slow lab sign

Slow Animals

Table of Contents

I haven’t watched much TV while I’ve been away, but I did catch a game on the opening weekend of the new English Premier League football season. One of the adverts caught my eye particularly. It was by Popeyes, who claimed: Our shrimp are so big, you wouldn’t dare call them shrimp to their face. 

As every Brit knows, there’s an easy remedy for that dilemma. Just call them prawns. (Shrimp are tiny, little things; prawns are bigger.) Surely there are bigger fish to fry. For something very strange seems to be happening to the animals in Maine. 


For example, one sign in northern Maine warns, rather ominously, of moose. Apparently, it is a high hit area. Well, I knew northern Maine was out in the wilds, but it seems that news of the new rules on tackling hasn’t yet made it to the moose up there. No high hits, please, moose! All contact must henceforth be made from the shoulders down! 

Though, on reflection, I can see the Mainers’ problem. After all, the usual punishment for a high hit is ejection. But how do you eject a moose? Do you take it up in a plane and give it a parachute? 

You certainly don’t want to be locking the moose up until it learns the error of its ways. The Scots surely warned everyone off that idea. It’s enough to drive anyone to drink

No Service

Of course, you can’t really blame the moose. How can they be expected to know of the rule change if nobody’s told them? After all, cellphone reception up here is terrible. They’ve probably got a family plan with T-Mobile and simply can’t get a signal. 

I feel their pain. When I got to my AirBnB here, I looked at the phone app for instructions on how to get in. But I couldn’t get a signal. So I drove back the way I’d come and stopped at a farmer’s stall to kill two birds with one stone. (No birds were actually killed in the execution of this maneuver.) But I was out of luck. They had great zucchini and tomatoes, but their wifi wasn’t working. Or they gave me the wrong password. 

So I drove into the village and smooched around until I found someone who hadn’t secured their wifi connection. (There’s always one.) Then I borrowed that, got the details I needed, and headed back to the AirBnB. Lesson learned for the future: always make a note of entry instructions before leaving in the morning! 

Slow Labs

But maybe the problem with the moose isn’t to do with a lack of service at all. Maybe it’s just that the moose are a bit slow on the uptake. 

The local dogs apparently have this problem. In Bethel, for example, there is a sign warning: Slow lab at play. But, then again, surely it would actually be more of a problem if the lab in question were faster? 

We also seem to be missing a vital detail here. How big is this lab? Is it a little shrimp, or is it more of a brawny, prawny animal?