Down East 2013 ©
I want to stress that I am not a conspiracy theorist. No matter how many times Fox News runs reports about how at least half the liberals in Congress are actually badly dressed woodchucks, I don’t believe it. The New York Times can keep on exposing Republican presidential candidates as thinly disguised squirrels, but I’m not buying it. I can see how some people could mistake former independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler  for a wombat , but I’m sure any resemblance is just a coincidence, since wombats aren’t noted for being condescending.
But none of that means I don’t have a concern about Portland Mayor-elect Michael Brennan . I’m not necessarily saying Brennan isn’t human. For all I know, he’s the result of some experiment in genetic manipulation that went horribly wrong when rodents somehow invaded the laboratory at a crucial moment.
But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself.
Can you spot anyone who looks like Brennan here ?
Or here ?
Or here ?
I have no way of knowing if the cute little critter sitting on my woodpile, twitching his tail and chewing on what looks suspiciously like the power cord for my laptop is some advance agent of the order Rodentia. All I know is that it’s unusual to see a chipmunk in this part of the state at this time of year carrying binoculars and a digital camera. Sure, you see them decked out with that stuff when the foliage is at peak. But not now.
I’m not alone in my suspicions that Brennan may be an advance agent of the ‘Munk Empire. No less an authority than the Bangor Daily News recently ran a story  headlined “Who is Portland’s Michael Brennan?” in which he is said to have a “collaborator image,” and he’s described as “walking a tightrope” during his transition to office. That, combined with a sudden citywide shortage of acorns, has done nothing to allay my fears.
Also, the chipmunk on my woodpile has now set up an itty-bitty satellite dish and is uploading data.
Call me paranoid if you will, but I’m not alone in getting unsettling information from the animal kingdom. Maine State Police reported that a man found in a home in Andover told them he broke in after receiving instructions  from his dog and Jesus. No one in their right mind – or otherwise – is going to ignore a duo like that. Well, except for non-Christians and people who are allergic to dog hair.
But back to the guy in Andover. Jesus and the dog told him that he was to meet singer Taylor Swift  inside the house, and the two of them would be married in the backyard.
As it turned out, Taylor was elsewhere, the dog refused to talk to the cops, and Jesus was unavailable for comment. The guy was charged with trespassing and theft.
Still, his story makes my fears that Michael Brennan is a giant chipmunk bent on world domination seem sort of rational, don’t you think?
No? You regularly get your marching orders from your dog? It was the pooch who introduced you to Taylor Swift? And now you’re engaged?
Well, excuse me for being all alarmist and everything.
It’s not as if there’s no solid evidence the animals are uniting and rising up in an effort to destroy us. Attacks on aircraft  at the Portland International Jetport (motto: Our Stupid Name Is Not Our Fault) are on the increase by, among other creatures, hawks, ducks, gulls and at least one skunk.
Authorities are still investigating where the skunk got the rocket-powered backpack.
Meanwhile, in Bangor, it’s pigeons. Someone is putting up posters of pigeons  on walls all over the city. I’m not saying the work is being done by chipmunks. I’m not saying it isn’t. If I were you, I’d ask your dog.
The drawings show pigeons engaged in various activities: pretending to be Mexican, pretending to be Jewish, pretending to be part of Occupy Bangor, pretending to be Alan Greenspan , pretending to take bath salts. Some of the drawings also depict squirrels. It’s not clear if they’re intended to depict Republican presidential candidates, although in one of them, a particularly fat rodent is seen pocketing millions of dollars in consulting fees from somebody named Freddie Mac .
I’m not claiming all these unnerving animal incidents are related, but if they are (and the chances are currently 98 percent), it may have something to do with revenge. This uprising of the furred and feathered began right after a news story  appeared about three Maine hunters who shot enormous deer this month. In Barnard (motto: Inconveniently Located), a 281-pound, eight-point buck was brought down. In Montville, a 253-pounder (ten points) ended up at the tagging station. And near Rockwood, an eight-pointer was bagged and weighed in at 241 pounds.
Right after that, Michael Brennan, who had previously lived in a tree in Deering Oaks, was elected mayor of Portland. City officials dismissed claims that his victory somehow resulted from mice getting into the voting machines and manipulating the count. A spokes-dog for Portland said, “That’s absurd. All the mice were at Taylor Swift’s wedding.”
One final disturbing development: Portland officials (all of whom looked sort of like lemurs ) have announced they’re installing new high-tech parking meters  that can accept credit cards, monitor several spots at one time, perform identity checks on parkers, send probes inside parked cars while their drivers are away and remove items that might be used as weapons in the event of an attack by creatures from the wild.
“It’s strictly a matter of national security,” Portland’s spokes-poodle said. “The meters are currently seizing the vehicles that brought you all to this press conference.”
I’d write more about this frightening trend, but my laptop is running low on juice, and that damn chipmunk took my power cord. And my cell phone. And my Taylor Swift CD.
Al Diamon is just kidding. About the Taylor Swift CD. He hates Taylor Swift. And chipmunks. He likes dogs, though, and has been ordered by his three pooches to inform you his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . Your communications may be monitored for … ha, ha … better customer service.