Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Whoo boy, that's Maine.
I live in Maine, if you call that living, and I'm here to testify that Maine is just like you see in the video. Why, lighthouses are thick on the ground, I tell you what. We were thinking of just stringing the telephone wires from one to the next instead of using those dang poles, but we got so many trees we decided to go the redundant route. Maine's a redundant place. We got two of everything. We don't have three of anything, though.
All the trees are always turning color like that, too. All the time. Everywhere. Why, you can just walk up to any old maple tree and turn the handy spigot that Maine installs on them and syrup flows right out of it. They issue pancakes to travelers at the Hampton toll plaza on Route 95 instead of receipts. True story.
The entire state is oceanside, just like in the video. There are rumors of some vast, undiscovered bogs or swamps or mountains or something out west, but no one would ever go there and find out. LL Bean is in Freeport, hard by the Atlantic, and you're not allowed to be in Maine more than an hour's drive from there. If we had police, they'd check. Bean's used to have catalogs filled with shotguns and fishing poles, but now they only sell banana hammock bathing suits for Canadians that go to Old Orchard Beach and think it's the Riviera, and button-down men's shirts for ladies to wear.
The State of Maine has various slogans. They used to call it Vacationland, but Mainers couldn't help themselves, and got to reading the Vacationland billboards while driving to work in the office park in Westbrook, and forgot the signs were for people "From away." That's the charming soubriquet Mainers use when they want to call someone a Masshole, but the guy hasn't paid his bill yet. Anyway, everyone in Maine went to Disneyworld at the same time, on the same bus, and there was no one left in Maine to direct the tourists from Massachusetts to the best places to icefish in June, or where to find all the huggable bull mooses in rutting season, or how to properly approach a black bear cub. Note: Always get between Mama bear and Baby bear. They love that.
"Maine: The Way Life Should Be," was another one. It was less of an overt threat than New Hampshire's motto, it's true, but it left too much room for rumination on its meaning. I haven't been to New Hampshire in a while, but if memory serves, their slogan is "Live Free, Or Else," or something to that effect. Maine's sounds friendlier, but its ambiguity rankles some. It's never wise to get the tourists thinking. It smacked a bit of "Your life is bad, and you should feel bad, and we're here to tell you so."
Well, I'm sorry, but your life is bad, and you should feel bad. You should totally move to Maine. The clouds here move, and the tide goes in an out, and we've got so many goddamn lighthouses we use them for traffic lights and fenceposts and fire hydrants, and when all else fails, we string clotheslines between 'em. Now if you flatlander Philistines will excuse me, my wife is almost done chipping the ice off the well, and coffee break generally follows soon after that.