A Moose and a Lobster Walk into a Bar: Tales from Maine

Overview


A Moose and a Lobster Walk Into a Bar is a wonderful mix of classic Maine storytelling, stretched truths, and wry observations made by John McDonald during his many travels through the Pine Tree State. In this collection of essays and stories, John extols the important economic power of Maine's yard sale industry, bemoans the fact that Massachusetts, still upset because it allowed Maine to become a state in 1820, is buying it back one house at a time, and relates how the state's infamous black fly was really ...
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A Moose and a Lobster Walk into a Bar: Tales from Maine

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Overview


A Moose and a Lobster Walk Into a Bar is a wonderful mix of classic Maine storytelling, stretched truths, and wry observations made by John McDonald during his many travels through the Pine Tree State. In this collection of essays and stories, John extols the important economic power of Maine's yard sale industry, bemoans the fact that Massachusetts, still upset because it allowed Maine to become a state in 1820, is buying it back one house at a time, and relates how the state's infamous black fly was really just an attempt at controlling tourists gone haywire. You will also meet Maine characters like Uncle Abner, Merrill Minzey, and Hollis Eaton, and find yourself pondering just where the truth ends and the story begins.
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Editorial Reviews

Down East Magazine
John McDonald has become known as a masterful practitioner of this distinctive style of Maine storytelling. This book is further proof of his droll sense of fun.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780967166278
  • Publisher: Islandport Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 172
  • Sales rank: 790,790
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Storyteller John McDonald performs at events throughout Maine and New England and has done so for decades, constantly perfecting his unique brand of Maine storytelling and humor in front of audiences large and small.
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Read an Excerpt

"Nate Tuttle awoke one morning to find that his wife Effy had died right there in bed beside him sometime during the night. At first he wasn't sure, so he administered the foggy mirror test.
With the foggy mirror test, you hold a small mirror up to someone's nostrils for a minute or two, and if they're able to fog the mirror, they're still breathing. I'm told it's a test sometimes given to government employees to help determine their precise status with the government.
In any event, Effy Tuttle failed the foggy mirror test.
Nate was a man of few words, so rather than bother anyone with a lot of needless detail on Effy's death, he merely told the family seated in the kitchen: "You won't have to make breakfast for Mother this morning," and then he headed to the barn to build a coffin.
All morning he worked, and by noon he had fashioned a beautiful pine box for his late wife.
The two older boys, Lewis and Thurston, helped him move the coffin upstairs.
"Lewis and Thurston were good boys, truth be known. Yes, they were in their thirties and still lived at home, and they were a little slow. But, they were awful hard workers, and, if properly supervised, they could be very helpful. Nate explained to the boys that he planned to place their deceased mother into the coffin, take the coffin downstairs, put it into the pickup and drive it into town to Minzey's Funeral Home.
Like many old Maine farmhouses, the old Tuttle place had a neck-breaking staircase that was steep, narrow and winding. It took Nate and the boys a while, but they managed to get the coffin up the stairs and into the bedroom. With great care, they placed Effy into the coffin, placed the lid on, nailed itshut and carried her downstairs.
Once downstairs, the two boys took over by themselves. They solemnly carried Effy, uncharacteristically laying there all peaceful-like, through the kitchen, out the back door, across the small dooryard and toward the truck. Not looking as closely as they should have at where they were going, they managed to slam the coffin into the fencepost at the edge of the dooryard.
With the jolt, Effy bolted up in the coffin and gave Nate and the boys quite a surprise, as you might imagine.
Effy, for her part, was none too pleased to wake up in a coffin. Nate began apologizing as best he could for the confusion, but knew he was in for a long siege.
Sure enough, for another twenty years Effy gave Nate almost daily reminders of the unfortunate coffin incident. But then one day, she really did die.
Being a thrifty Down Easter, Nate had kept the pine coffin in a special place in the barn. So, once again, he and his two boys -- still living at home, but still good boys -- carried the coffin into the house and up the stairs.
Once again, they carefully placed Effy into the coffin and began carrying her down the steep stairs.
As before, the two boys took over at the bottom of the stairs and carried the coffin through the kitchen and out the back door toward the pickup in the yard.
While the boys were going about the work of carrying their mother out of the house in a coffin for the second time in twenty years, Nate decided to take a short break. He went to the cupboard for a cup, and then over to the stove for some coffee, with the idea that he was going to sit down in the now quiet kitchen for a few minutes and relax.
But just as he was pouring the coffee, his eyes bolted wide open and he stood arrow-straight as he suddenly remembered the unfortunate coffin incident of twenty years earlier. He dropped his cup, ran to the door as quickly as he could and hollered out to his sons, 'Whatever you do, boys, steer clear of that damn fencepost!' "
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    Great gift

    This was a gift for my husband that enjoys a good Maine story telling. He enjoyed it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 27, 2008

    A moose and a lobster walk into a bar

    This book was the funny as you can get I'am from maine and a lot of the story's I know from a child who grew up in maine.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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