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What can you say about the month of June? OK, I know we can say that, but what can you say about June that can be said in polite company or printed in a wholesome family newspaper like this one?
Whether we ask for it or not, June can give us the best of weather and the worst of weather. It can give us bright, beautiful, sunny days, then turn on a dime and give us some of the foulest, coldest, dampest weather imaginable. The problem is we never know which weather will come and when. And the And even though they have all kinds of radars and computers, the meteorology folks don’t know any more than we do, when it comes to predicting what June weather will do next.
A while back I was hired to entertain a group at a lobster bake at a popular coastal resort. The day of the event arrived, and it was all warm and sunny. As I drove up the coast to the resort I figured that these people from away had lucked out; they'd have perfect June weather for their lobster feed.
After arriving and parking my car, I walked toward the garden patio where the lobster bake was being held. That's when I saw a massive, slow-moving bank of fog rolling in from Penobscot Bay. This was not good. Mainers on the coast know that thick banks of cold, gray, damp fog can be around for a few days – or more! When we’re confronted by such fog events, all you can do is plan to stay home, build a fire in the fireplace and plan to read a good book. On the other hand, fog is not good when people from away gather for lobster bakes on sunny garden patios at expensive coastal resorts and they have no alternative plans.
Experienced travelers to Maine in June know they should bring lots of clothing to fit any kind of weather - you might not need snow boots but it never hurts to have them. The men and women gathered on the patio of this popular resort in the middle of June for a traditional Maine lobster feed obviously hadn't received the “What-to-wear in Maine in June memo.” They were dressed in light, summery clothes, the kind of outfits they obviously wore to the Jersey shore on a June day.
Before long, as the fog settled in and made it clear that it intended to stay around a while, people were talking about how cold they were an how wet everything had become.
Soon, people began congregating around two tall steaming pots of coffee on one of the food tables. Some filled thick white mugs with the steaming coffee just to warm their hands. But within minutes, the coffee turned lukewarm. Before long it was stone cold.
When the meal was over it was time for my entertainment. The host tried to make light of the cold and dampness, but the audience was not amused. They were having none of it.
When I got up to tell my Down East stories the audience that huddled before me draped in blankets and sweaters looked like survivors of a shipwreck on the north Atlantic. It was not a fun time.
When the event was over, the assembled immediately began assigning blame for the whole unfortunate incident. They blamed the planning committee, they blamed each other, Some even blamed the hotel management. I was held blameless.
Of course, the weather was completely to blame.
After all, it was June and it was Maine and there was no place to hide.
John McDonald is a humorist and storyteller who performs regularly throughout
New England. Contact John at or 899-1868.
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