WISCASSET - A SHORT HISTORY
GOOD NEWS for all you From-Away recidivist jaywalkers!!!! You are now encouraged to visit the BRAND NEW Red's Eats on Northbound I-295!!!!!!
Apparently, this is the latest Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) plan to alleviate the persistent and everlasting traffic jams on Route 1 in Wiscasset. And I think it's brilliant. Hardly any of our lawmakers get their paychecks by driving through Wiscasset, but lots of them take I-295 because it's faster and there's less bait thrown at their cars.
Mainers refer to Wiscasset as "That Six-Month Traffic Jam." Tourists who blunder into it are enormously frustrated by the hours and hours they are needlessly trapped on the hot Wiscasset asphalt whilst on their way to much funner things in more interesting places. Funner things like being defibrillated for an afternoon. More interesting places like the queen's lair of a gigantic wasp's nest.
I'm here to tell you that those attitudes are extremely unfair, and I feel the need to change your insulting and outdated attitudes; local and tourist alike, with history and FACTS.
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For example, did you know Wiscasset is an Abenaki phrase that means "Deadly Malodorous Marsh Full of Poison Ivy and Wrathful Porcupines?"
In ancient times, the Abenaki used Wiscasset as a place to harvest vital pond scum to throw at their enemy's eyes and thus render them blind. The Abenaki also built the "Maine Yankee" nuclear power plant. Or was it the Miqmaq? Historians are still debating the matter.
As more dullard Europeans with haughty manners, no ice, and completely imperceptible senses of humor moved into the area, the Abenaki Tribe saw the writing on the wall. They fought a series of wars with just the stupidest names you could imagine. "The Cup and Squeeze War of 1648-1648" and "The Long Fight Against Those with Pale, Flabby Legs, and a Penchant for Mayonnaise," being two of the stupidest. Or funniest, depending on how you interpret history.
Then the Abenaki made friends with more endeavoring Europeans like King Kevin Philip and the French. That led to the French and Indian and King Philip's Wars where the Abenaki reclaimed their ancestral pond scum harvesting lands and the desolate, scum-less province of Whereswaldoboro.
But it was not to be.
More and more Europeans, unsatisfied with the lack of Wingstops and religious freedom in their home country, made the dangerous journey across the Atlantic to practice religious intolerance in an entirely new continent.
The Europeans also imported many contemptible and precious microbreweries with beer names like "Pumpkinhead" and "Shipyard Summer Ale." These beers were just awful. Even worse than your friend's home brews with all the settled bits at the bottom of the bottle. You'd leave about an inch of particulate beer and your friend would pressure you to drink it, even though he knew it would make your inevitable vomit have tendrils of blood in it.
The Abenaki swiftly abandoned Wiscasset and Whereswaldoboro in favor of the more fertile lands around Skow-Vegas controlled by WTOS - "The Mountain of Pure Rock" with their benevolent rulers Tom O. and Mr. Mike.
The Maine Yankee nuclear plant remained abandoned for over 175 years until Spectrum Business Internet and MBNA turned it into a "slightly radioactive" call center and day spa.
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Historians aren't quite sure when Wiscasset was thoroughly resettled by Europeans. Some say it wasn't until after The Atlantic Highway (Present Day US Route One) was built in the 1920's. Those historians argue this exposed the hardscrabble European settlers to iron tools, forcing them to abandon pond scum harvesting for good. Then they'd fell trees (The Wiscassetites, not the historians) onto the road to block traffic. Then they'd run out, thrusting roasted squirrel glands at the trapped travelers. This is where we get the word "Logjam."
The locals and motorists would negotiate a fair price to remove the trees across the road. It was never more than a couple glittery, expired MBTA bus passes or other baubles, or at the most, a tuppence.
Then the From-Away travelers, relieved of their glittery junk and hunger would be on their way to the next forced bottleneck of Camden where the hardscrabble locals used boulders and Whole Roasted Vole to block the only coastal road north.
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Other Wiscasset historians contend that only after an intrepid New Yorker "Al" appropriated a trading post at the site of the defunct Abenaki trading site; "Big Owls," did the average Wisscassetian's income rise above zero. Dunkin' Donuts and an Irving gas station soon followed to shower the locals in prosperity that included running water and forks.
Since then, the only significant event to happen in Wiscasset is a brick facade fell off a downtown building in 2019. It still isn't fixed, and the ruins provide a perfect place for tourists to greedily grab their Red's Eat's lobster roll and shove it into their gaping maw without the threat of having to share or be caught on a viral video by people stuck in traffic. At times there will be over 20 tourists hunched in the ruins, faces caked in mayo and powdered mortar, shoving inch after inch of that lobster roll as quickly as they can into their uncontrollable, animal-like, twitching faces.
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Speaking of twitching faces, what are the effects of all that vehicle exhaust on those tourists stuck in Wiscasset traffic? State and national studies have revealed that even when tourists return home, they become addicted to inhalants. Those not wealthy enough to afford whippets or whipped cream often overdose by sucking the black fumes from the tailpipes of Fed-Ex trucks. Other "Exhaust Addicts" return to Wiscasset every year, chasing a Dragon they can't possibly ever catch.
Despite, or more probably because of the modern-day Wisscassetites constant proximity to all that brain-damaging exhaust, they have cultivated a wickedly fantastic sense of humor. Every spring, Wiscasset erect signs along Route One that say "25 MPH -- Radar Enforced."
Other signs even have an actual radar detector that shows your speed, which is almost always zero unless a bicyclist passes you, or a state legislator's armed convoy needs to get to Augusta for a crucial vote designating the Official Maine State Nematode. Other radar guns show motorists actually going backward in time.
In the spring of 2022, every Midcoast resident laughed themselves into poopy pants when Wiscasset painted 15ft x 15ft glaring warnings in red and white on the asphalt that said "25 MPH - STRICTLY ENFORCED!!" This was such comedic relief to the thousands and thousands of enraged motorists trapped on US Route One that road-rage assaults and shootings in the entire state of Maine dropped by a full 12%.
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The Future of Wiscasset?
These days there are no roasted squirrel glands, only lobster rolls. Perhaps in one-hundred years tourists from other galaxies will clog Maine's important teleporting facilities to get "Maine's Best Bloodworm Roll" from Red's Eats. Or maybe those tourists will just stagger around the street like zombies because of all the hovercraft exhaust. Only time will tell.
Changes: Wiscasset and Whereswaldoboro no longer exchange hostages to prevent mutual nuclear annihilation. Their warheads are now in neutral Maine towns like Bilgewater and Spunk Hills.
Changes: Wiscasset no longer prints it's own currency, funds its hand-picked shadowy Paraguayan Death Squads, or demands all payments to the town be made in gold krugerrands, goats, or "lasses of virtue true." Today, they accept only goats.
Changes: Instead of using felled trees to trap thousands upon thousands of travelers on Route One, local Wiscassetites have become very literate and agile in things like legal injunctions, frivolously-invoking the Endangered Species Act, and whining loudly to prevent the Maine DOT from alleviating the crushing traffic in the "Prettiest Parking Lot in Maine" at any cost.
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Look at (and click on) these actual, factual pictures of Seattle. They are of people who refused to have their property water-cannoned so Seattle could become a mostly-horizontal city.
After long, tedious negotiations with the holdouts to no avail, municipal authorities authorized developers to water-cannon the entire hillside around the holdouts' property into Puget Sound.
So the next time you're stalled out in Wiscasset traffic, exhaust-high, screaming so loudly and unintelligibly at all the exhaust-high jaywalkers around Red's Eats that your windshield fogs up, remember the rich, local history that plants Wiscasset solidly in the "Petulant Toddler" group of Maine towns that need a giant Bath/Woolwich-like overpass to cut through all its ϷμLL$ђ!+.
Click this link to see what the last word says in our August Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/twosaltydogs/the-salty-paws-august-2023-7226100
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