Doug Bruns

Just When You Thought It Safe to go Back in the Water.

In Dogs, Memoir, Nature on July 3, 2010 at 3:14 pm

It’s as if the Fourth of July were an aquatic celebration and consequently everyone must find water to party. And if they can’t get to water, then they must barbecue, a suitable substitute. Likely one or the other, but both if you’re truly feeling celebratory. I say this because it seems everywhere I turn today, either one or the other of these things is happening.

We don’t have a grill, but did go to the water this morning, Two Lights State park, specifically. First, though, we visited Bug Light, so-called because of its small squat design, then we continued on through Cape Elizabeth, admiring all the big elegant houses, and on down Rt. 77, aptly called Ocean House Road. Eventually hunger forced us off the highway. I had two eggs and pancakes at Rudy’s of the Cape, where the locals were busy ridiculing the news of the morning. Yesterday a great white shark had been caught and tagged down the coast in Cape Cod. The morning broadcasters where intoning serious warnings and everyone seemed in good humor because of it. The television suspended from the corner was playing clips from the 1975 movie Jaws. Coincidently, it was July 4th when that great white devoured the first hapless swimmer.

The breakfast patrons chuckled until the news played a battlefield scene from Afghanistan, a clip punctuated with lots of shouting and rounds firing, then a panic call for medic medic. The Rudy’s morning patrons grew silent. “They shouldn’t allow that on TV,” said a large man seated at the bar, coffee about to part his lips. I was reminded of how the Vietnam war was delivered into my living room as a small boy and how that changed everything, a war fought in black and white across the screens of middle America. Maybe we should see more war, I noted to Carole. Maybe that would be important. She said she’d read a columnist who posited that a draft would prompt a quick end to it all. Presumably everyone would notice that.

The harried waitress behind the counter gave me a filled water bowl and a strip of bacon when I asked for water for my dog. She said that since mom and dad where having breakfast, so should Maggie. I took it out to the car where she was waiting patiently for our return. She was tired from the workout at Bug Light and seemed to relish the water and the bacon immensely.

As I sit here another holiday boat-load of Casco Bay visitors streams past. We had visitors last weekend, Neal and Nancy, and they took the Islander tour–two hours/$18–and said it was worthwhile. I heard the captain this morning as he pointed out a harbor seal to an earlier group of sailors. The news broadcast about the great white said that if you see seals to stay out of the water, as sharks can’t tell the difference between a swimmer and a seal. It is conjecture, I am sure. Certainly no one pretends to understand what a shark can know or not know. Maybe they are well aware of the difference and only eat seals where they can’t find swimmers.

  1. Happy 4th to you and Carole and Maggie! I enjoyed reading about your morning.

I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading.

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