Unknown Jackass Ruins Everything
AUGUSTA – With Maine’s economy in the middle of a robust recovery, evidenced by hundreds of new jobs created each week and houses from Calais to Kennebunk selling faster than ecstasy pills at Old Orchard Beach, some ass-hat had to go and ruin everything by stealing the “Open for Business” sign on I-95 in Kittery.
In the days following this moronic misdemeanor, the tourism industry suffered most. Thousands of cars driving up from Massachusetts and New York turned around at the border and went back to New Hampshire.
“We weren’t sure if Maine was really open for business or not,” said Gordon Curry of Chelmsford, MA, relaxing with his family in the White Mountains after a quick change of plans. “We weren’t about to drive way the hell up to Acadia without some sort of positive verification that there would be someone there to sell us stuffed lobsters and pictures of lighthouses.”
In the last week alone, 174 small businesses have closed statewide, leading to more than 2400 new applications for unemployment, according to the Maine Department of Labor.
(Note: Department of Labor statistics were provided by the janitor, Larry Welch, the only person able to get any work done over there since Gov. Paul LePage had a mural removed in March.)
Business investment has ground to a halt. “Without the sign, no wealthy people from places like Singapore and California are willing to overlook our hefty tax burden and mediocre education system and risk their capital here,” explained Joyce Carmichael, financial consultant with the Portland firm of Carmichael & Scudd.
Just how critical is the sign to the state’s economy? The sign itself was made in Alabama, which shows that even though there are reportedly some companies in Maine that make signs, not even someone erecting a pro-Maine business sign is willing to do business with them until after a pro-Maine business sign empowers them to do so.
Fortunately, a team of Maine business owners has offered to fork over the $1500 necessary to replace the sign, recognizing how critical it is to the vitality of the Governor’s agenda, which, up until last week, had been humming along more or less unencumbered.
“As soon as we get a new sign up, all our customers will come back,” said Peter Busque of the Maine Aggregate Association, an organization that is suddenly getting a lot of press even though no one knows what it does. “Then maybe I can hire a few people to hunt down and disembowel the lowlife who foisted this sudden but terrible recession on our state.”