State Government Starting To Resemble Bargain Utopia
LEWISTON – The surplus and salvage retail chain managed by Paul LePage before he became governor has descended into an infernal pit of incompetence and despair since he left, several regular customers confirmed yesterday.
“Marden’s is now a third-world shopping experience,” lamented Tonya Thibodeau of Lewiston. “They have these bins full of random items. What am I supposed to do, paw through all that crap like some kind of Tibetan peasant, until I jab my hand into a syringe or something?”
Bob Thurston of Eddington, who had just finished shopping at the Brewer store, said, “The whole place smells like cat piss and dentures and failure.”
Other customers complained of parking lot potholes, broken windows, gang graffiti, and undocumented migrant workers openly snacking from the 750 jars of sketchy off-brand pickles they were stacking at the end of one aisle.
“I did manage to find a slightly-stained copy of [Beach Boys star] Brian Wilson’s autobiography for 50 cents,” said one woman. “That pretty much made my whole goddamn week right there.”
Several employees, wishing to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal from management, confirmed that LePage’s absence was definitely being felt among the rank-and-file, many of whom spend most of their shifts avoiding customers.
“We didn’t see him around much, of course, but it was so reassuring to know he was there,” said Tom Parsons in flooring. “Anytime I got to feeling overwhelmed by all the people looking for laminate tiles that chip apart when you install them, I’d just think of Paul, and how he was depending on all of us to do our best.”
Analysts expect the chain to go bankrupt within the year without LePage’s steady guidance and level-headed leadership.
Throughout his gubernatorial campaign, LePage promised to bring his sharp business acumen to state government, turning it into a “tight ship,” just like Marden’s. State office buildings are already showing signs of this transformation. No one has swept the floors since he took office, and vending machines have been replaced by pallets piled with two-year-old boxes of generic-brand snack cakes.
At the Department of Education, wages have been reduced to $8.50 an hour, and all employees are required to wear red aprons and vacant stares.
“It was pretty much the same under Baldacci, except for the pay,” said one DOE staffer.