The Irish guy is still president

By David Grima | Nov 16, 2012

Three things that used to be generally thought of as common politeness:

1) Taking off your hat indoors if you are male

2) Putting a chair back tidily once you have got up from it

3) One other thing, but I have forgotten what it is. Oh now I remember. Not talking loudly in the library.

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Last weekend the Bangor Dreadful News saw fit to print yet another column by my dear friend Amnesia O’Meara of Camden, may God bless him, in which he tells us yet again everything he can remember about the Rockland dump.

By my rough estimation, this is the 43rd time he has given us a column which features the Rockland dump as its central fixation. I should think there is enough by now to publish an anthology on the subject.

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The other morning I untangled a piece of paper from the leg of one of the Four Seagulls of the Apocalypse as he alighted here on the top turret of the east grain silo. It turned out to be a fragment of a newspaper, and from what I can glean from the news it so partially contains, it seems the elections are over.

One is never quite certain that the elections actually are over, for of course it is really only a short amount of time before they start all over again. The only possible solution to this eternal problem is to extend all elected terms of office by two years. Then, for example, we might be able to wait three or even four years between presidential elections before having to endure the soul-wracking agony of this ghastly process all over again.

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As to who won the elections, I am not at all clear. I will wait until another seagull brings more news, assuming I do not use it for kindling before I read it.

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Sometimes I find myself wondering what things would be like if the Puritans had stayed in England, and only the mellow people had escaped to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

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Wait, here is another piece of paper blowing in the wind. It says that we are sending someone called Dickerson up to Augusta who is pledged to throw Pepsi at anyone in the House of Representatives who annoys her. This is clearly a novelty in state politics, and is likely to change the entire way they do business up there.

Indeed I predict we will see great things as a result of this new legislative method. Fearing the sticky end that is threatened by this new method, the Legislature will almost certainly loosen the purse strings, and rivers of money will roll down upon Rockland as never before.

Good. Then maybe they’ll spend some of it to fix the atrocious roads from which we suffer. Union Street looks (and feels) as though it has been bombed and machine-gunned by the Syrian air force. Route 1 in the North End resembles something that was recently photographed by the Mars explorer.

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Speaking of which, am I imagining things or have I already detected the first evidence that those fancy-pants new crosswalks they built are starting to rise (or descend) to a level different from the roadway into which they are set?

Each time I drive over a crosswalk in my car, (whose suspension has been ruined by the generally rotten condition of our roads,) I detect a bump. Pretty soon it will snow properly, and then the plows will either catch the rising crosswalks and begin to rip them up, or else the plows will completely miss the sinking crosswalks, and they will become ice traps for the unwary.

It reminds me of how MBNA actually used to paint the sidewalk it built in the South End, around its new building on Water Street. They used a sort of pale gray color of paint, and it look quite lovely until winter came and it was too dark to see it, and then spring came and the paint was all scuffed up and shredded by a winter of howling gales that had driven grit and sand all over the place, scouring it back to the cement.

I think they repainted it once more, until they realized that this is what happens here every year. Winter, with its abrasions and freezing effects was not just some random freak event, after all. There is a good reason nobody paints the sidewalks in Maine. It’s a fine and even a brave idea, but when you measure it in terms of the cost of paint and labor it’s just too silly for words.

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Here comes another seagull ferrying scraps of news in its nasty yellow beak. Let me see. Ah, it seems the Irish guy is still president. Good, that means no long tedious news programs about the transfer of power, and probably far fewer long speeches in January. I also see that the Roman Empire has finally collapsed. Good, I never could stand that Caesar fellow.

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In light of Veterans Day I am currently reading yet another history of World War II, and continue to be amazed at how much new information keeps coming to light on a subject one assumed had been thoroughly explored decades ago.

For instance, according to this book it turns out that numbers of British soldiers who were holding out against the naughty Germans during the retreat into Dunkirk in 1940 were actually quite drunk at the time. Apparently the public water supply was broken in the fighting, so the thirsty Brits were compelled to liberate quantities of French wine from the local shops and drink that instead, with predictable results.

Amnesia O’Meara says he is similarly amazed at how much new film footage about the same war is being discovered. He says the History channel (all Hitler all the time, he calls it) is forever showing brand new film about the war, and he wonders if in fact there might be some eternal film unit operating secretly in deepest Europe that is dedicated to reenacting the entire war from end to end, and filming it just so the History channel has something new to show.

Just imagine if they started reenacting city council meetings and filming them. People would be leaping from tall buildings all across town.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at, except while he is away directing the enhanced film version of his peculiar life.

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