Face Time: Miles the Moose and D. Claude Lobster

Costumed ambassadors suit Maine well

By Kathryn Skelton
Staff Writer
During a five-hour stint over Memorial Day weekend, they waved claw and hoof to some 15,000 cars at the York toll plaza.
It was a May debut for D. Claude Lobster and Miles the Moose, though as Miles will tell you, he’s an old pro at the meet-and-greet. This was the first time the Maine Turnpike Authority’s costumed ambassadors waved hello to tourists; they’ve racked up a number of Labor Day good-byes. Miles also has a few parades and ribbon-cuttings under his fury belt.
As for today’s b Section interview, all we can say is: Good luck getting a straight answer from this pair. We asked the questions; MTA spokesman Dan Paradee took dictation.

Names: Miles the Maine Turnpike Moose and D. Claude Lobster
Age: Miles, 10; D. Claude, 5
Live where? Yeah, like we’re going to tell you.
Married, single, relationship?
Miles: We’re two wild and crazy guys, dude! Well, actually, I’m wild and crazy, but D. Claude is still learning to break out of his shell.
D. Claude: Now look, the interview just started and I’m already turning red.
How did you both get the turnpike gig?
M: It was like American Idol, dude. I beat out a very talented black fly.
DC: I beat out a singing potato.
Given the economic climate, and in your cases the possible alternative — still being stuck in the deep Atlantic or the deep Maine woods — how lucky do you feel to have jobs?
M: Jobs? We’re Maine icons. Icons don’t have jobs. We do it because our public demands it.
What do most motorists say when they see you?
M: This is a family newspaper right? In that case, most people comment on my burly physique.
DC: I get the same. They’re always trying to butter me up.
Tips for staying clean and fluffy among all that exhaust?
M: Hey, this is the Maine Turnpike, not the New Jersey Turnpike. We’ve got a nice ocean breeze at the York plaza.
What does the D stand for in D. Claude Lobster?
DC: Frank. Give me a break. My parents were shellfish, not scholars!
How is the social climate in light of your celebrity status?
M: Let me tell you, the cows really dig it.
DC: It’s tough. Sometimes I feel trapped and I don’t like being trapped.
Favorite food?
DC: Nothing tops a rotting fish head.
M: No question about it – lobster! Oh, sorry buddy.
Do you ever hang out at the same sushi bar with Oakie and Slugger?
M: Oh yeah man, we hang with those dudes all the time when we hit the big city. I could tell you stories…
DC: Don’t believe a word he says. He’s never been to the city and Oakie and Slugger wouldn’t know him if they fell over him.
Movie you’d recommend to other costumed characters?
DC: “Claws”!!
M: “The Wizard of Oz,” because when you’re from Maine “there’s no place like home!”
When not hanging out at the York toll plaza:
M and DC: We’re usually hanging at the dry cleaners.
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