The stereotypical view of coastal Maine as a feudal romping ground for rich nobility populated by wholesome unworldly and bewildered working-class serfs gets its latest evidential reinforcement today.

I speak, of course, of the legal wrangling surrounding an adoptive lesbian heiress.

Didn’t know there was such a thing? Legal simulations by CPS analysts suggested they were theoretically possible but less likely than finding a videogame simulation of yak-herding on the Mongolian steppes. We never thought we’d read about them in the paper.

However, not only does it seem that Maine nationals have the right to adopt people older than themselves, it also appears that, as usual, the locals are confused:

In the Town of North Haven, the dichotomy can be stark between the 380 year-round islanders and the summer people, who include the actor Oliver Platt, and Ned Lamont, who unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate in Connecticut in 2006. A musical written about the island and performed by locals under the direction of John Wulp, the Tony Award-winning producer, summed it up in lyrics:

“Summer people, summer people, busy, busy summer people. Sailing, swimming, biking, golfing, having parties all the time. Island people, island people, busy, busy island people. Cooking, cleaning, mowing, running, making summer people fine.”

Residents said the Watsons are friendly and generous, but spend much of their time at their compound, where they allow public use of their private air strip when no Watsons are in town.

Some residents seemed surprised to learn about the adoption and court fight. As Christie Hallowell, who knows Ms. Watson and who is executive director of the nonprofit agency North Haven Arts and Enrichment, put it, “It all seems very unusual.”

Right. It’s hard being from Maine. These big folks with their alien sexual appetites and sweaty lawyers fly into town, splatter money everywhere, then start hating each other and trying to wrest control of the mansion and airstrip. I stopped gutting fish for a moment to think about the whole thing and pretty soon I was so confused I couldn’t see straight. My neighbor Thaddeus just learned what a lesbian was a few days ago and got so excited he immediately went to town and bought a VCR. I just hope it’s all resolved safely and we don’t have to endure another public stoning.


2 Responses to “feud-alism”

  1. 1 Jen March 20, 2007 at 12:12 am

    I don’t know about a videogame simulation, but there IS apparently a board game about herding yaks. And it sounds like the BGE:


  2. 2 Lucy March 20, 2007 at 10:36 pm


    My friend starred in that musical. They got to perform it for one night off-Broadway right after 9/11.

    It is actually a pretty cool thing, if with slightly cheesy lyrics.


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