Monday afternoon. It’s gray and cold and I’m riding my motorcycle through the Central Maine Medical Center lot, on the way back from a muddy ride. There’s an older woman sitting next to the road in a wheelchair. She’s wrapped in a blanket and apparently waiting for her ride. As I approach, slowly, I anticipate the scowl of disapproval. I get that a lot, you know. Some older folks feel that if you’re riding a motorcycle, even a quiet one, you’re a no-account hoodlum who ought to be in jail instead of out here to ram the roads. But instead of scowling, the woman kind of smirked. One hand crawled out from beneath the blanket and curled into a fist, which she twisted back and forth in the classic throttle gesture. Then she said something. I couldn’t hear it, but I could read her lips. “Vroom, vroom,” she was saying, and with considerable gusto. Awesome. Reminds me why I so dig the older broads.

And then

After I had passed, I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw that she was flipping me the bird. Ha! I kid. That never happened. Would’ve been hilarious, though.

Shots fired!

At River Valley Village. Only, nobody calls it River Valley Village, they call it Tall Pines. Everybody. Cops, the people who live there, even the people who fired the shots likely used the old name. “Say, fellas. How’s about we go over to Tall Pines and blast a dumpster?” Like that. But because we’re a “newspaper” bringing you the “facts,” I have to use the official name of the apartment complex and include the disclaimer “formerly known as Tall Pines,” which is very cumbersome. So I think it’s plain to see who the real victim is here.

Have it your way. But not here.

Heard a scanner call the other night during which a police dispatcher read a set of probation conditions set for some dude who had recently been released from jail. Among them, he was ordered to stay away from Burger King in Lewiston. I ask you, is that a painful prohibition or what? Burger King spends millions of dollars trying to lure people into their eatery, but they don’t want you, buddy. BK needs to put a disclaimer on the sign out front: “Billions served! But not this guy.”

(Yes, I know Burger King doesn’t announce how many people it has served. That’s McDonald’s. What do you want from me? I’m on deadline.)

Stick ’em up. How’s my hair?

How about that guy who robbed the Big Apple in Lisbon? Did you catch his image on the surveillance camera still shot? He couldn’t have posed any better if he’d been getting his picture taken at a professional studio. The Big Apple ought to put cool scenes up in front of the counter – beach scene, sunset, cartoon-style castle . . . That way, when the suspect gets nabbed (and they always do) maybe he’ll come back and pay for a few prints of his photo. Nice little keepsake. Put me down for a wallet-size.

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