Sippican Cottage

Maine: They’re Doing the Best They Can

It’s that time of year again. Time to pass off already written drivel as fresh tripe. That can only mean one thing: a year-end retrospective of the news from The Meteor.

You’ve never heard of The Meteor? You must be “from away.” My neighbor here in Rumford goes by the name of Aubuchon Connery, and he runs this broadsheet called the Rumford Meteor. Well, technically it’s not a broadsheet, but I did notice a picture of Jenny McCarthy’s breasts right there on the front page.

Aubuchon’s an interesting fellow. He runs the whole newspaper with only one assistant, Rod Pocket, to help him out. Like everyone in Maine, they do the best they can. “They’re doing the best they can” is high praise around here. Whenever anyone sets themselves ablaze while freshening up the woodstove with a little kerosene, or turns turtle in the hammer lane in their wife’s Dodge Neon even though it’s a cloudless night on a deserted highway, everyone just says, “Shucks that’s too bad, but he was doing the best he can. And everyone knows you gotta ride the brake all the way through the spin.”

Anyway, Aubuchon Connery and Rod Pocket are doin’ the best they can with The Meteor all year, and I thought I’d choose one headline from each month of 2015 to give you the local flavah. The newspapers they’re quoting are doing the best they can to get a particular point across, all at once, all in the same way, and then Aubuchon and Rod come along and write different headlines and the stories take on a different sort of theme, like the way stories change under questioning at the police barracks. Most of the time, The Meteor gets the story plain backwards from the meaning the regular newspapers wanted. But we have to make allowances. They’re doing the best they can.

January: Owl’s Head Man Gets Himself Arrested By Annoying Teenage Girls on Facebook. “Annoying” Works as a Verb or an Adjective in That Sentence

February: After 75-Car Pileup, Emergency Crews Use Jaws of Life to Pry the Cellphones Out of Everyone’s Hands

March: Biddeford Government Brainstorming Session Produces Only Partly Cloudy Ideas

April: Woman Taking Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, Fluoxetine, Wellbutrin, Estrogen, Progestin, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Silver Water, and Medical Marijuana Wants to Know Exactly What’s in Her Tomatoes

May: Audience Member Who Loves The Moody Blues Says Local Moody Blues Tribute Band Has Inspired Him to Start a Moody Blues Tribute Band Tribute Band

June: Death With Dignity Bill Won’t Allow You to Take Your Lethal Overdose If You’re Wearing Jorts and Flipflops

July: South Bristol Centennial Highlights the Town’s Rich History of Totally Not Being Bristol

August: Online Workshops Offer a Free and Convenient Way to Find Additional Online Workshops

September: Goth Couple and Friends Demonstrate Their Non-Conformity by Dressing Alike

October: Wiscasset Jazz Aficionado Hopes the Band Plays “The Girl From Iwo Jima”

November: Public School Administrators Worry Isolated Home School Students Will Be Forced to Bully Themselves

December: President Can Prove He’s an Observant Christian and a Good Golfer

Well, there you go. That’s Maine in 2015 in a nutshell. You’re allowed to laugh at us, of course, as long as you don’t forget we’re doing the best we can.

Read The Rumford Meteor Before the Pixels Go Bad

A neighbor of mine named Aubuchon Connery publishes a newspaper all about Maine called The Rumford Meteor. It’s a daisy.

The Rumford Meteor is full of interesting facts. The fact that the facts ain’t factual never puts him off the scent. He seems to get to the facts no matter where you bury them. He’ll dig through a ton of manure to get a turnip, that boy. He’s as honest as the day is long. You can tell from his handshake, which is firm, and smells a bit like turnip, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. No matter. That boy’s not half bad I tell you what.

When we see Aubuchon commuting home from the Meteor office to his yurt on his recumbent bicycle, we always water the soup and invite him in to join us for dinner. He’s deuced quiet, that boy. Doesn’t like to talk about himself. You could tell he had a sad tale to tell, and one day when the soup ran out, he mentioned how he ended up all alone in this world.

Every year Aubuchon and his wife, Large Marge, would go to the East Lebanon County Agricultural Fair, Tractor Pull, and Fashion Show. He’d look at the tractors and inquire from the owners how much they thought each was worth, and where exactly they kept them at night. I’ve always found Aubuchon to be very solicitous in such matters; it’s a sign of his innate goodness, I think, to worry over other people’s possessions like they were his own.

While he was doing that, Large Marge would go to the fashion show to see what kind of waders were in that year, and to see if her Craftsman lingerie had come in by mail order yet. Then Aubuchon and Marge would get in a terrible row, I tell you what. Every year it was the same thing. There was a man with a cropduster biplane with two seats, and he sold rides for $5, and every year, Aubuchon wanted that ride so bad he would have sold a kidney for it if he had one that worked. Marge said, “NO!,” every year, and for the same reason each time. “Five dollars is five dollars, Aubuchon,” and that was that. It was logic as impenetrable as Doomsday, and there was no hammer lane around it. “Five dollars is five dollars!” can’t be reasoned with, and it can’t be bargained with.

After five or ten years of hearing Aubuchon plead and Marge say, “Five dollars is five dollars,” the pilot of that crop duster felt sad for Aubuchon and saw an opening with Large Marge. That woman had a prodigious piehole, and he knew it. He made them an offer.

“I’ll tell you what. You two take the ride together, and if you can both keep absolutely silent for the whole trip, I’ll give you the ride for free. If either of you say a word, you pay me five dollars.”

Marge jumped at the chance, but Aubuchon looked cagey about the whole deal. Still, it was his only chance, and he took it. That pilot sat up front with the joystick and the dials, and Large Marge and Aubuchon packed themselves in the back seat like peas and carrots I tell you what. That pilot had a black heart and an empty wallet, and he was determined to get that five dollars. He took them up to treetop level, and gave them what for. He did barrel rolls, outside loops, and tickled the tops of the blue spruces with the landing gear. Not a peep. He upped the ante. He choked the engine into a stall, and plummeted toward the earth like a stone until he got nervous, and then pulled out. Not a whimper. He knew he’d been bested.

They landed, and the pilot fiddled with the knobs and whatnot that pilots fiddle with. Aubuchon was standing next to the plane, and tapped him on the elbow.

“Thanks for the ride. It was everything I’d hoped it would be.”
“How did your wife like it?”
“Well, I don’t know. She fell out about a half way through.”
“Mister, like Marge always said, five dollars is five dollars.”

Read the The Rumford Meteor. Do it for Marge

Highlights of Life in Western Maine From the Rumford Meteor

Well, it’s snowing. Luckily for us, it’s only snowed once this year. Snowing continuously from January 2nd until tonight is still just once, right? It should stop before noon on Father’s Day so we can have a barbecue, so it’s no biggie, really.

It’s hard to while away the hours between chipping the ice off the seat in the privy in the morning and putting the cat out at night for the seven seconds of outdoor time he requires daily. In between, we like to peruse the Rumford Meteor for all the week’s events up here in the Pine Street State. Er, I meant Pine Tree State. It’s nice to sit by the stove and feed in the pellets while munching on the ones that get stuck in the auger. They’re like miniature pretzel rods. Anyhoo, here’s the best headlines from the Meteor, so you can learn why the slogan on Maine’s highway sign used to read The Way Life Should Be, before all the shotgun blasts from passing hunters turned it into “The Waif hole” with an interesting kerning structure.

To my eye, the writers of the stories on the Meteor have done a fair job of gussying up the news so it won’t hurt any feelings — like telling a man that his wife is purdy and his kids are smart, even though his wife was thrown out of the roller derby for leaving grooves in the hardwood floor, and his kids lick the bus windows on the way to the learning center, which is what I gather they call school if the kids consume more crayons than reading material. After all that work by the staff, the headline writer goes and ruins the effect by blurting out the truth like a frostback Forrest Gump or something. That’s a hamfisted way to run a paper, but it’s all we got until the dogsled brings the serum and last year’s Globe to replenish the privy nail. Enjoy!

Brian Williams Taking Time Off to Look for the Blue Max NATO Gave Him for Shooting Down Bin Laden

Last Four Copies of the Magna Carta Displayed to the Last Four People in London Not Named Patel

Tom Brady Casually Mentions To Roger Goodell That There’s Always the Same Amount of Air in the Goddamned Trophy

Maine to Receive Yet Another Foot of Snow. Meteorologists Wonder How This Might Affect New York City

Portland Cited Among Top Cities for Gay Traveling. Critics Say They Should Be Required to Dribble the Ball Every Two Steps Just Like Everyone Else

Authorities Rush to Scene of School Bus and Log Truck Crash to Make Sure All the Apple Laptops Are OK

Lincoln County Historical Association Trying To Figure Out Where To Display A Signed Devo Concert Poster

April Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. If You’re Unaware You’re Being Sexually Assaulted, Maybe You Should Lose Some Weight

Hollywood Casino Revenue Dips When A Guy Pays His Rent Instead

College Starts Sustainable Agriculture Farm On The Site Of A Sustainable Organic Dairy Farm That Went Out Of Business

Many more at the Rumford Meteor

Update! I just checked the weather report. Hmmm. Al Gore must be in town. Ah, well, that’s the beauty of Maine. It’s reliable:

Top Ten Recent Headlines From The Rumford Meteor

Do you read the Rumford Meteor? There’s no information highway in Maine yet, or the Meteor would certainly qualify as a sketchy rest area on it. For now, it’s more like a vital cog in the cog railway of Maine information.

Maine doesn’t have the infrastructure for an information highway yet. I don’t even know what infrastructure is, truth be told. I’m pretty sure those are infrared lamps hanging over the stainless steel structure they erect between the greasy kitchen and the corral where they keep the greasy teenagers in ill-fitting uniforms at the McDonalds. Maybe it has something to do with that. I have found that the stalwart clerks in paper hats aren’t really fonts of information, and are unable to make change, so I’m not sure the correlation holds water. It’s something to ponder while you scald your wedding vegetables with their coffee, though. 

At any rate, Jeezum Crow, you can’t develop a feeling for the flavor of life in Maine without referring to the Meteor, probably because it’s winter ten months out of twelve, and all frozen things taste pretty much the same. You need the Meteor to Mainesplain it to you. Here are my Top Ten recent headlines from The Rumford Meteor:

  1. Livermore Falls Teacher Feels He’s Achieved The Perfect Blend Of Chaotic Visual Distractions And Incomprehensible Seating Arrangements (link)
  2. Center For Maine Contemporary Art Worried That Their New Gallery Might Not Be Ugly Enough (link)
  3. Local Theremin Player Has Reasonable Backstage Demands (link)
  4. Fourth-Generation Trombonist Stood Out Early On The Playground, Because He Couldn’t Swing And Got Stuck On The Slide (link)
  5. Town Planner Didn’t See Calls For His Resignation Coming, Which Explains A Lot (link)
  6. Selectman Can Totally Tell Man With Arms Crossed Ain’t Buying It (link)
  7. York Marijuana Activists Promise To Deliver Petition To Town Clerk Or The First Convenient Store On The Way That Sells Funyuns (link)
  8. Explorers Discover Primitive And Superstitious Tribespeople Who Believe That Dousing Themselves With Water Will Cure Diseases (link)
  9. South Portland Votes To Ban Tar Sands Oil Unless It’s Distributed For Free In Clean Syringes (link)
  10. Jenny McCarthy Reportedly Worried That Ebola Might Give Her Kids More Autism (link)

So remember people, if you want news straight from the seat of Oxford County, read the Rumford Meteor.

I Don’t Gots No Wikipedia Page

If you knew me — I mean, really knew me — you’d know how much I adore a merengue version of a Kraftwerk song.

But you don’t know me. How could you? There is no Wikipedia page for Sippican Cottage.

But then again, what would it say? It’s a brand of furniture! No, it’s a guy, not a building. He once taught Frisbee at a state college, but now he writes flash fiction guaranteed to make you reach for the laudanum.

But wait! Don’t answer! Sippican Cottage is a blog! NO! It’s a guy that writes humor. He used to be a bass player, but now he publishes a faux newspaper in Uppastump, Maine. I’m beginning to think Sippican Cottage is both a dessert topping and a floor wax!

So I’m not sure I want a Wikipedia page, unless it’s like the one  Uwe Schmidt’s got. Uwe Schmidt, AKA Senor Coconut, AKA:

    Candy Ballsak
    Almost Digital
    Atom Heart
    Atomu’ Shinzo
    The Bitniks
    Bund Deutscher Programmierer
    Coeur Atomique
    DATacide (a collaboration with Tetsu Inoue)
    The Disk Orchestra
    Don Atom
    DOS Tracks
    Dr. Atmo
    Dr. Mueller
    Dropshadow Disease
    Erik Satin
    Flanger (a collaboration with Burnt Friedman)

    Geeez ‘N’ Gosh
    Gon (a collaboration with Dandy Jack)
    HAT (a collaboration with Haruomi Hosono and Tetsu Inoue)
    H. Roth
    Interactive Music
    Jet Chamber (a collaboration with Pete Namlook)
    Lassigue Bendthaus
    Le Diapason
    Lisa Carbon
    Lisa Carbon & Friends
    The Lisa Carbon Trio
    Los Negritos
    Los Sampler’s
    Machine Paisley
    Masters of Psychedelic Ambiance (a collaboration with Tetsu Inoue)
    Mike Mc Coy

    +N (a collaboration with Victor Sol)
    Pentatonic Surprise
    Real Intelligence
    The Roger Tubesound Ensemble
    Second Nature (a collaboration with Tetsu Inoue and Bill Laswell)
    Semiacoustic Nature
    Señor Coconut
    Silver Sound
    Superficial Depth
    Surtek Collective (a collaboration with Original Hamster)
    Urban Primitivism
    Weird Shit

Now that guy could give my Wikipedia page a run for the money. It says here that “He is often regarded as the father of electrolatino, electrogospel and acitón (acid-reggaeton) music.” Pretty sweet, that. But me? Moi? Don’t say Sippi can’t, because Sippi can compete with that. After all, I’m the father of Buddy Holly inflected Minecraft inspired kid-rock cover music; and I also used to sing That’s Amore with dirty lyrics in a Beach Boys tribute band.

I will, however, struggle to ever top Senor Coconut’s version of Riders on the Storm. But I’m young, and I’ll keep trying. (Notice: At least one of the girls in following video forgot their shirt. I’m told some persons that I don’t know object to that)

2012: That Was The Year That Wasn’t

I’m sorry, but The Onion isn’t funny anymore.

Now, the Rumford Meteor — that’s funny right there. It’s funny because it’s real. All the news stories in the Meteor are from real newspapers, if you can call what passes for birdcage lining nowadays “real.” The snippets are printed verbatim, with links to the whole story in all the local newspapers in Maine. The only thing changed is the headline. Let’s see The Onion try that.

But then again, just living in Maine is like cheating for humor. I live here, and I’m still not sure Maine is really real. The temperatures here have a hyphen or a dash or a minus sign or something in front of them half the time. The economy is based on tourism, but everyone that lives here calls all the tourists Massholes under their breath. The radio stations play country music for some reason, even though the Arctic Circle is a lot closer than the Mason-Dixon line. Every room in every house in Maine has a ceiling fan in it, even though you can see your breath indoors from Labor Day until Memorial Day. People cook baked beans in a hole in the ground for two days and then eat them, and claim they like it. The place doesn’t make a lick of sense.

My friend Aubuchon Connery, the editor, publisher, stringer, photographer, archivist, typesetter, and  pixel adjuster of the Rumford Meteor, sent along the Top 100 News Stories of 2012, and asked me to publish it, in case his press is frozen solid again until late April. I was glad to oblige;  my wife chipped his good gutting ax while cleaning a chicken breast on the counter again, and I owe him one.


 The Rumford Meteor’s Top 100 News Stories of 2012


  • Old Town Police Run Up The Score By Simply Arresting Every Other Person In The Trailer Park
  • I Am A Lineman For The County. And We Have To Use Cones. So I’m Fighting With Policemen In The Gully By The Road
  • NBC Considering New Series: Suicidal Unfrozen Caveman Topless Coffee Shop Arson Witness In Hospital Scrubs On Bath Salts Robber
  • Governor Certain He’s Responsible For Creating That Guy Whatshisname’s Job Making That Thing There
  • Agency Warns Mainers About “Work At Home” Schemes. “Not Working At Home Or Anywhere Else” Schemes Still OK
  • Telstar Students Shocked, Disoriented By Cache Of Musical Devices That Never Sent Steve Jobs 99 Cents
  • What Kind Of Jerk Would Publish A Faux Newspaper With Disrespectful Lampooning Of Local News Stories?
  • Maine Olympic Snowboarder Injured, May Require Hipster Replacement
  • Mexico Fire Department’s ‘Save The Electric Meter Socket’ Strategy Works Like A Charm
  • Police Seeking Two Men Who Started A Fire In Maine In January Say They Have 649,484 Suspects


  • Buckfield High Students Interested In Anything Else
  • Energy Efficiency Experts Visit Freezing Couple’s Home To Make Sure They Don’t Have Any Waste Heat From Incandescent Light Bulbs
  • Innovative Ellsworth Valentine Program Coaches Local Men To Wash Their Pits On February 13th
  • County Woman Beginning To Suspect Her Husband’s Chainsaw Collection Is Just A Bunch Of Chainsaws He Bought
  • Americans’ New Retirement Plan Is A Bed With A Lid
  • I’m A Bereaver


  • Students Spend 90 Percent Of Class Time Looking At Porn And Playing Games On Their School Laptops. The Other 10 Percent Doesn’t Exist, They Can’t Add, Either
  • Governor Makes Maine More Business-Friendly With A New Stack Of Forms
  • Now They Know How Many Bombs It Takes To Clear The Aubert Hall. I’d Love To Turn You On
  • Wales Farmer Saddened By The Unsustainability Of Sustainable Farming
  • Mainers Celebrate Franco-American Day By Eating Dinner At 4:15 And Leaving A Seven Percent Tip
  • Actress With Maine Roots, Gray Roots On NBC Tonight
  • $640 Million Jackpot Has Lottery Buyers Dreaming Of How Many Lottery Tickets $640 Million Would Buy


  • Health Food Cafeteria Goes Out Of Business, Naturally
  • Emergency Readiness A Priority In Sumner, Maine, Pop. 854. Procedures Include Opening The Window And Yelling Over To The Bouchard’s Place
  • Royal Wedding Showed That Wearing Elaborate Hats Can Distract Other Women From Commenting On Your Horse Face And Tree Trunk Legs For A Few Minutes
  • Bangor Casino Running Out Of Bleary-Eyed Men In Members Only Jackets Clutching Next Month’s Rent
  • Nothing Says Quality Public Education Like Low Lights, Soft Music, And A Liver-Spotted Man-Hand Rubdown
  • Totally Unsocialized Homeschool Weirdo Doesn’t Know Where To Buy Bath Salts Or Pot, Has 242 Year-Old Boyfriend
  • Bucksport High A Leader At Making Lip Dubs, Ensuring Students Are Ready For The Lucrative Lip Dub Industry After Graduation
  • Eighth-Grade Girl Joins Legions Of Women Worried About Plastic In The Environment Until They Want Two Pounds Of It Inserted In Their Chest
  • Santa Monica Mortuary Confused By Request To Embalm Dick Clark Again
  • Protesters Who Attended Second-Rate College Would Like People Who Only Finished Second-Rate High School To Pay Their Loans
  • Innovative Cooking Class Using Local Ingredients Has Excited Participants Dreaming Of Eating Four Months A Year
  • Local Public Grammar School Students Wish They Knew How To Read The Signs Mom Made Them Hold


  • Local Student Wonders When Machinist School Will Get Around To Exploring Sustainable Transgender Anarcho-Socialist Free-Range Machining
  • Organic Farmers Know That Consumers Don’t Mind A Little Listeria As Long As They Get It From Farmers Who Care
  • 27 Percent Of Maine Teachers Haven’t Been Accused Of Anything Yet
  • Bangor Faithful Gather To Pray For More Plaid Flannel Shirts
  • Local Legislators Suffering From Post-Traumatic Sex Syndrome. Somebody Done Hoodooed The du Houx Man
  • Milford Authorities Considering Ten-Day Waiting Period For Trailer Home Purchases To Cut Down On Violence
  • Midcoast Maine Economy Hoping For Boost From Wiping Both Ends Of Baby Boomers Until They Croak


  • Lewiston Public School Nutrition Director Says Kids Really Like Drinking Diet Chocolate Milk While Glaring At The Salad Bar
  • Governor LePage Will Mark 500 Days Into His Term With A Booklet Touting His Accomplishments If The Girl Can Get The Mimeograph Goin’
  • Police Shoot Naked Man Eating Another Naked Man’s Face When He Refuses To Stop And Read A Pamphlet Urging Him To Switch To Lean Protein, Whole Grains, Fruits, And Lo-Fat Dairy
  • Cranky Old Mainer Reviews Video Cassette Of Dave He Found At The Dump. It’s About Dave
  • Energy Science Education Touts Such Cutting-Edge Subjects As Fermenting Things, Windmills, And Window Glass. No Word On Alchemy, Miasmas, Phlogiston
  • Assistant US Secretary Of Commerce For Import Administration Tours New Balance, Wears Safety Glasses In Case There’s A Massive Shoelace Explosion
  • Five Candidates Vie For Chance To Collect Taxes From Rumford’s Four Remaining Taxpayers
  • Cape Elizabeth Librarian Wins Award For Excellence In Hiding The Ayn Rand Books
  • Bristol Begins “Pre-K” Education, Mulling Over Pre-Pre-K, Considering Having Obstetricians Yell Phonics Up There Between Contractions
  • EPA Touts The Health Benefits Of Shivering In The Dark While Unemployed
  • Local Mothers Want The Parts Of A Magazine Article They Can Remember Put Into The Constitution


  • Bowdoin Student Crusading To Ensure Maine’s Starving Families Have Unfettered Access To Leeks
  • Man Currently In Charge Of The Maine Department Of Revenue Says The Internal Revenue Service Is The Gestapo
  • Education Commissioner Certain That Shoveling More Millions Over The Festering Corpse Of Steve Jobs Will Fix The Schools
  • New Survey Indicates Women Earn Less Because They Answer Surveys All The Time Instead Of Working
  • Norway Residents Weigh In On What Sort Of Funky-Cool Downtown Shops They’d Prefer To Drive Right Past On Their Way To The Auburn Wal-Mart
  • Olympic Head Hopes Athletes Inspire A Generation Of Young People To Work For No Pay And Meekly Pee Into A Cup When Ordered To Do So
  • Saco Man Considering Donating Huge Collection Of Books He Purchased At Library Book Sales To A Library Or Something


  • Gore Vidal Dies Alone, Still Clutching The Phone After Spending 14 Months On Hold Waiting To Reserve A Table At Elaine’s
  •  $756,000 Math Error Found In Westbrook School Department Budget. If Only There Was Some Sort Of School Where Residents Could Go To Learn To Add And Subtract
  • Kenyan Runners Huddle At Cape Elizabeth 10K Finish Line And Decide To Act Winded Until The Wazungu Show Up
  • Thank Goodness George Bush Isn’t President Anymore, Or We’d Have To Pay Attention To All These Dead Soldiers
  • 24 Little Girls, And One Very Confused Local Machinist Yelling RON PAUL! Over And Over, Attend Tea Party Event In Mexico
  • Senator Collins’ New Husband Going To Lobby The Hell Out Of Her Until She Screams Cloture
  • Waldoboro Fire Department’s Save The Basement Strategy Would Have Worked If Mobile Homes Had Basements


  • Statistics Show That If Your Wife Agreed To Stay Pregnant For 18 Months, She’d Have Two Babies
  • Local Grandmother Says That Circle Solay Girl Wears Too Much Makeup
  • Lewiston Mayor Suggests Somali Immigrants Should Only Open Non-Prophet Businesses
  • New Westbrook Art Gallery’s Renovation Expected To Take Until 2017 Because The Owner’s Brushes Are So Small
  • New Study From Brown University Confirms That All White People Are Identical
  • Psychic Crime Fighter Says He Knows What Others Might Be Thinking, Which Seems Unlikely Because He’s Wearing Jorts
  • Local Woman On Paxil, Elavil, Cymbalta, Ambien, Ortho-Novum, And Ritalin Says She’ll Continue To Buy Organic Food Because The Other Kind Is Full Of Chemicals


  • High School Teacher Takes Students To Dairy Farm To See Where The Whole Milk They’re Not Allowed To Drink In School Comes From
  • ‘David Geffen Drops Anchor Off Bar Harbor.’ I Don’t Get Out Much, So I Have No Idea If That’s A Euphemism
  • Dog In Workplace Wonders Why His Human Doesn’t Weep Alone Into A Tub Of Ice Cream While Looking At Her Screen Like At Home
  • Bullying Victim Signals She’s Ready To Begin Her Life Of Endless Praise Without Merit Now
  • West Paris Comic Book Magnate Has Invented Facesterbayuffingtonahoosoftunestubepressipedia, But Can’t Fit Enough Servers In His Van Down By The River To Handle Its Potential
  • Woolwich Solar Panel Devotee Showcases Computer That Allows Him To Estimate If Can Make Toast Before The Sun Goes Down
  • Portland Neo-Burlesque Show Reminds Man In Front Row That It’s Almost Time To Put Out Suet For The Birds
  • High School Computer Repair Wizards Say Your Computer Is Definately So Broken, And All Gayed Up With Viruses And Stuff, So Have Your Mom Buy You A New One. Duh!
  • Youngsters At Livermore Falls Daycare Report The New Lump Of Plastic In The Parking Lot Doesn’t Have That Many Wasps In It Yet


  • Town Council Desperately Tries To Explain The Arithmetic For A New School To Citizens Educated In The Current One
  • Wiscasset Ladies Organ Society Gets Together And Wishes More Of Their Organs Worked
  • Maine Forest Rangers Return From Hurricane Sandy Relief After Helpfully Showing Staten Islanders How To Gut A Moose
  • Two Dozen Students Offer To Eat School’s 37-Year-Old Twinkie Experiment Instead Of The New “Healthy” School Lunches
  • Cape Elizabeth Land Trust Purchases 60 More Acres Of Nothing And Nobody, Nowhere, With Trees On It, Because Maine’s About To Run Out Of That
  • Financial Planning Experts Say Mega-Lottery Winners Aren’t Financially Savvy Enough To Pour Their Payouts Into Facebook Stock At $38 A Share


  • Murals Deemed Too Flammable For Hospital Given To Wilton Schools. That Burn Unit Wasn’t Going To Fill Itself, You Know
  • Stunned Kansas City Fans Beginning To Suspect Chiefs Linebacker Didn’t Really Give A Shit About Breast Cancer, Either
  • Even Though We Have A ‘Dormitory Student’ President Now, Having ‘Dormitory Students’ On Your Basketball Team Is Considered Cheating In Maine
  • Rockland Area School Superintendent Says Truancy Is At Epidemic Levels, Or It’s Saturday And He Forgot
  • Long-Time Head Of Maine Organic Farmers Association Dies At 56, Serene In The Knowledge He Would Have Died At 55 If He Used Pesticides
  • You Could Tell Santa’s Helper In The UU Church Pageant Was A Drag Queen Because He’s The Only Person In Western Maine That Looks Even Vaguely Feminine
  • ||||IIIII||IIIIIII||||||||||IIIIIII||||||I||I||||
  • Vegetarian Doctor Touts The Health Benefits Of Having An Adam’s Apple Like A Third Elbow
  • Asperger Moms Assure The Public There’s Only Something Different About Their Children When It’s Convenient
  • Tom Brady Pissed He Has To Get On A Plane And Go Beat Some Sort Of Football Team They’ve Got In Jacksonburg, Alabama Or Somewhere

Sippican’s Patented Go/No Go Intertunnel Newspaper Reading Gauge

I hafta read the newspapers now. 

I stopped reading newspapers a while back. Can’t remember exactly when. 1980s, prolly. I remember reading rather a lot of newspapers when I was very young. There were a lot of newspapers in the house. We lived near Boston, and Boston had a lot of newspapers. They were pretty good newspapers, too.

Well, they’re all a joke now, and there aren’t very many of them. Reading the newspapers here in Maine is literally terrifying. The writers are borderline illiterate, innumerate, and not very curious. That strikes me as a bad combo for a newsgatherer. Mark Twain used to write for the newspapers, and so did Benjamin Franklin. We seem to have traded them for girls that make a little heart over their “i” instead of a tittle, and the guy in your grammar school that liked comic books a lot and used to cheat off a C student because he printed big enough to see from one row away.

The Intertunnel isn’t much better. I barely understand about 97 percent of blogs. They inexpertly choose a snippet from one of the aforementioned useless newspapers, and then add their incisive George Bush did it!, or, Obama, what’s up with that?  I honestly don’t understand why people enjoy a slow boil of outrage all day, every day. Whenever I visit a blog, I can always tell who they hate because there are nothing but pictures of them on the blog. You wouldn’t hang pictures of people you hate in every room in your house. Why would you hang them all over your Interhouse?

The dirty little secret is people loved to be outraged. Feel persecuted. The greatest feeling available on the Intertunnel is the harrumph. Me? I’d like to know things. I wouldn’t mind being amused while being edified, either, but the pros aren’t up to the task — they can’t operate an apostrophe, what chance do they have of running a litote up a stump — so I doubt the amateurs are going to manage it.

I’m awfully glad for the Intertunnel, though. Not because it’s generally swell, but because it’s so vast you can cobble together something useful out of it. I’d starve to death without it if I wasn’t able to eat out of the intellectual dumpster it represents. Like any dumpster, you’ve got to pick and choose.

In woodworking, as in many other industries where things are manufactured, workers are often supplied with a simple device to determine if the thing they’re looking at while they’re banging on it or gouging it or smashing at it or whatever is the correct size. In the vernacular, it’s a Go, No Go gauge. When I’m turning a leg for a chair on a lathe, for instance, and it requires a tenon on the end that’s 1/2″ in diameter, I can simply use a 1/2″ crescent wrench as go/no go gauge. If it won’t go over the tenon, the tenon’s still too big. If it goes over the tenon, the tenon’s likely too small now and you can safely throw it away and start over. I’m not sure of how to behave if the tenon is exactly the right size. It’s never come up.

I’ve made my life easier by fashioning various go/no go text gauges that allow me to immediately stop reading or listening to anything that contains certain terms. They are like intellectual tramp stamp tattoos on the southern end of a northbound doofus. Their appearance signals that nothing intelligent will follow and you can stop paying attention that very instant and move on to something more edifying, something closer to the Sorbonne of the Internets –say, cat pictures and animated gifs.

Anyhoo, here’s today’s list of magic Internet markers:

  • Sugary
  • Sustainable
  • Green
  • Meds
  • Access to
  • Cash-strapped
  • Diversity
  • Step up
  • Evolved
  • The help they need
  • Toxins
  • Pumping
  • Fiat currency
  • Bankster
  • Bubble
  • Sheeple
  • Obesity epidemic
  • Give back
  • Racist (rascist is like a neon sign)
  • Fascist (facist is even better)
  • FUD
  • Jackbooted
  • Snowflake
  • Homeland
  • Targeted
  • Healthcare
  • Hater
  • Soros
  • Koch
  • Speak out
  • Multi-tasking
  • Virii

There are many more, I’m ashamed to say. These are just off the top of my head. If I get any crabbier about the whole enchilada, pretty soon maybe I’ll just shout, “It’s in English! Bah!”, and close the browser.

But as lists go, it’s as good as any. I think there’s a zoning law on the Intertunnel that requires me to make it a Top Ten list, but I refuse to cater to popular tastes. That’s probably why I can buy a Snickers bar with my Google Ad money every three months.  Fun-size, not one of those huge things, they’re expensive.

Now, if you decide to use my patented go/no go reading gauge, what you do with the extra four hours a day you save by closing the browser when you see these terms is entirely up to you. Perhaps you can use some of it to tune in tomorrow when I’ll defame women writers with hyphenated names and men who shave their heads while sporting a Van Dyke.

Read The Meteor, Or You Won’t Know What It Says

It’s that time of year again. The time of year between January and January when I try to pass off dusty old writing as fresh one more time. Seeing as this is the Intertunnel, I have to add a Top Ten List, too. It’s like a law.

But recycling isn’t enough. I need to kill at least three birds with one stone if I’m going to get a half-day off on Christmas. So since our friend Aubuchon Connery, the general factotum over to the Rumford Meteor,  has asked me to help him catapult his “News straight from the seat of Oxford County” up into the rarified air of the greater World Wide Web — where it can explode into many interesting colors, or something — I figure I’ll recycle his stuff and knock off early. Western Maine needs the publicity in any case. If it wasn’t for the paper mill, no one downwind would even know we were here.

Actually, I think Aubuchon is angling to get Clint Locke Muskie, a local swell that runs an extravagant quarter-page ad for his fill dirt, artisanal cupcake, coal hod fabrication, storm door, and amateur podiatry business in the Lewiston Sun-Urinal (every week! A one-percenter fer sure!), to give the Meteor a try instead. Aubuchon says if he gets a guy like that on account, he can get his ice auger professionally sharpened twice a year and not give a second thought to the expense.

So here’s double duty, Rumfid style. The TOP TEN HEADLINES OF 2011 from The Rumford Meteor: Please disregard the fact that there are twenty five items in my top ten list. It’s a habit I got into in the ten-items-or-less checkout lane when I’m buying booze at the Mexico Walmart, and I can’t help myself anymore.

The Straight Dope says of the The Rumford Meteor: “It’s like Lake Wobegon. On Crack.”  They’re obviously “from away.” We’re all on Bath Salts around here.

The Rumford Meteor

Tag: The Rumford Meteor

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