One Maine Pest Takes Care of Another
I’m predicting with some confidence that for the next couple of months, there won’t be any more topless women parading through the streets of Maine’s cities and towns.
Just when it appeared the spate of half-naked females marching for the right to bare their bosoms in public would become as common as county fairs (where bare bosoms were once one of the milder staples of the adult entertainment trailer), the trend is likely to come to an abrupt and timely end.
The reason is simple. One of the most obnoxious pests known to humanity has again appeared in our state. This small creature, which exists only to bring torment to the populace, has forced most of us, both fully clothed and otherwise, to confine ourselves to the indoors. I refer, of course, to (cue the ominous music):
While everyone’s attention was focused on Farmington – where a couple of dozen naked-from-the-waist-up women walked through downtown on April 30, attracting an estimated 3,000 observers (one of whom carried a sign saying “You’d be cuter if you covered your hooters”) and a single dedicated woman who tried to shield an innocent world from the exposed flesh by holding up a blanket – something far more insidious was going on in Buxton, Hollis, and Bar Mills. And that something was filming for a movie starring (cue the ominous music again):
The low-budget-but-nevertheless-feature-length presentation is called “40 West” and features the singer of “Danke Schoen” in what the Bangor Daily News described as “a taut, character-driven thriller” in which a small, rural state is attacked by a Vegas performer in a shiny suit and hermetically sealed hair.
“40 West” is scheduled to be released in 2011. We can only hope it’s recaptured before it hurts anyone.
As if the presence of Wayne Newton wouldn’t be enough to cause self-respecting persons of any gender to cover themselves in haz-mat suits, there was yet another cinematic reason to duck and cover. Maine may be the site of the filming of a movie called “Wyeth.”
This film will explore the relationships of three generations of famous artistic family, at least one of whom painted nude women.
Somebody should be alerting that lady in Farmington with the blanket.
The movie’s producers are currently trying to work out a deal with state officials for tax breaks and other incentives to help finance the film.
Otherwise, they’ll be forced to bring back Wayne Newton to star as Abominable Wyeth, the black sheep of the family. Abominable was a graffiti artist. If you look with a magnifying glass at the lower left corner of the house in “Christina’s World,” you can just make out his initials spray-painted on the foundation.
If Abominable were still alive (he died in 2002 in a tragic attempt to affix his tag to the front of a moving locomotive), he’d probably be pretty excited about efforts to paint Sprague Energy’s huge oil tanks in South Portland with modern designs meant to elicit comparisons with Wayne Newton’s hair follicles.
In all, the project’s sponsor, the Maine Center for Creativity, hopes to paint eight of the tanks at a cost of $1.2 million.
For that kind of money, they ought to be able to get one of the Wyeths. Or Wayne Newton.
Actually, I’ve been a little hard on poor Wayne. And I do mean poor. He’s even been forced to do a reality TV show about his financial setbacks. (Fortunately, it’s not being filmed in Maine.) But contrary to what I may have inadvertently implied above, Newton isn’t the real cause of women in this state abandoning the abandon-your-blouse movement. Those half-naked activists have strong constitutions and firm principles that wouldn’t be shaken by the arrival of a cheesy nightclub entertainer or even a family of lecherous artists.
No, the real reason the assert-your-topless-rights faction is retrieving its bras and t-shirts has nothing to do with celebrities.
It has to do with black flies.
Barely (heh heh) twenty-four hours after the historic march in Farmington had concluded, the little buggers were everywhere, brought forth by unseasonably warm weather. And the chance to take a chunk out of Wayne Newton.
No matter how you feel about toplessness, the fact remains that being forced to make a choice between a mammary mauling by black flies and applying DEET to areas of the body unaccustomed to chemical exposure can lead to a new appreciation of clothing.
There’s also the issue of ticks. (No, Wayne, not you.) According to experts, there are now more of those little bloodsuckers in the state than there are gubernatorial candidates.
With the spread of deer ticks to even the remotest parts of Maine (such as Westbrook) comes the danger of Lyme disease, a condition that can be as painful and damaging as a Wayne Newton concert. Ample applications of DEET also protect against ticks, as does spending the entire summer in an air-conditioned bar, drinking Benton Park Swizzles, until your bloodstream becomes unpalatable to insects.
If you do find a tick attached to your skin, remember, don’t panic. The bugs can sense your fear. Remain calm, drop to the ground and assume the same stance as Christina in “Christina’s World.” She seems composed, even though she was probably covered in ticks. (You can see one with a magnifying glass on her right ankle.) Take a deep breath and begin singing Wayne Newton’s classic “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast.”
Within seconds, the tick will jump off you and run away. So will any Lyme disease germs.
But don’t go too far. If you actually get to the final verse, your clothes may tear themselves from your body in an effort to escape.
With a little luck, that Farmington lady with the blanket will be somewhere in the vicinity.
If Al Diamon has ticked you off, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org