I had only been on the job a week when I got the thrill of meeting my very first VIP. It was Lewiston Mayor John Jenkins, who shook my hand at approximately 85 mph, informed me that there’s no “I” in “team,” and then spelled out his plans to unify Lewiston and Auburn.

The two cities shall become one grand jewel on the Androscoggin River, he declared! We shall call it “Great Falls” and we shall be the envy of New England!

I swear, I heard trumpets playing in the sky as the mayor described this vision.

For the next year or so, I stood on Longley Bridge waiting for it to happen — by hanging out right on the border, I figured, maybe I’d get to witness it when the two cities slammed together like crustal plates, joining to become Maine’s new superpower; a veritable Rome just downwind from Portland.

I waited. Waited some more and then waited longer. Every year, somebody made a big fuss about combining the two cities and every year, the plan went nowhere. Nothing but lip service.

And now, in 2017, Mayor Jenkins’ heroic vision has been resurrected, by a commission with a name that will never fit on a standard T-shirt. The Joint Charter Commission to Commence Thinking About the Possibility of Considering a Combined Lewiston-Auburn and Stuff, I think it’s called.

The movement was given legitimacy by an opposition group which pounced, cat-like, on the very concept of combining the cities. The Coalition to Oppose Lewiston-Auburn Consolidation, this one is called — although if you give them another week, I’m sure they will add several inches to that title.

So, here we are again, tossing around the idea of creating a muscle-bound mega city, the likes of which would scare the poop out of all the cities and townships that have pushed us around in the past. I’m talking to you, Thorndike. You’ve kicked sand in our metaphorical face for the last time.

But lo, difficulties arise when you start talking about letting two existing cities hook up like a pair of face-painted tweens at a rave concert. Things like budgets and school districts and whether or not Lewiston gets to keep its bad reputation or has to share it with its new sibling.

It gets complicated, yo, so I conducted an exhaustive survey on the matter by posting a status on Facebook: If the cities combine, I asked the mostly sober group, what do we call the mutant municipality that results? And more importantly, whom do we invade first?

Here are the results of the exhaustive survey, for which I should be paid by the dueling coalitions. Please remit.

Sadie: “Great Falls.” This is the No. 1 choice so far. It bores me to tears.

Christopher: “Lewburn.” Which I like quite a lot because “Lewburn” sounds like a rash you’d get from shaving your privates.

Gary: “Andropolis.” Brilliant!

Greg: “Loystin.” Also brilliant!

Jennifer: “Someone I like has bounced around the name “Lewiston Falls.”

Jason: “Lewinstein.” He included a photo of Frankenstein’s monster with his submission, so I’m giving Jason an A for the day.

Kathleen: “Bates, Maine.”

Kim: “LaFlammeville.” Kim is also getting an A for the day.

Steve O: “Aubwistoburn.” We really need to have an intervention for Steve.

John N: “Lower Alabama.” OK, two interventions.

John A: “North Durham.”

Terry: “New Rumford.”

Chris: “Auburniston.” Sounds like more rashes in the private area to me.

James: “Dumb and Dumber.”

Bill: “Walmartia.” Commercial, yet it sounds like a place where vampires would run rampant.

David: “Breauville, after Lenny Breau.”

The survey also showed an unrestrained lust for conquest, which is just awesome. What’s the point of doubling our might if we’re not going to use it to claim territory and build an empire?

Jonathan: “Must. Take. Turner. First.”

Anissa: “Slow down there, Sunny Jim. How ’bout we take Minot and if we’re still rollin’, we can see about Mechanic Falls.”

Mitchell: “Invade Bolsters Mills, and liberate it from Harrison.”

All terrific ideas. And then they started babbling about things like taxes and malls and skyscrapers so I tuned them out. My involvement ends with goofy names and land invasions. Which will be part of my job title, now that I think of it, when the unification is complete. Say hello to your new Northeastern Director of Non-Arboreal Acquisition of Goofy Names and Land Invasions Coordinator for the Takeover of Townships Up To and Including Pownal.

It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

Please remit.

Mark LaFlamme is a staff writer for the Andropolis (editor’s pick!) Sun Journal. Email him at [email protected] and don’t forget to remit.


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