Recent mirage stories

By David Grima | Aug 03, 2017

Have tried to avoid mentioning this for several weeks, but as this is Lobster Festival week, I have to confront the shame.

The first-ever Down East Magazine lobster roll contest was won in July by a restaurant in Utah.

The Maine gods did not take this insult lightly, causing terrible weather and a shortage of food, which led to protests and complaints at the judging event held in Portland.

This inestimable delicacy, invented right here in Rockland, as far as I am concerned, is now supposed to be done best by a pair of transplanted desert dwellers, Ben and Lorin Smaha, the owners of something called Freshies Lobster Company in Park City, Utah.

According to a reasonably authoritative news source, Mr. Lobster Roll grew up in Cape Elizabeth, and Mrs. Lobster Roll is from Lebanon, N.H. Nobody from Rockland seems to have even entered the contest. Sigh.

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Speaking of food, there is a lunch shack on Route 1 in Rockport that advertises catfish. This not being a native species, I can only assume they are selling Maine Coon Catfish.

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We have just witnessed the last days of the JC Penney clothing store in the Lime City. I went in there Saturday as the clock was ticking toward the closing date of Monday.

It is interesting to see what sort of clothing is left right at the end of a massive sale like this, as it gives a fairly good idea of the stuff local people will not wear.

Apparently, the good gentlemen of Knox County have very little interest in violently green shirts that even my friend Terrible O’Meara (late of the Bangor Dreadful News) would not be seen dead wearing, not even on St. Patrick’s Day.

The ladies among us likewise seemed reluctant to buy a kind of outlandishly cake-pink dress that might be best used to adorn the recently departed at a closed-casket funeral conducted for blind people in a darkened room at midnight.

However, I did score a perfectly decent corduroy jacket back in the earlier days of the sale, and also brought home a sort of shirt thing.

The question arises, will another store replace Penney's at the Maverick Street mall, or is it really true that big retail stores like this are evolving into something invisible, existing only on the interweb?

Speaking of the clothes local people might wear, I had a welcome vision at JFK airport in June when I was trying to get back to Maine from parts far away. It was only when I finally sat down at the gate from which my flight was due to depart 34 hours later that I realized how all the other people sitting near me were the only normal-looking people in the entire airport.

By this, I mean they were dressed like normal people, not like the thousands of others who were haunting the terminal. It’s hard to explain, but I am sure you get what I mean.

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Yes, I can confirm that the large Russian-owned motor yacht parked in Camden Harbor recently was here to deliver yet another crate of medals from the Kremlin to my dear friend, Lord President Trumpleton.

As before, the medals are to express Mr. Rat-Weasel Putin’s sincere thanks for the efforts our Lord Prez has been making on his behalf in Washington.

Mr. Putin has also reported that the Nightly News on U.S. television has become the number-one show in all Russia, and recently took Russian TV awards in comedy, drama, documentary and science fiction.

I say we give the Lord Prez another couple of years to get the hang of this presidential thing. He’s not a bad man. Not exactly.

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There is an unsubstantiated rumor that football player Tom Brady was at the Samoset the other day.

Likewise, there is a rumor that football is a sort of game played by grown men wearing strange clothes. Whatever the facts may be, it can’t be a very interesting game, because they won’t play it unless they are paid absolute heaps of money.

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Frequently newspapers print stories that announce big changes in the way life will proceed from here on, and yet despite all the news printed on the subject, these stories seem to fade away like mirages in the summer heat, leaving, as my friend Mr. Shakespeare once said, not a wrack behind.

Recent mirage stories from the Lime City seem to include plans for a new hotel in the South End, plans for a commercial solar electricity field off Holmes Street, and plans for a large art-storage building on Winter Street. This modest list does not, of course, include the fictitious gas-energy plant that was to be built on the site of City Hall.

All of these stories seem to have moved on to another place. I hear (without checking up on the details – I’m simply not paid enough to do that any more) that the art-storage building seems destined for the industrial park instead. Not a bad move, if it is true.

The South End hotel seems to have fallen behind in a list of other projects that the developer is interested in, which is a perfectly normal cycle in the complex world of decision-making.

The solar energy field seems simply to have gone into the sunset.

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On Monday morning, several teams of young teenagers wearing black T-shirts were to be seen washing windows on Main Street.

I investigated, and was told by a supervising adult in a black T-shirt that they are all up from Tallahassee, Fla., and that they belong to an outfit called the Pursuit Church. We are apparently their mission project, and they are currently based at the Flagship cinema in Thomaston.

Washing windows is part of their effort in witnessing for Jesus, I was told.

This disturbed me, because St. Paul distinctly says we see things “through a glass darkly.” Attempting to clean all the windows on Main Street seems to fly in the face of this established theological fact, and I wonder what kind of people would seek to overturn the good order of things in this way.

Comments (4)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Aug 06, 2017 08:19

David your illuminating pieces are a breath of fresh air. I am also missing Emmett's contributions.  Perhaps you could convince him out of retirement.

Posted by: Peter Jenks | Aug 05, 2017 13:10

you have a twisted and wonderful sense of humor David.  I appreciate your articles


Posted by: Patrick Michael Florance | Aug 05, 2017 10:20

Thank you for your humor!  We need as much humor as we can get these days!


Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Aug 03, 2017 14:40

You never disappoint me with your humorous rhetoric.

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