Ah, summer, glorious summer.

Ah, rain, substantial rain, and forecasts for “partly sunny and overcast,” which is kind of like a K-2 teacher saying, “Johnny did very well this year when he and his classmates were able to focus on the task at hand.”

Thank you for that. Keep the keen insights coming.

As a public service, here are some other aspects of The Other Maine that tourists ought to catch while spending time here this summer in Vacationland:

1. Bumper cars … or at least dodge ’em!

Drive to Eastern Road in Scarborough where it meets Black Point Road (at bottom of hill on Black Point Road, not far from Scarborough High and Route 1). If you are traveling or camping with another family, do this in two separate vehicles.

Position your car on Eastern Road, facing southwest at the stop sign, with Black Point Road in front of you, preferably either between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., or 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Put on your left blinker.

Time how long it takes you to (safely!) turn onto Black Point Road. See who gets the best time. Set up prizes ahead of time for first and second place.

After that, try it again. See who can come the closest to being hit by a speeding car coming down the hill as you try to turn left.

You can either award gold, silver or bronze medals like the Olympics, or you can simply give rewards based on the number of feet by which you missed death or serious injury: Come within 50 feet of being clipped? Two Sea Dog tickets. Within 25? Gift certificate to Sudzie Car Wash (you may need the interior worked on …). Closer than 25 to disaster? $500 gift certificate from local car dealership for the Cash for Clunkers federal government auto trade-in program.

2. The Polar Bear Dip Club – available year round!

Go to Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth.

Yes, bring a camera.

Lobster boats. Rocky shore. Idyllic beach. Lovely, family-style picnic area.

Set up a contest with family members and/or people you just don’t like and/or want revenge on: The person who can dip his toe into the water for the longest period of time wins.

Again, prizes should be offered.

But take points off, e.g., if you need to go to the emergency room for frostbite after keeping a body part in the Atlantic there for an excessively long period of time – l0 to l5 seconds.

Maine – The Way Refrigerated Water Should Be.

3) Freshwater and salt-water fishing for all!

Go to the Spurwink River on Spurwink Road (Route 77) at the point where it helps form the border between Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth. See the pier they have constructed for fishermen, nature lovers and others.

Don’t worry – you aren’t there to fish, put worms and bait on your hook or anything gooey like that! You are there to torture teenage fisherpeople!

Walk up, doing your best imitation of Buford Pusser in “Walking Tall” or “Smokey and the Bandit” or one of those bad 1970s Hollywood sheriff movies.

Say: “Mornin’, boys. Can I see some fishing licenses?”

Watch them scatter!

Some will say, “It’s in my car – I’ll be right back.”

Others will sprint for their 10-speeds, and soon all you will see is the text on their back: “I Got Wasted at Project Graduation, and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt.”

It’s probably me, but I think the next person who fishes off that pier and has a license from their local Town Hall will be the first one, or perhaps second.

4) I like seaford and even eat it in Scarborough

Dirty little secret: Some “seafood” restaurants in coastal Maine serve food that is: a) not necessarily food; or b) if it is, it is not really that good, or seafood.

Bring a fungo bat, and either a kid from your family who plays baseball or softball, or a friend’s kid (campgrounds are filled with kids with baseball gloves, playing catch, God love them).

Order fried clams. In batter, not crumbs.

Use them as baseballs. Hit the kids grounders and flies.

Let them play the game of 500 (50 points for grounders caught, and 100 for fly balls). See how long the clams will last.

I have tried this. They often do not last longer than three or four days.

It will make you feel cheated. You pay $6.99 for a pint of fried clams, and shouldn’t you be able to use them with a fungo bat for at least a week?

5) There’s no place like home; there’s no place …

Go to “downtown” Cape Elizabeth, up the street from Town Hall.

Close your eyes. Prepare to do self-hypnosis.

Say to yourself, “It is l850. The streets are dirt. Horses clip-clop down the way, pulling wagons and carrying passengers and baggage to the sea. There is no other traffic. There is no Cumberland Farms. There are not four places you can get seven types of flavored coffee for $l.29 or more a cup, thereby creating a new American Dream for business entrepreneurs.”

Then sign a petition opposing a full-blown traffic light at that intersection. Cape Elizabeth – The Way Things Were in l850, and We Like It That Way, Dammit!

6) Hey, can I try that?

Drive around Scarborough. Good rainy day activity.

Look for all the high school cross-country runners getting their miles in. Pull the car over. Jump out. Run with them.

Do a mile or two or three. Shoot for six-minute “training pace” miles, or seven or eight.

Or perhaps just look at the runners, toot and wave.

Running is lonely. These kids need encouragement!

Conclusion

Have fun this summer. Do things your friends in the past never did in Maine.

Send me a post card – P.O. Box 1, Scarborough 04074!

Dan Warren is a lawyer and resident of Scarborough.


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