Clean up your act

Squirt, squirt.

You smell that? It's Pine Sol, or Fantastic or Formula 409. Just the stuff for an early spring clean, which — let's face it — we all need pretty badly.

It's funny how grungy things get, in our homes and hearts, over the winter. Am I right? Get used to that clean, fresh scent because we'll be scrubbing old grime for the next 10 minutes or so. Just don't stand there huffing the cleanser. You could suffer serious drain damage and end up writing a weekly column.

So, on the first Saturday of ice cream season, a couple dozen people were standing outside the Dairy Joy on Sabattus Street in Lewiston. A biker went by. He's got the big, loud pipes and he wanted everyone to know it. As he turned the corner, he gunned the engine and the sound was akin to that of a thousand light bulbs exploding in a campfire. Every man, woman and ice cream-dreaming child jumped 3 feet. Jimmies flew off soft serve. Sugar cones cracked up the middle. Little girls clung to the legs of their fathers and buried their faces. Old people clutched their chests. A dog may have barked off in the distance, but who could hear it?

Explain to me again how unleashing 650 CCs of thunder upon the populace saves lives. That guy is why the other 95 percent of motorcycle riders — the courteous ones — will end up required to slap ugly compliance stickers on their chrome.


Why are people still morons about cellphones? They'll run you down in a parking lot because they're yapping with their BFF about last night's adventures in Jagermeister. On the streets, they'll slow to half the speed limit because the same BFF just sent a text message that requires their full attention. In the stores, they march up and down the aisles talking loudly about how drunk Eloise got at her shower and how she threw up all over the stripper dude.

When they get to the checkout, they'll completely ignore the store clerk because another BFF is talking about getting tickets to the Lupe Fiasco show. When it's time to pay, she'll have completely forgotten that currency is required for this transaction. The total has been calculated, the groceries bagged, but your friendly neighborhood yapper is just now starting to dig in her purse.

What gets me about these people is how oblivious they are to the seething disdain the rest of us feel for them. Every standup comic in the world has addressed the matter. Every other person on Facebook has griped about it. Every newspaper columnist has delivered screeds like this one denouncing cellphone abusers as among the most odious members of our society.

And yet there they go, dumping all the mundane details of their discourteous lives on the rest of us. I swear to God sometimes, half the people you meet in public places are vying for spots on "Jersey Shore."

I got your situation right here.

Squirt, squirt.

An informed source tells me that it's going to be a really bad spring for dog poop. No idea why, really. Maybe it's climate changes coupled with advanced breeding techniques with a little help from the supermoon. Regardless, those mounds are expected to be twice as large and three times as abundant as the snow submits to the warming powers of spring. I have no idea how this will affect your life but it sounds like a movie you'd see on the SyFy Channel, doesn't it? They'd call it "Mounds" and it would feature the entire cast of "Jersey Shore."

In case you wonder, I made myself watch 20 minutes of that show last week. I'd rather drink canal water than watch any more.


Turns out I don't have as much cleaning to do as I'd anticipated. So I turned to some of you to find out what else needs to be scrubbed, carried to the curb and set on fire.

Joe: "Drivers who park where there is no parking spot, or along a walkway to a building entrance, or park their large truck in a spot that would be tight for a compact car. Bad parkers in general. That and litterers. Please place your refuse in the appropriate container. Also, people that gripe too much."

Laurie: "People who can't take care of themselves. But, insist on having a dog for a pet!"

Excellent squirt, Laurie. I see you've done this before.

Mary: "Supermoons that totally disappoint."

Does the moon talk to you, Mary? Do you sometimes feel as though the moon doesn't appreciate you?

Erica: "The stupid potholes that are tearing up my suspension."

Rich: "People who wear clothes that are two sizes too small."

If you're referring to this skort, mister, I can assure you I will fit into it by the time summer rolls along. Thank you, pilates!

There was some general cleaning of older grime — the welfare system, political leaders, seeded grapes, etc. — and then some Pollyanna jumped in with thoughts that completely ruined the mood.

John: "Americans. You don't know how good you people have it. Quit bitching about stupid stuff, love your families, smile at your friends, pet the dog and cat and enjoy your life and the liberties you have."

And so ends our seasonal cleaning spree. I'll see you in the showers.

Mark LaFlamme is a Sun Journal staff writer. You can squirt him at

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Good one Mark.


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