After the Fourth of July
You don’t know what I mean by that and you don’t have any contact with them. You could have seen one. See one. Think you see one. Wonder if ‘that’s one’
“That Fella.” You wouldn’t even say that. Out loud.
“You’ve been BY ‘em; been CLOSE to one? You say?
I don’t think so. Mister.
They don’t like July. “Too hot”. So they are ornery. And circulate amongst themselves. They don’t “do anything like that” (“put the boat in”) (“crap”). They “GO UP TO CAMP.” Mostly... if they have one. A camp. But MOST of the Maine Critters... do not have a ‘camp’ to ‘go to’ and
LIVE IN a ‘camp like’.... NO IT AIN’T ‘camp like’: Those are OTHER camps other people “OWN” that are... ‘camp like...’ sort of ...like a Maine Critter’s
There we go: NOW we are starting off the trail and into ‘the brush beside that trail. NOT that you’d KNOW THAT (you going off the trail) even when
YOU SMELL IT.
So we’ll go back and walk through again.
Maine Critters do not like July. It is too hot. They stay home at what fancy folk try to emulate and title their “camp”. But Critter Camps are THEIR HOME. What does that mean? Well we start with “no power” (electricity) “except”. That last word, when linked to “power” is a whole ‘on-going’ subject. That I don’t have to touch. Because it is JULY so
A Maine Critter “doesn’t need it” (power) “Now”.
Then there is “water” (at a Critter’s home). Explanation words include “well”, “spring”, “carry in” and “don’t have it” (“running water”)
No bathroom (in the B, B and Beyond) sense. Or in your mind’s eye “camp” sense.
Nope: There is a ‘shit house’ (outhouse) that... in July... is not seeing the same usage it sees in January. “IN JULY... I GOT THE WHOLE DAMN MAINE WOODS to SHIT IN so what do I want to USE (mess up) THAT (the outhouse) FOR?”.
Food: Crackers. Peanut butter. Cheese. And: “There IS a LOT of food around” for Critters... in Maine... in July. They probably are not as “interested” in a salad dressing you “I MADE” and would probably eat ALL the radishes on a “BUNCH” without your notice or comment until “AFTER” “THEY WERE GONE”. YES they (Maine Critters) stew Dandelion greens but that was
BACK IN THE SPRING.
This is JULY. “TOO HOT” to stew anything. Or is it?
When I know ‘critters’ are ‘about’ during the heat of July mornings I know because I am told. They say to me, for an example...; a come forth from the mouth of a retired barber from ‘around Boston’ (a ‘Masshole’): “YOUR MAKING ME HOT JUST LOOKING AT YOU”. He means the wool cap I am wearing. The cotton bandana (old Boy Scout neckerchief) I am wearing. The wool “FILSON” shirt I am wearing. The long leg ‘old chino’ (Bean’s) VERY LOOSE (“too big”) fit (and field use dirty) “pants” (Critters do not wear ‘blue jeans’) WITH SUSPENDERS... and a belt... (all critters wear them both) and... wear the, traditionally, tall (full standard lace) Bean Boots... I am too... wearing. For the record this is too... a... standard... ‘not worried about ticks’ outfit.
HE (the barber from Masshole) is wearing... “camp moccasins” with no socks, faux Madras shorts, a shirt that suggests he plays polo and an up front belly the size of a small beer keg ‘hanging over’ “his balls”. No hat. That ‘this’, then, is the separation of church and state of...
I ain’t taking my shirt off to please that guy. NO I am not taking my BOOTS off. I don’t care if you ‘get bit’ from not wearing a bandana. YOU can get the damn tick at your hair line off. I don’t want to... and never do (find one) “ON ME”.
So at five in the morning one critter confided to me that he’d “started a fire’ when he got up. That morning. It is a ‘hotter than Hell’ July ‘didn’t go below seventy last night’ morning in Maine and this guy (critter) ‘started a fire’ in his woodstove to KEEP WARM. Okay now we’re getting somewhere. RIGHT?
How many layers is he wearing?
NOW we’re getting somewhere. RIGHT? Five layers? (shirts). DOWN from seven layers a “MONTH AGO”. Oh you don’t think so? Yeah well when you get to ‘peel off’ layer FOUR your gonna know by nostril your getting into ‘old’ territory. His bare chest has, simply, NEVER seen daylight that ‘anyone can remember’.
In July, Maine Critters... “come out from camp” (leave their remote home) and “of course” (as always, year round “anyway”) attend the flea markets. July offers ‘outdoor’ flea markets in addition to the year round ‘indoor’ flea markets. Critters attend both in July. And.
It’s the ‘and’ I nuance. Foremost, understand that in July (and year round for that matter) a ‘flea market’ is not only considered a safe haven to appear in public for a Maine Critter but is also a sort of dock in the ‘out and about’ world of a Maine Critter that they may, at any time of need ...paddle over to and hold on to when paddling their canoe upon the lake of ‘out and about’. NOW that may be of little consideration especially if one views the Maine Critter’s world as being socially misfit, miss begot and ...just simply (you) missed (it). Maine Critters are very sensitive to NOT attracting your attention. So a “beat ass back to the flea market” is the full blown game plan ‘emergency evacuation route’. NOT that you’d notice.
Until we get to the “It’s the ‘and’ I nuance”.
The Maine Critter’s world view includes a heavy view value placed on ‘food’... notably ‘bear bait’ food such as cookies, donuts, breads, breads filled with anything, breads made by farmer’s daughters neatly wrapped with little handmade labels saying ‘what it is’ including the visual support of a big gob of homemade ‘her raspberry jam’... And...:
No ‘Rhubarb and’ pie. JUST
But the nuance is the source... of the bear bait offerings: “Farmer’s Markets”, so called... and often found suspiciously (conveniently) close to a ‘flea market’. This, applied to the ‘paddle to’ dock denoted above, allows the Maine Critter an irresistible ‘drawn to’ bear bait trap that forges, as a blacksmith hammers a horseshoe on an anvil, a singular world of Maine Critter notice. These old critters and the farmer’s market farmer’s daughters have a mutual border world they share, inclusive of the ‘known-to-critters’ denotation that the critters “ogle” a bit too. But the nuance
Is the Rhubarb Pie
In July. (“Is she still making ‘em?”)
I won’t go so far as to say “I SEE” a whole rhubarb pie ‘set out’ in a truck cab for a “MISTER WILLARD WHEN HE COMES BY YOU KNOW HE (can talk with wild ducks he says)”. Mr. Willard has five shirts on
But he also brought along a little ‘witch stick’ he whittled himself and that ends up sitting on the truck seat when he leaves. His cash payment for the “He buys one from me every week” pie is always “put in her pocket I watch her do that”. I said ‘ogle’ above. “I’ve always liked milk maids” Mister Willard told me once.
It’s a special relationship, now quite common in Maine... at flea markets and farmer’s markets: Critters and local baked goods. “Coffee” is another ‘plus’. Yes, Mister Willard and his fellows know a ‘good cup’ of “her coffee”. They retreat back to the flea market to “eat” and then
Yep... the whole damn morning is filled with what I just... it is NOT a ‘five minute deal’. The critters know who, what, why, how and ‘did she MAKE’ “THIS WEEK”. They know. They hunt. They track. They sight in. And don’t get their belly too full for then they don’t shut-up. And that includes the ‘ogle’. You can see it coming. Send in the tow truck and tow the critter away before he...: “Time for you to go back to camp Mr. Willard.”
It is a fine line
But it is real human interaction. It is not on the cyber space. It is, too, a mutual fascination. For example: What starts as a suggestion that including a ‘strip of bacon’ to go with a broccoli / spinach stuffed “roll” (every baked good, excepting ‘cookie’, ‘donut’ and ‘pie’ is a “roll” to a critter.) ends in a ‘I know those bugs too mine had it I got rid of them with that LAVENDER dish soap the GAL sells down at the WATERFRONT (farmer’s) market”. You don’t need to understand what they are talking about. It’s just a couple of Maine Critters chatting at ‘the market’.