Down East 2013 ©
I was traveling through the town of Industry (motto: Somewhat Less Industrious Than Our Name Might Indicate) recently when I had an epiphany:
There’s no industry in Industry.
In either sense of the word.
No smokestacks. No paper mills. No business parks.
Also, several people in hammocks taking naps. Two guys sitting in lawn chairs staring at a collapsed barn. A “Susan Collins for Governor” sign that somebody has been meaning to take down. Since 1994.
This is not intended as criticism of the Industrians or whatever they call themselves. Industeroids, maybe. I’m hardly in a position to take others to task for being lazy, unambitious slobs, who prefer to snooze away a lovely summer day, rather than devoting their precious time to bringing about world peace or solving the energy crisis or writing a blog about what happened in the past week. I often find myself falling victim to inertia, dozing off when I should be thinking up clever metaphors for political incompetence, watching YouTube videos when I’m supposed to be correcting the news media’s foibles, drinking beer in dive bars when I could be reading Proust (“Another PBR, please, and a side order of madeleines ”).
I admit it. I’m about as lazy as a human being can be and still breathe. But it turns out, it’s not my fault. The reason I’m still sitting around in my underwear at three in the afternoon playing video games and picking crumbs out of two-day-old pizza boxes isn’t because I lack moral fortitude.
It’s because I live in Maine.
According to Bloomberg’s Businessweek, Maine is the sixteenth laziest state  in the nation.
Mainers spend more time using their computers for non-work-related activities than residents of any other state. We spend more time playing games, cards, and doing puzzles than all but one other state. We sleep too much, watch too much TV, do too much socializing, and, according to this reputable study, spend a whopping fourteen minutes a day “relaxing and thinking.”
Wait. Fourteen minutes? I’ve wasted more time than that just avoiding writing this paragraph.
Businessweek somehow worked out what scientifically constitutes laziness by examining government documents, health reports and photos taken from spy satellites (“Crank up the resolution. I think this guy just stopped working and started relaxing and thinking”). As a result of all that industriousness, the staff was able to determine that Louisiana is the laziest state 
, and North Dakota (motto: Home of Mount Rushmore – Oh, Sorry, That’s South Dakota”) is the least lazy. No one in North Dakota would be caught dead relaxing and thinking. Also, there’s nothing good on TV there.
Mainers, on the other hand, spend an average of two hours and thirty-four minutes a day watching re-runs of “Bill Green’s Maine ,” while devoting a mere three hours and twenty-two minutes to work. (Hey, I’ve exceeded my quota. Time for a nap.) Speaking of sleeping, we get an average of eight hours and fifty minutes a night, which is six minutes more than lazy Louisiana .
I wish I had some uplifting message I could insert at this point, extolling my fellow Pine Tree Staters to cast off the shackles of sloth, and embrace a robust philosophy based on hard work, clean living, no more than four hours of sleep per night, and limiting relaxing and thinking to those occasions when it’s necessary to ignore either church sermons or serious discussions with one’s spouse.
Unfortunately, I’m much too weary from having written all this blather to come up with anything compelling. In fact, I’m so tired I may have to outsource the rest of this posting to somebody in Louisiana.
Just kiddin’, y’all. Ain’t no way I’d entrust mah sacred duty to review th’ week just ended to some bayou bumpkin. Next thing y’all knows, the whole piece’d be filled with th’ sound a snorin’.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz – urk, what? I’m awake. Back to the news.
Which brings us to the question of what to do about homeless lobsters. It appears that Maine lobsters are as lazy as the rest of the state’s residents. As a result few of these crustaceans can afford a decent domicile. So, it’s not uncommon to see lobsters sleeping in doorways, hunkering down in discarded refrigerator cartons, and hanging around soup kitchens.
An entrepreneur in Seal Harbor (motto: Laziest Seals in Maine) was relaxing and thinking one day when he had an epiphany that had nothing to do with the town of Industry. He came up with the design for a concrete mooring that also serves as housing for lobsters .
Dozens of the critters can live in a single two-ton module, where they can receive job counseling (“Besides scavenging and eating your young, do you have any other skills an employer might find useful?”), engage in recreational activities (“Let’s watch “Bill Green’s Maine” again”), and be assured of a nutritious diet (“Tonight, we have a rotten herring special”). It’s downright heartwarming.
Just because the homeless lobster problem is solved, doesn’t mean there aren’t other unresolved issues lurking beneath the water’s surface. Such as:
Sorry, only an exceptionally lazy humorist would have resorted to a joke that lame.
Pacu are actually fish and are closely related to piranhas, except they’re much bigger, and they don’t eat entire cows at a single meal. Too lazy, apparently.
Recently, an employee of the Limestone public works department found a pacu while inspecting a screened culvert .
It weighed seven pounds and was twenty-two inches long. Authorities immediately began investigating, because pacu are not native to Aroostook County, so there was speculation that either it was a tourist fish or somebody had introduced it into the area as part of a plot to create a colony of piranha relatives, so that real piranha would have an excuse to visit and eat all our cows.
Shortly afterwards, a local man was arrested and charged with illegal stocking and possession of a restricted species of fish without a license, both crimes for which he could be fined and forced to live in a concrete mooring with homeless lobsters.
The implications of this sort of nefarious activity certainly give one pause. And once one pauses, one is inclined to think. And since one is already thinking, what’s the harm in relaxing, as well. Which inevitably leads to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Shhhh. I’m resting my eyes. If you’ve got something to tell me, put it in an e-mail and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org