Stinking hypocrite

By David Grima | Jul 11, 2019

Summer! I heard a report of a cicada buzzing June 30, and last weekend at dusk saw a backyard full of fireflies. A few days before that, I saw turtles of various sizes on three occasions, each trying to cross Route 17. Such is nature.

* * * * *

I hope the turtles made it. One was being watched rather closely by a gentleman, who seemed on the point of picking it up and carrying it to the other side. But he seemed unsure of the moral (or practical) basis for such an action.

Dare we interfere, or is traffic already an interference in their lives?

* * * * *

Certainly there seems to be nothing natural in the frequency with which my poor car is being hit, or else damaged by the decisions of others.

In March, as I have said, my car was hit by a chap who paid no attention to the stop sign in the South End that ought to have restrained his adventures. Then on Sunday afternoon a tourist backed out of a rented driveway into my car, which was parked on the street, again in the South End.

Perhaps it is time to paint my car a bright, blazing orange, such as hunters wear when they go off into the woods to seek wildlife? Or should I simply accept the inevitable, and paint large targets on each of my car doors?

* * * * *

Google maps is a useful thing, in that you can dial up pretty much any neighborhood on the planet and find out what is there. It is quite an enterprise.

The other day I found a strange listing right here in my own neighborhood, the Blessed South End (see above for instances when the blessedness has seemed a little strained, lately) and remembered that I had heard of it several years ago.

It is listed as the Witches Castle, and appears to be represented on the face of the earth by the remains of a concrete structure on the shore opposite the foot of Lawrence Street, east of the wharf where Dragon Cement loads its barges from railroad cars.

The first I heard of this place was when a young chap told me it is where he started drinking, when he was a teenager and came across an older fellow loitering within this place who plied him with alcohol.

I clicked on the little icon that identified the place, and of all things that are unbelievable the Witches Castle is listed as a place of worship. Most strange. I wonder who is responsible for that?

Because the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live, offer an excellent view of the general area. I will forthwith begin watching out for broomsticks and listening for mumbled incantations by moonlight. You can all help, too, by keeping an accurate count of your cats and rats, and so forth.

* * * * *

Last week I railed in my usual pompous fashion about stores that are open on major holidays, scornfully demanding to know why people need to go out for breakfast and buy groceries on these august occasions of repose. Don’t the workers in these places also deserve the benefits of a holiday?

This week I reveal myself to be a stinking hypocrite, for on the morning of the Fourth I went out for breakfast at Rock City, then shopped for backyard picnic supplies at Hannaford.

What a horrid fellow I am, after all.

* * * * *

Speaking of horrid fellows, at least I am not alone. For example, the Japanese have begun harpooning whales again, after what I think I read is a 30-year break from this madness.

As it happens, I have a nephew in Japan, and if I remember I will ask him to help me understand this.

* * * * *

Speaking of people being generally horrid, isn’t it strange that we often find that people are often fairly decent when met face to face, but that many of them tend to degenerate a little when writing on social media?

In my own pompous way (see above, etc.), I recently posted to a long argument being carried out by others about the southern border, or gun control, or my dear pal Lord Prez “Sherman Tank” Trumpleton. I forget exactly which, but you get the drift.

In my not-so-humble statement, I asserted that no good ever comes of arguing with people on Facebook, as I have never once heard of anybody’s opinion being altered even slightly that way. Prejudices and opinions only seem to be reinforced. In fact, I often think of Facebook as Fightbook, as so many people seem to go there looking for a good punch-up.

My deeply moral statement sat there for a minute, and then somebody else responded without disagreeing with me, but suggesting that at least it is often entertaining to watch people arguing with each other this way.

* * * * *

Speaking of dining out, two of us almost froze to death at a restaurant in Thomaston, Sunday evening. The air conditioning was so severe we forewent a couple glasses of booze with dinner and ordered coffee instead, just to try to warm up.

This reminded me of a joke in the Reader’s Digest many decades ago that helps describe the often delightful nature of summer in England, in which a shivering bather arrives at the beach café and orders coffee:

“Do you want milk and sugar, love?”

“It really doesn’t matter, I’m going to pour it over my feet.”

* * * * *

Speaking of witches, I am currently trying to read a lengthy police novel by the Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo, which largely borrows the plot and characters of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” updating the whole thing to about 1970.

Glancing quickly at the spine of the book on the little shelf in the cardboard box I call home (see also above), a recent visitor was briefly under the impression that I was reading something about Jonesboro.

* * * * *

It turns out that Nesbo is a former economist and a one-time reporter, so I suppose I should find some fellow feeling for him within me, and not give up entirely on his book. It is so gloomy that perhaps I should go down to the Witches Castle after dark and read it there by flickering candlelight while stroking a black cat.

But probably not.

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at
Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jul 12, 2019 13:39

You never disappoint me David! A good read! As usual !

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever +:)


If you wish to comment, please login.