May 22, 2019
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A parody of Augusta: It’s a sandbox, and no one’s building a castle

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
The State House in Augusta stands lighted against the night sky in this 2014 file photo.

Boys and girls, we have called this time out today to discuss your recent behavior at the big playground on the corner of State and Capitol streets in Augusta.

It is one of the nicest playgrounds provided by the taxpayers, and it should be a privilege to play there together. Recently, we have noticed that you are not playing nice.

First, we have noticed that you are not cooperating in building a very fine castle in the sandbox. It seems that instead of working together you have gangs fighting for turf.

Mark and Justin lead a gang called the Donkeys, and Mike and Ken lead a gang called the Elephants.

The sandbox is a mess. Nothing is being built.

Every time Mike and Ken bring their sand pails and start to form a castle foundation, Mark and Justin stomp it down because the Elephants started it. Mike and Ken do the same thing every time Mark and Justin bring their sand pails and demand that the castle be built from the Donkeys’ idea.

Every time we ask why there is a problem we hear the same whining answer as you point fingers at each other and shout, “They started it, and I don’t like it because it came from them!”

Moreover, it does not seem to matter whether it is the Elephants’ idea or the Donkeys’ idea, the excuse sounds the same from either gang.

Your behavior has gotten so bad that there is even fighting within the gangs like when Ken, the head of the Elephant House, called out Roger from the Elephant Senate with a double dog dare you!

As a result, nothing is being built, and your two gangs are sitting in level sand staring each other down with nothing to show for all the time you have spent recently in the playground.

Paulie, the big kid in the neighborhood, crossed all the way over from the other side of the playground with his own pail. He dumped his own sand formation to get the construction started, and Mark got up and stomped on it, leaving nothing to build on but more flattened sand with no foundation upon which to improve the design.

Then Paulie, who was supposed to represent all the kids in the playground, said he would not allow expansion of the playground programs although the taxpayers who provide the programs had already approved the funding.

Paulie asked Janet, who sits on the bench with the playground rulebook, to back him up and explain the rules. But she got snippy and refused. So Paulie had to find another kid who knows the rulebook.

Boys and girls, this behavior cannot continue.

The next time we look, we want to see the structure of a good sand castle.

If you cannot learn how to work together to build mighty castles in the sand soon, then the generous taxpayers who provide the playground at State and Capitol will take away your privileges and let other boys and girls who know how to play peacefully together use your space.

Understood? Now get back to the playground, and show us what you can do.

Vic Berardelli is a retired political consultant and author of “The Politics Guy Campaign Tips – How to Win a Local Election.” Now an unenrolled independent, he is a former member of the Maine Republican State Committeeman and Republican Liberty Caucus National Board.

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