“In Hollywood, brides keep the bouquets and throw away the grooms.”

Groucho Marx

She who believes in spiritual, semi-mystical magic is out in the yard digging a hole. We’ll get to that later.

Right now I’m thinking that the cartoon guy with the sign that says “The end of days are here; repent,” is on to something. Dig these headlines: Ebola running wild across the planet. A tornado in Maine. Two hurricanes and an earthquake on the same day in Hawaii, another earthquake rattlingthe pinot noir grapes in the Napa Valley, Gov. Rick Perry being indicted, recycling gone amok in Waterville, the tea party, monsoon rain, and now — wait for it, here it comes — a tick in our backyards that makes us allergic to meat!

Say what? A tick that makes us allergic to Big Macs and Whoppers, meatballs, hanger steaks and sirloin tips? OMG, is bologna on that list? This is serious. How does one make a Manwich burger with tuna or tofu?

Evangelist Pat Robertson was laughed at for suggesting that earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly an Earth-destroying meteor were all part of God’s punishment for letting someone’s nephew in Las Vegas marry someone’s son from Alabama.

Is it possible that this tick is heaven’s punishment for eating fast food? As if obesity and gas weren’t enough, now Burger King has incurred God’s wrath? Maybe vegans have had it right all along. Perhaps vegans are messengers from beyond. Maybe they are “The Others”?

I know the economy is struggling. Obama’s numbers are down, and the Red Sox are being shamed by Mo’ne Davis, but this tick thing is out of control.

Across New England, hundreds of young brides are rushing to get the vows pronounced outdoors while the weather is still good. My daughter, as even Tibetan coal miners know by now, is one of them.

She is wise young woman, a college graduate, successful in her work. So why couldn’t she just get married in a nice cool church in Los Angeles?

No, she wanted to celebrate and honor her roots in Maine. I get it. So how about a nice cool church in Maine? No. She and her beloved want to be married outside in beautiful Maine sunshine by the ocean.

This means I will have to walk her through a hundred feet of grass past a hundred guests sitting in white chairs with their bare flesh sticking into the grass.

This Maine grass, like much of New England greenery, is teeming with tiny black ticks just waiting to get their grubby little hooks into the supple flesh of innocent, unaware celebrants from across the country.

Smiling guests from safe, urban, concrete jungles such as Chicago, Brooklyn, Manhattan, St. Louis and Los Angeles where tick is spelled “tic” and manifests itself in facial jiggers, will be injected with a virus that means, for them, no more pastrami on their pizzas, no more meatloaf, barbecued ribs or sliders for the rest of their lives. I can see them now as we walk down the aisle, slapping at their ankles and picking little black things from between their sandaled toes, wondering why they came this far and left their urban rats and roaches behind.

Everyone is getting emails from the bride, advising them to take out the sun screen creams and bring bug spray. That may cut down the guest list.

Despite my paranoia, the ticks frighten me less than the prospect of rain. A huge downpour — which would reduce the bridal gown to tissue paper and make my Clinique tanning cream streak — is a threat.

But good friends from Colby College, who study in Europe, have come up with a spiritual solution. It seems that in the Czech Republic, there is a tradition that to forestall rain on the day of a special occasion, one must bury, in the backyard, an image of the iconic Infant of Prague. They say that in hundreds of years, it has never failed. This is a true story. For the faithful, ticks are optional.

That is why She, who will resort even to Haitian witchcraft to save this wedding, is out burying a small medal of the infant, given to us from said friends.

As for the walk down the aisle, I’m taking the bride in a golf cart.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.