A Florida Flatlander Finds Adventure in Maine (An Excerpt)

A story by Steve Hood from 1960s


My first "Lobster Feed" was an eye opener. I had already learned something about these rather unattractive denizens of local waters, but what I didn't know was people actually ate them! Oh, they were somewhat civilized about it because they cooked the lobsters first. But the way they were cooked! Oh my, it was frightening! Into the great boiling
pot they went, while still alive! I thought I could hear their tiny screams, but maybe it was just my imagination.
In terms of gastronomical delights, turns out I'm not really a Mainer, I mean, not a real one.

To this day I can't get past those par-boiled screaming lobsters in the pot. I know, Mainers say they feel no pain, but I wonder. I must say, though, I do have a fondness for those cherry red hot dogs, served up with healthy doses of yellow mustard, red ketchup, and genuine homemade Maine relish.

Let me not forget to mention Whoopie Pies. Two round slabs of brown cake held together with a concoction of white stuff similar to marshmallow fluff. Washed down with generous amounts of that medicinal-tasting soda called Moxie, which I believe is the official state drink.

Oh, those were the days! Although, there was the time I bit into a Whoopie Pie that did not turn out so well. It must have been a one-in-a million bad batch because it was a far different experience than usual. I began to chew and all
of a sudden I could not move my mouth. My mouth was stuck! That white fluff acted like glue! Fortunately Aunt Peanut was able to save the day as this was not an unknown experience for Mainers. She had a homemade concoction at the ready, sprayed it into an accessible corner of my mouth, and in no time at all I was able to resume chewing. I didn't dare swallow though. I could only imagine what that mess of goo might do to my internal organs.

It was shortly thereafter I became acquainted with some of Maine's most famous celebrities. "Tim Sample" and "Bert and I" head that list. Finer comedy is nowhere to be found these days. I later learned the creators of "Bert and I" were
native New Yorkers (But you didn't hear that from me)! They did develop quirky "Down East" accents though, which added to their charm.

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