Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Murder On The Dance Floor 

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Kennebunkport is a pretty little town set around a river side harbour. Daub yourself with clotted cream and squint slightly, and you could be in Devon.
It's a place where folk with money to burn and an ‘ahoy there, matey’ inclination can treat themselves to modest mansions on Ocean Avenue and spend their days pottering about on their yachts, enjoying refined - if jolly expensive - peace and quiet.

Imagine how pissed off the residents must have felt when thick as pig dribble George Bush Snr. acquired a summer home in the town. Each time he visits now, half the streets are closed down, the FBI are everywhere and major inconvenience is the order of the day.
Understandably, some say that the Bush’s presence has lowered the tone. Even before Bush Snr. became the world’s most powerful man, the neighbours from hell did little to ingratiate themselves with the locals. For example, here is a 1976 arrest record card for little George W. who in a moment of youthful high spirits, was busted for drunk driving. He was fined $150 and banned for a short while. Kids, eh? He was only 30 at the time.

We sauntered round the town and it’s many gift shops. A constant stream of coaches offloaded their cargo of Far Side cartoon characters - look at this Barbara! More knitwear! - then 30 minutes later whisked them away to Somewhere Elseville, presumably for more of the same.

We popped into the car and whizzed off to Portland.
On the way, in Saco, we saw our first strip mall. Either side of the road were endless fast food restaurants, petrol stations, grubby looking motels, used car lots and so on. They were in competition with each other to see who could erect the biggest sign.
My favourite sign - and now I wish I’d stopped to take a photo - read “Redemption. Tuesday - Friday 9.00 - 5.00.” It may have been outside a church, but on reflection, I’m not so sure. Perhaps it was the local version of the Ministry Of Sound for people who work difficult shifts.

Portland was a bugger of a place to get into. We skirted round the perimeter for some time, stopping now and then to look quizzically at the map, and considered whether to give the whole idea up.
We made it in the end, and it was worth it. It’s a big bustling town, with imposing, gloomy insurance offices and people looking important in suits. We power-strolled along the waterfront, and down cobbled streets lined with restaurants and clubs. It looked like the kind of place that could get pretty rowdy on a Saturday night.

I saw this and thought about Leanne. We found an internet café and checked up on what my cheeky little guest bloggers were up to. We saw Bob Marley’s home, and spent ages in a shop hypnotised by saucepans.

In the evening, we witnessed a murder.
There was a Selma Bouvier look-a-like at the piano who was pretty frightening in her own right. Then she invited a guest vocalist up from the floor, and together they slaughtered Summertime with merciless zeal. I was way too scared to actually point my camera at them, but this little clip captures some of the horror. Squeamish readers should look away now.

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