A good friend gives us her old newspapers from a small town in Maine. They are entertainment — a sedentary version of date night.
Because we cannot agree on who gets to read the Cops and Courts section first, we take turns reading it aloud.
In the most recent issue, the lead story was from a Saturday ago when local police received a report of a “large snake” inside a residence. The police chief and the EMS director responded. With the mere insertion of a comma, the report noted that the EMS director is also a certified exotic animal and reptile handler, as though this is nothing out of the ordinary. After searching the home thoroughly for a 2-foot black snake, the reptile could not be found.
The report further explained that Maine is home to nine different species of snakes, none of them venomous, and the state’s endangered northern black racer can grow up to six feet. It’s all the news you can use and then some.
Next was a story about a dog spotted along a rural road without food or water. An officer responded and determined the dog to be in “good condition and spirits.”
This is your dream town, right? They assess dogs for good health as well as good spirits. How does that work? Wag your tail if you’re happy, bark twice if you’re despondent.
Meanwhile, in another nearby town, officials used a $2,700 grant to buy “guardian angel lights” for all their public safety employees. The angel light is clipped to a collar or vest of law enforcement, first responders and construction site workers to improve visibility while on the job.
Where we live, construction workers often jump on top of the orange barrels to avoid being hit and I’ve not heard of plans to buy them, or law enforcement, guardian angel lights.
This is not to say that small towns are without drama. A near heart-stopping item reported that someone phoned in an open door at a residence. The responding officer found signs that someone appeared to have been in the building.
I’m reading, biting my nails and screaming, “Behind the door! Look behind the door!”
The story continued saying that the officer “found items lying on the floor.” At least he didn’t find bodies on the floor!
The officer was able to contact the residence’s “key holder” who said he had been working in the house and may not have secured the door. “The residence was later secured.”
Raise your hand if you are 100% certain you could leave home with the lights on, the doors wide open, and all your belongings would still be belonging. We’d like to hope so, but we’re not about to run a test case.
Of course, I can’t say where this place is because everyone would want to move there, gobble up property, tear down all the trees, throw up subdivisions, open franchise fast food joints and a Dollar Tree, and it wouldn’t be the same.
But know this much — life is good. In a small town. Somewhere. At least for a week.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Send comments to [email protected]