KENNEBUNK – “Where is the handle on this thing?” asked Tom Lizotte, one of the commissioners for Pisacatquis County, as he finished urinating at a Maine Turnpike Service Plaza.
Misinterpreting what he meant by “this thing,” fellow travelers relieving themselves at nearby urinals looked away in awkward silence, and then zipped up and left as quickly as possible, witnesses said.
The Maine Turnpike Authority installed Sloan Waterless urinals at service plazas in 2007 and 2008. Each saves an estimated 40,000 gallons of water a year by filtering urine through odorless disposable cartridges.
Reached for comment yesterday, Lizotte said he got lost on his way to Augusta for a meeting about a new bill that would have counties take over the function of the state’s Land Use Regulatory Commission.
The Commissioner said his mind was “distracted” by trying to figure out how a three-member board of anonymous backwoods nitwits would handle a gargantuan, politically-charged permitting process like the one for Plum Creek.
“I was clear to Portland before I knew I missed my exit,” he said.
Nervous about getting off the Interstate in Maine’s largest city, Lizotte continued all the way to Kennebunk, where he encountered his largest cognitive challenge of the day: trying to get in and out of a public restroom without revealing that he is a redneck from Dover-Foxcroft with a 4th grade education.
“Them newfangled commodes tripped me up good,” he admitted. “But after I figgered ’em out, I kinda liked ’em. We should git one for the county courthouse.”
Lizotte then decided to buy a pizza slice at Sbarro, but changed his mind when he noticed the price.
“Is that supposed to be in pesos?” he asked the clerk. “What do you think I am, rich enough to hire a team of attorneys to help me understand all the real estate development laws?”
Analysts say this incident is not not nearly as embarrassing as when Dick Blanchard, former commissioner in Penobscot County, stopped at an EZ-Pass toll and waited 12 minutes for someone to come along and collect his 50 cents.