just one, you know.”

Furthermore, it turns out that city hall has actually applied to the National Parks Service, to see if Rockland can be designated as Many Holes National Monument to boost tourism. “There is no harm in trying,” I was told by an anonymous city councilor, who was speaking on condition of anonymity.

For that matter, so was I.

* * * * *

It is beginning to sound as if our spring economy got off to a mediocre start on Main Street, with anecdotal evidence that sales were not exactly stellar during May. The same effect was reported to me from Camden, and unfortunately also from South Main.

Whether these gloomy prognostications will be supported by cold hard facts remains to be seen, when the State Department of Numbers releases its monthly reports in a short while.

I know, I can hardly wait, either.

* * * * *

Amidst the generally miserable news about falling birth rates in Maine, I am delighted to confirm the sighting of several pregnant women here and there, in the last few weeks. If there are just a few more of them, then we can look ahead with confidence to our school district requesting a $20 million bond issue in about five years, to build an entire new classroom in town.

* * * * *

I have heard the first report of a Rockland person being bitten by a blackfly, which is confirmed to have taken place on May 22.

This is exactly what I was worried about. People are no longer getting their children properly vaccinated against blackflies, and sooner or later I knew this would happen. I cannot fathom why anybody would have religious objections to blackfly vaccination, and am glad on behalf of all public health advocates in Maine to hear that the Legislature has now made it illegal not to vaccinate youngsters.

* * * * *

Last week I consumed my first dish of steamed clams of the season. They were delicate little thin-shelled things, sweet as lamb, dug in Scarborough by some fellow who is so old that he holds a Geezer License issued by the local Clam Board.

Good stuff.

* * * * *

While we are busy rebuilding our roads, etc., why not Go the Whole Hog and repair the traffic lights that have been broken for ages, too?

There is a green light missing at the intersection of Union and Limerock streets near the courthouse, and another light is short of a bulb on Camden Street, near Lev Coffin Drive.

Speaking of Limerock, did they not resurface Limerock Street only last year? Why, then, was it deemed necessary to remove the new surface just a couple of weeks ago? Did the boys in the Scraping Machine get carried away, and overshoot their target? A reader mentioned this the other week; I think we should be told.

* * * * *

I see Thomaston is all in a turmoil over whether to keep its police department.

There are signs demanding a No Vote, which means saying Yes to the Police; while other signs demand a Yes Vote, which means No to the Police, but apparently also Yes to Saving Taxes.

To add to the general confusion, in the middle of this great quandary the town manager suddenly up and resigned after a quarter of a century, saying he was not feeling the love any more.

This reminds me of similar circumstances a few decades ago when the Waldoboro town manager, Lee Smith, also quit abruptly, after someone mentioned at annual town meeting that Smith was actually being paid.

In both cases, I suspect, retirement had long been on the gentlemens’ minds. Possibly, they were just looking for a reason to go.

* * * * *

Other observations from Thomaston include the strange fact that Thomaston Baptist Church has a Welcome to Worship sign outside its front door that is entirely bilingual. English on one side, and Spanish on the other.

Is it significant that the Spanish side faces west along Route 1, the very direction from which tourists are expected to arrive? Or is Thomaston about to become a Mighty Refuge for migrants from the southern border?

I can’t wait to find out.

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


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Comments (2)
Posted by: Donald Mills | Jun 07, 2019 09:16

Another hilarious, thought-provoking article! This is a highlight of my week, as the accumulating depression of working for a living for a paltry pittance tends tends to cause the blahs.

From your next door neighbour (note the spelling ! So you know where) in the home of the apologetic, and land of the fee (NOT misspelled - we have fees for everything).

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jun 06, 2019 15:31

A very informative narration David. Thanks and as usual you do inform and amuse!

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever +:)

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