As I settle once again into the peaceful sanctity of married life I rapidly approach becoming a Mainiac. Just a few more steps and I’ll be there. Somehow it never seemed possible but the groundwork I laid as a teenager is paying off now. The things that drove me nuts along the route are, I suppose, are what made it happen. Today, I took a big step and became a licensed Mainiac.
The first, and most difficult, step was finding the damned place. You don’t get to Maine by mistake. It doesn’t sneak up on you unexpectedly unless you are on your way to eastern Canada. Even then if you are flying over it you wouldn’t be able to distinguish it from places not Maine very easily. It is not yellow with a black title along with a picture of a bag of potatoes and another of a puffin or a moose.
The best way to get here is find your way to New Hampshire and head north or east. Don’t cross the Canadian border or drive into the ocean and you’ll get here. This is the only state bordered by only one other. The best way to tell for sure is to listen to the people. When they start talking funny, you are probably here. If it’s French, you are not only in Maine but in Old Orchard Beach. Otherwise, you are just in the state where things are the way life ought to be. Hope you didn’t miss the sign telling you that as you drove in. Oh. Yeah, I guess that welcome sign at the border could have been a bit of a clue too.
Also, if you came up through Massachusetts, you’ll find you are not getting nearly as many new dents in your car. Maine used to be part of Massachusetts until they shoved the pine tree state aside for going too slow. They installed a fence to prevent it going back to the way it was. Maine slipped in part of New Hampshire to make surer.
There a few other clues. Most people up in Maine wear ear muffs year ‘round, not because they were invented here, but because they need them. This was my first white Easter. Most of the fluffy stuff was not on the south end of a rabbit hiding candy and eggs. Come to think of it, the rabbits are still hibernating.
There are also some strange courtship rituals. The girl I found on E-bay or someplace on the web decided the best way to get into my heart was to introduce me to MOXIE. Her invitation went something like “This stuff tastes terrible, Try some.” She was right. The soft drink wasn’t invented by Dr. Pepper, but by Dr. Jekyll. The best thing about it is that it’s not habit forming. They don’t even need a diet version. You can keep a lifetime supply in a shoebox if you don’t want to ruin your footwear.
Now the lobster, on the other hand is pretty good. Unlike Moxie, it, along with the rest of the delicious seafood, is not cheap. Wild blueberries are, if you gather them yourself. You can pick all you want as long as you can stand the intervention of the black flies, ticks, and other things that have found human blood to be as tasty as the blueberries are to people. I can’t think of anything more clearly identifiable when considering becoming a Mainiac.
That is what I have decided to do. I married that awful girl on Valentine’s Day and am gradually moving my stuff into her house, mostly when her guard is down and the dogs are asleep. Today I was able to get a temporary driver’s license, just a few days short of my sixty sixth birthday. It’s valid for sixty days, pending my ability to prove I am old enough to have a permanent one and that I didn’t lie while obtaining my Oregon license in which they punched a bunch of holes that formed the word ‘void’.
It’s the little things that are helping me become a Mainiac.