When baked goods go bad
Sad news in Auburn Wednesday as a cupcake maker caught fire, filling a building with black smoke and forcing the would-be baker to flee. Nobody was hurt, but the confection fire reminds us all that if you're going to give the gift of cupcakes for Christmas, it's a good idea to include the optional fire extinguisher and oxygen pack. And to always keep your receipt.
Goodwill expiration date
In Auburn on Wednesday, a poorly located fire on Turner Street forced the closure of some key thruways, and right during the evening commuter hour. If you were planning to turn from the Longley Bridge into Great Falls Plaza, you were out of luck. Same if you wanted to turn from Court Street onto Turner. Police barricades made that impossible and there you were, trying to ease the nose of your car back into the flow of traffic. On Tuesday, you might have been OK. But this was Dec. 26 and most folks had used up the last of their Christmas good cheer. Up and down Court Street and surrounding areas were honking horns, upraised fingers and windshields frosted with profanity. In other words: Everything is back to normal.
Cops and robbers
In Lewiston on Christmas night, a 26-year-old go-getter went to Walnut Street in Lewiston, telling people he was a cop and demanding that they fork over cash. Remarkably, nobody fell for it. It was probably the finger gun and the baseball cap with "kawp" written over the John Deere logo that tipped them off.
McDonald's in Lewiston Wednesday night. Not a single snowflake had yet fallen, but there it was, a sign on the door that read: "We are closing early do to the weather sorry for the Inconvenience." It's not the spelling or writing errors that bother me, but the message imparted. Why, it's almost the kind of thing that could make a young fellow like myself launch into a "back in my day"-style rant.
Back in my day, businesses didn't close because of a little snow or even a lot of it. It's happened more and more in recent years, but typically a place would shut 'er down only after conditions had become completely unmanageable. Nowadays? They're closing their doors and locking down their grills at the very mention of perfectly seasonable weather. Oh, no! Snow in late December in Maine! Who could have foreseen such a thing? It's the Mcwhimpiest thing I've ever witnessed. No, man. I am not lovin' it.
The storm that swept through on Thursday was apparently so impressive that it had to be given a name. Frankly, I don't know how we got by for so long, suffering through storms with no official titles. A national embarrassment is what it is. But the Weather Channel saved us from that by dubbing this latest northeaster "Euclid," leaving me with just one question. That question being: Euclid? What kind of name is that for a storm that dropped mountains of snow across the country? Euclid sounds more like a paint color, one shade darker than taupe. Or perhaps a fragrance for older women. Or a breed of cat. Or a fabulous hair style. Or a variety of nut that grows chiefly on the islands of Australia's eastern edge. Or a font similar to helvetica. Or a 17th-century painter known for erotic self-portraits. Or a gelato flavor. But not a snowstorm.