Posted by Bill Kany on May 05, 2020
Days 28-31 of the Maine Lockdown.
Four more marks in the old 2x4. Looks like I was doing some target practice with my 20 gauge shotgun in the garage and missed.
A few more rambling random thoughts…..
            I don’t know about you but I have been walking a lot during the pandemic.  I cannot really say I am walking for a purpose I guess other than exercise.  I am not walking to any place in particular because there is really nowhere to walk to.  I will note that  golf courses open this weekend at which point my walking will again have purpose which will then be to piss myself off because golf can be the most frustrating sport on earth.  How can I hit a few good shots in a row and then take a swing that Stephen Hawking would have laughed at?  While Mark Twain suggested that “golf is a good walk spoiled” I have to disagree. Golf gives my walk and my exercise purpose.  After all, I can generally walk fine, never getting too high or too low with my ability to put one foot in front of the other, but golf, well you can go from elation to frustration in seconds. So I guess I have to thank Governor Santa Mills for giving me what I wanted.
            The lockdown certainly gives me way more time to read the paper, yes the paper.  For the young people in the club a newspaper is kind of like toilet paper but it is wider, has words on it and it is only rolled up if you want to hit something with it.  Incidentally, in a pinch (pun intended) it can be used as toilet paper.  Don’t mind the ink.  I was reading a Portland Press editorial this week (I never read them, but hey, I’ve got the time) and the newspaper editor was asking everyone to buy a subscription, give a subscription as a gift or to donate to a 501(c)(3) that would in turn funnel money to the for profit newspaper.  I am guessing that last arrangement is legally questionable.  How can tax deductible donations be shifted over to a for profit company to cover payroll? 
            As for buying a subscription, perhaps they should put out a slightly better product to increase their readership.  The paper is as skinny as the former Journal Tribune and ads and obituaries take up well more than half of what is left of the paper.  Perhaps there is no news left fit to print, but I have to guess that readership will continue to decline if they simply do not provide much worth reading.  I guess it is telling when the editor of the paper has to use editorial space to beg for money.
            Our bank is doing a weekly trivia contest just to spice things up a bit.  This week the question was:  “What year did Maine become a state?”  I thought that seemed like a pretty easy question given that this is Maine’s bicentennial and most bankers can do a modicum of math, but then I realized that the pandemic has made many significant events disappear.  It was like certain big milestones never happened.
            400 years ago the Pilgrims bypassed PTown at the end of the Cape (to avoid the traffic) and settled in Plymouth.  Pilgrims actually garnered a reputation for being complete assholes though you seldom hear about that in history books.  If you think about it Pilgrims evolved into our friends from the Commonwealth, better known as “Massholes” so the historical evolution or de-evolution makes sense.
            Well I happen to know someone who has been on the Plymouth 400 Committee for 8 years.  They have been planning  huge celebrations related to the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims forever.  Those celebrations have all been put on hold and may never happen.  Another fatality of the coronavirus.
            Two hundred years ago Maine kicked Massachusetts to the curb and became a state.  While our friends to the south have been buying back the state one parcel at a time for years, the fact remains that we are supposed to be celebrating our bicentennial.  It is like we never became the 23rd state in the union as a free state while the “Show Me” state, Missouri, came in a slave state, but not until 1821.  We actually share a bicentennial with Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois and Alabama.  And you thought you don’t learn anything reading the Tack. It would appear the bicentennial celebrations have all been shelved. 
            Finally, but perhaps the most important, is the fact that our club turns 100 years old this year.  Our club was formed 15 years after all of Rotary was founded.  The Biddeford Saco Rotary Club has a rich history of generosity which deserves to be celebrated, but I think it is fair to say that we really have no idea when we might be able to toast our 100th birthday together.  Again, it is like it never happened.
            Time to go get my haircut before I head to the golf course.  The hell with the haircut, I’m just going to play and let my freak flag fly.  Speaking of haircuts, sole proprietor barbers and stylists finally receive the right to collect unemployment and the Governor tells them they can re-open.  Guess what, if you can re-open you are no longer unemployed but unless you Go-Go Gadget Arms you will have to be a lot less than 6 feet from your customer and you will required to spend a fortune on PPE.  Barbers and stylists can’t catch a break, but the Governor needed her haircut, she was looking a little shaggy (wait she always looks a little shaggy). 
            I leave you with the fact that the owner of the Sunday River Brew Pub, Rick Savage, has decided to buck the governor and open for business.  Apparently, he is a follower of Martin Luther King, Jr. who said:  “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”  Given the fact that Mr. Savage announced his rebellion on Tucker Carlson’s Fox Channel show I am guessing Rick Savage is not a MLK aficionado, but he’s opening anyway.  Give me a craft beer or give me death!
            Stay safe and obey the laws if you want.
Days 32-33 of the Maine Lockdown.
Two more notches in what is left of that 2x4. I hoping these winds subside.
A few more rambling random thoughts from the peanut gallery…..
            I have to admit we did take a less than essential trip up to Mt. Abram on Sunday to shut off the heat and take care of a few items that “needed” addressing.  I have to admit it was nice to go anywhere outside of Saco for just a little while.  On the way up we passed Poland Regional High School.  There had to be at least 100 signs along the road in front of the school identifying the graduating seniors.  Who names their kid Pygmalion?  I have seen similar signs on lawns around Saco (without the Pigmalion).
            Imagine reading a fairly long book which like many books features a whole group of characters experiencing a series of highs and lows.  The imagine you are reading along and you can’t wait to see how things turn out for the protagonist and the other people in his or her life.  You open the book and realize the last chapter has been removed and the book simply skips to “The End”.  I am sure you would feel cheated, robbed and left to wonder how did things turn out.
            The pandemic has ripped the last chapter out of the short lives of high school and college seniors all over the world.  Nothing will be written about their endeavors on the athletic fields during the spring of their senior year because sports were cancelled.  Prom was nothing but a dress and a plastic bag and a bunch of memories lost.  Everyone is left to wonder what that featured student or faculty member would have said at seniors awards or graduation.  I guess they can throw up their mortar boards alone in their backyard, but needless to say that is not the same.
            Sure, years from now they will be able to tell their kids to cherish their last semester and all that surrounds graduation because Covid-19 stole their experiences from them.  Maybe in 2025 or 2030 class reunions will be more elaborate to make up for what they missed in 2020.  This f’ing pandemic has stolen people’s lives, livelihoods and in some instances their dignity, but for seniors in high school and college it has also robbed them of that final chapter in the first of a series of books about their lives.  I am hoping that they are around for the sequel and that perhaps the coronavirus helps to shape the theme of the next chapters in their lives.
Stay healthy and resist the urge to relax your guard.  This thing as a ways to go.
Days 34-35 of the Maine Lockdown.
Two more notches in what is now much closer to a 1x3. Do you think botox would help?
A few more rambling random thoughts from the peanut gallery…..
            Masks are becoming far more prevalent and increasingly required.  I think it is tough to look good in a mask. Sure, some people can pull it off, but if you have a beard it looks like you smooshed a possum on your face with a small hammock.  Mask accessories should  be cropping up soon, like mask piercings.  Nothing like a big bolt protruding through your mask.  Clearly, the colorful cloth masks are everywhere and Pelosi is still sporting the color coordinated silk scarves that are probably entirely ineffective, but I am sure her philosophy is that it is better to look good than it is to stay alive.  Christ, she’s lived a good life, or at least a long one. 
            I don’t really mind wearing a mask as long as people understand a few things.  First, if you have a mask on I may not recognize you.  Hell, it’s been so long since I have seen most people I may not recognize you anyway.  Second, they tend to steam up my glasses so that is another reason I may not recognize you or I may slam right into you.  Third, if you are thinking about getting into the bank robbery business now is a great time since no one is questioning the wearing of masks.  Just try to avoid ski masks with eye holes as those will set off the silent alarm every time.  Finally, with my big snozzola I am not sure how effective my masks may be so I will probably continue to stand exceptionally far away.
            Speaking of distancing, I don’t know about you, but I am getting really good at tactfully backing up as people start to approach.  Okay, maybe it is not real tactful when you put up your hand to tell people to stop as you a backing away yelling “6 feet”. 
Frankly, I have no issue with businesses opening up as long as masks and social distancing are required.  People are free to go where they want and if I don’t need to have my nails done or to get a tattoo then I don’t have to go to those places.  I am thinking that there are parts of this state which could allow businesses to open up at which point people can accept the risk of going to a business or not.  You can always drive through the parking lot, see how many out of state plates are there and then go in or keep on going.
            Speaking of businesses opening up, it was great to get back out on the golf course.  On Sunday evening I was literally the only person on the entire course.  Social distancing was not an issue though I wish I had stayed at least 6 feet from a tree or two.  The cups are set up so they are only about a ½ inch deep so you can pull your ball out with your club and avoid touching a surface that others may have touched.  Just nice to walk with a bit of a purpose for a change.
            While I know we are Vacationland, and so much of Maine’s economy revolves around tourism, I have to wonder why I see so many out of state license plates on cars.  Where the hell are they going and why are they here?  Are people really quarantining for 14 days when they come here, of course not.  They already contaminated their state so why not foul ours as well?  A friend was recently in a car accident and needed a rental.  They wanted to give him a car from New Jersey, he declined, then New York and he said nope.  He finally ended up with a  subcompact which was close to being a peddle car but it had a Maine plate.  If he was going to be passed by every car on the road be preferred to not have everyone giving him the finger as they blew by.  There will be a time when we will welcome back visitors to Maine, but let’s pull in the “Welcome” mat for just a little bit longer if we can.
Stay safe and healthy everyone.