My shame is great. 

It’s the middle of March, that magical time when fearsome winter lumbers back into its cave so that moody, unpredictable spring can come along and disappoint us all. 

There is all sorts of exciting and important events coming at us, including a total solar eclipse coming in April — spoiler alert: it’s going to be cloudy that day — and some kind of national election, sponsored by World Federal Wrestling, scheduled for November. 

The city of Lewiston is in outright disarray after a devastating chain of events that began with a single cockroach, and not one of those mutated cockroaches that fell into a pool of toxic waste, as far as I know. 

As we speak, there are rumors that Lewiston’s memorial time capsule, which is inside a coffin for some reason, has been spotted once more floating down the Androscoggin River a full three months after it was dislodged and set adrift by flooding. 

You got 14-year-old kids accused of popping rounds off in Lewiston in the middle of the day, a massive, possibly man-eating sinkhole in Auburn and I think we’re ALL just sick with worry over whatever’s going on with Kate Middleton. 


There’s a lot going on right now, is what I’m saying, and yet as I sit here laboring over what to write for my weekly column, possibly read by tens of people in the greater Lewiston area, I got nothing. 

Writing a weekly column is a weird business. There are Mondays when I have so goldarn much to say, I lament the fact that I only have space for one rambling, barely coherent piece instead of five of them. 

Then there are days like today, where I sit limply at my desk, connected to my keyboard by a long string of drool, watching that feckless little cursor blink on its blank, white page. 

I’ll jot down a few exploratory lines: “I’ll never forget that day that I showed up in the newsroom wearing my underwear outside my pants…” but nothing takes hold. It’s like trying to start a campfire with soggy tinder. Nothing catches. 

And so — I told you at the outset that my shame is great — I turn once more to my deranged, day-drinking friends on Facebook for help coming up with perfectly lucid, meaningful column ideas. 

Those warped souls never let me down. 


Drew Desjardins, the famed local entomophile, suggests at once that I write about the enigmatic blue feigning death beetle. 

I have no familiarity with such creatures so I looked it up. Hey, what do you know? The blue feigning death beetle does exactly what its title suggests. When threatened, it rolls onto its back, probably utters something like “arrrgh” and pretends to be dead. 

That interesting insect probably won’t fill much column space, but I fully intend to adopt its self-defense tactic in my own life. The next time an editor orders me to cover something heinous, such as politics, I shall simply throw myself to the ground, kick all my limbs into the air and like the great blue beetle before me, utter “arrrrgh” and refuse to move for the rest of the day. 

I probably should have gone that route years ago, when they first asked me to write a column. 

A lass named Bonnie, a real madcap, said: “Maybe talk about how John Cena presented an Academy Award to Holly Waddington for Best Costume Design completely in the buff. NAKED I TELL YOU!” 

I don’t know who any of those people are, so I looked it up. Turned out to be true. And now, I shall also adopt John Cena’s nudity tactic in my professional life. So you have that to look forward to. 


A rather agitated dude named Buster wanted — nay, DEMANDED — that I write about dogs who are allowed to ride in shopping carts at the grocery stores. I thought, this is great. I’ll just include Buster’s comments and it will fill most of my column space! 

Unfortunately, by the time I hacked out all the swear words, there wasn’t much rant left. Behold. 

“Who in the government could I complain to about dogs in the shopping carts in Walmart? I’m getting some #!#%!@$ sick of seeing it. There must be some law about it. #!#%!@$, there were two dogs in a #!#%!@$ cart in the food aisles today. The workers say they can’t do anything about it. What the #!#%!@$!” 

I asked Buster for a softened version of this rant. I cannot include his response here. The search for a column topic continued. 

“Topic should be how much money did towns save in not doing wintry things, like plowing, salt and sanding,” Cynthia wants to know. “What did the town workers do all season?” 

It’s a perfectly valid question, but it also sounds like it would involve actual work on my part. We’ve talked about this, Cynthia! 


A fellow named Don writes: “You still have a column?” Which is very hurtful. 

John asks, all snide like, “Would you like us to WRITE the column for you, too?” 

Fact is, I would like that very much. Can’t you see I’m burned out, John? 

A lady named Angela actually sent me a private message to suggest that I write about cheese. I don’t know if she was joking or just confused after all the paint huffing, but as it happens, I have a cheese related complaint. 

Cabot cheese offers all sorts of presliced cheddar options at the stores, but their naming convention is horrible. You got your sharp cheese, your “extra sharp” cheese, your “seriously sharp” cheese and probably others such as “you are truly not going to BELIEVE how sharp this cheese is!” varieties. 

Can anything compare to the heartache of coming home with extra sharp cheddar cheese when what you really wanted was seriously sharp? I may end up divorced due to this foul- up. 


Jerry thought I ought to write about opossums, those mysterious and misunderstood creatures who will be coming out of hibernation soon. Jerry included several opossum factoids, such as that just one of them will devour thousands of ticks each week, and revealed that opossums “are Maine’s only marsupial because they carry their young in a pouch like kangaroos … that is, until they no longer fit in there.” 

It’s a cool idea, but by this point Jerry has already presented all the coolest opossum details, so what the heck am I supposed to write about? Furthermore, I’m never sure if I’m supposed to use “opossum” or just regular “possum” when writing about the creatures and who has time to look it up? I’m very busy, you know. 

“Write your column about me,” offers a nice lady named Melanie. “I’m fascinating!” 

I looked her up. She ain’t lying. After serving federal prison time for that whole espionage thing, Melanie founded the state’s only naked ax throwing league in her barn, an event that grew so popular, it is being considered for the next Olympics. 

But of course, now that I told you the most fascinating things about Melanie, what more is there to say? 

Christopher writes: “Why not write about transvestite Laotian gang members that are deliberately infecting the good people of Lewiston with a super foot fungus that can only be cured by the distilled urine of Siberian goats?” 

Which is super helpful because it tells me that we’ve reached the end of lucidity here and that means the column must be done. 

Thank God that’s over. 

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