Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Maine--the way life should be (sometimes)
Every summer busy people head north on I-95 in order to spend a little time where the signs welcoming them say "Maine, the way life should be".
As a state, we welcome these summer visitors and enjoy all that they offer and we try to provide them with an opportunity to enjoy our lifestyle in exchange for a slice of their hard-earned Massachusetts money. Whether or not we mean to, I'm sure we provide some people with stories on which they dine for many months. Isolated as we are--we tend to eccentricities and cherish our oddities. For an outsider with a good eye for humor, the state is rich. Lawn art--need I say more.
We have some good friends whose work lives are in Massachusetts but who have a lovely second home on a lake nearby. Their son is the same age as my oldest daughter and for many years the young people have enjoyed spending time together whenever he comes north with his family.
Several years ago, probably the first year that he had his drivers license, he called Sara as soon as he got into town and asked if she would like to go to see the latest Harry Potter movie. He picked her up in his father's car and off they went. When she got home, she came into my room and woke me up with a story that bears repeating.
Apparently, the young man was speeding to avoid being late for the movie. He wasn't just going 5 or 10 miles over the speed limit--but more like 20 or 25. Significant speeding--what we call criminal speeding in Maine. Somewhere between here and the movie, they saw blue lights and pulled to the side of the road.
The poor young man felt terrible--newly licensed, his first day in Maine, embarrassed in front of Sara---------not to mention sure to be late for Harry Potter.
The rather portly policeman walked over to the car and made some comments about the high rate of speed, looked into the back of the car and then said, "Are either of you over 21?" "No" was the reply, they looked at each other unsure what the policeman was referring to----------well, apparently the young man's parents had made a stop at the New Hampshire Liquor Store on their way north and had filled the back of the station wagon with their summer supply of alcohol and had not unpacked before letting their son take the car to pick up my daughter to go to see Harry Potter.
Hmmm, well--this is where the story gets good. The policeman told the kids to take the beer out of the car and put it into his police car and then he let them go without a ticket for the speeding. They made it to the movie with their only regret being that the missing alcohol would require an explanation and he would have to tell his parents that he had been speeding.
As a disclaimer I should say that a few years later, serious ineptitude was uncovered in that police force and the entire force was replaced but at the time, I'm sure it went back to Massachusetts as one more good story about Maine.