STANDISH – Chance brings six guys to the boat launching area on what was arguably among the most gorgeous serene Sunday mornings Standish and Sebago Lake have seen for a long while. Simply magnificent.

Maine, the way life should be.

We three Standish taxpayers-residents make new acquaintances of a Massachusetts dad, his 5-year-old son and a proud uncle. They are preparing to depart the dock.

“No son, don’t touch the water,” suggests Dad, gently.

“But why, Daddy, look at all the little fishies,” he says as he exuberantly focuses us all on a swarm of fingerlings flashing under the dock.

“It costs a lot of money to touch the water, the sign says so,” his dad explains, pointing to a garish warning emblazoned the length of the dock surface, threatening thousands of dollars in fines for touching the water.

“OK,” the obedient little flat-lander complies, and busies himself with the hefty boy-task of helping uncle release the bow line and hopping aboard.

The six adults exchange shrugs and shake heads to clear this intrusion into a serene Sunday on Sebago.

Back to Maine, the way life should be.

Oops, not so fast.

One of several water security police approaches our host — Standish-taxpayer-excise-tax victim, boat-registrant-payee and well-water user — to collect a hefty fee to park the truck and trailer and launch the boat.

A second water security policeman approaches me and inquires if I plan to park my vehicle and board the boat. I find myself squelching a momentary lapse of serenity, and not asking the obvious question: Who wants to know?

He politely explains there will be a fee to leave the vehicle.

Maine, the way life should be?

Our Sunday Sebago get-away adventure begins with a roar, and we stow our thoughts about the sad not-so-little reminders of what Maine has become.

Yes, we two passengers had an adult beverage and one even lit up a Marlboro as we whisked to the far end of the lake near Songo Locks, headed for the sandbar, one of our favorite annual destinations.

Our captain/host wisely declined a beverage in deference to common sense and a well-publicized barrage of media warnings about the increased level of watercraft surveillance efforts.

Our anticipation at arrival at the sand bar was well rewarded. Vacationers galore were already there and anchored, many just off shore.

Oops! Almost instantly a water-police person strode up to the bow of the beached boat.

“I just want to explain the laws here. This is state property and the law prohibits smoking and alcohol consumption on this site,” he states.

Our captain explains (there is a cigarette in my friend’s hand and I am about to crack a beer), “Yes, sir, we are staying on the boat.”

No matter, the boat is touching state property, so the aforementioned activities are illegal.

Wow! Gulp.

The guy in the next boat over put a towel over his boxer, probably as much in reaction to a sign prohibiting dogs as to shield the pup from the sun. The man rolled his eyes and looked into the distance.

Seven or eight neighboring young people heard the exchange. Their two dream boats were towing rented watercraft and one of the young ladies was smoking.

They follow our lead and leave the sandbar, dropping anchor slightly off shore. We all went swimming/wading and chatted a bit.

The visitors were staying at Point Sebago and were renting all their watercraft and looking only for (expensive) youthful summer fun. A few expletive-laced reactions to the police state mentality are omitted here.

Maine, the way life … well, you get it.

That said, we three had a fantastic day on Sebago. Meeting up with boatloads of friends at Frye’s Leap, we watched daredevils and reminisced about the times when we actually jumped.

Oops, does the statute of limitations apply here? No self-incrimination!

Maine, the way life should be.

I’m not buying it.