Monday, July 7, 2014

Move Over Lobster, There's a New Kid in Town

Here's a shocker: Maine has a heroin epidemic. And here's a bigger one: We caught it from Vermont. While I once thought that heroin was rampant in the rat-infested, inner-city slums of huge urban areas, where the huddled masses lacked basic services and thus fell prey to drug lords promising respite from the horror of their daily lives, it turns out I'm wrong. Many middle-class people are shooting up and snorting the stuff with abandon right here in downtown "Vacationland."

Garbage? Why not fruit salad?
It's no accident. Part of the reason is that the farther from New York the drug travels, the more expensive and less pure it is, thus the greater the profit, incentivizing dealers to set up shop here. As a result, you see many homeless and hungry addicts standing on Portland street corners holding signs asking for money, although some claim to not use drugs as a way to get your approval. Yesterday I saw a young woman holding a sign reading, "Mother of Two Needs Food, Diapers, No Alcohol or Drugs." (Were those diapers for her, and was she telling us she was all stocked up with liquor and drugs, or did she just flunk English?)

Not to make a joke of anyone's plight, I offer the following odd circumstance: While hungry people go begging, the local supermarkets toss out tons of food every day in huge dumpsters behind the stores. I learned about this practice from my son, a superhero I call the Unmasked Crusader for the Downtrodden. He took the photos shown here behind a local supermarket when he stopped for a snack yesterday afternoon.

Hey, I'll take that watermelon!
Yummy muffins, in fact I prefer them a day old.

Photos by Zachary Charles

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