By Camden Emmet
Camden is top ten. Just ask us.
It is routine that my home town makes the best or the prettiest or the most pretentious list. Big deal.
Most recently it is Frommers.com. which picked Camden as the second-most attractive town in the country. Check this:
“Camden is a prototypically New England small-town seaport,” says Jason Cochran, editor-in-chief of Frommer’s.com. “It’s like a movie set. In fact, it has often been a movie set.” Camden retains a certain salty grit and allows more of its working-class roots to show — though, like many New England seaside villages, the residents are more likely to be affluent these days. “Where the mountains meet the sea,” boasts the town, and indeed one of the best ways to see Camden is from a perch high above the harbor on nearby Mt. Battie. The white sailboats pepper the water in Penobscot Bay, and the waterside seafood beckons. Visit during September’s peak leaf season for an autumnal fireworks display of reds, oranges, yellows, and purples.”
I don’t see Jefferson, Owls Head or Rockland’s South End on any of these lists. They are all jealous.
But the real prize happened this week when theonion.com cast its hoary eyes on “The prettiest town in Maine.” Onion, in case you have missed it is the funniest site on the internet, publishing daily satire on the state of the world. Routinely, one of my less sophisticated friends (Think South Carolina, for God sake) will send me an Onion story which he (no names, please) has fallen for, hook, line and bayonet.
This week, Onion has descended on Camden (some of us spell it “Cahmden” because it sounds so good.) with both feet.
The article is titled “Unambitious Loser with Happy, Fulfilling Life Still Lives in Hometown.” Here we have “unambitious loser” Michael Husmer (not to be confused with Hosmer pond) who likes his life and has no intention to leave Camden. Who would? Within two miles of my house I have a ski area, golf course, Megunticook Lake, the ocean for God sake and Megunticook Market which occasionally sells strawberry pie. I am not saying I ski, golf sail or even swim, but still.
Onion calls our boy an “aimless slouch” which hits a little too close to home. He has never lived more than two hours from his parents and still hangs out with his friends from high school. Because this loser has lasting personal relationships (wife is a babe) and a healthy work-life balance, he is termed “an unmotivated washout who’s perfectly comfortable with being a nobody for the rest of his life.”
His Onion pal David Gorman has given up trying to figure it all out.
“I’ve known Mike my whole life and he’s a good guy. But it’s pretty pathetic that he’s still living on the same street he grew up on and experiencing a deep sense of personal satisfaction. As soon as Mike graduated from college he moved back home and started working at a local insurance firm. Now, he’s nearly 30 years old, living in the same town he was born in, working at the same small-time job and is extremely contented in all aspects of his home and professional lives. It’s really sad.”
“I don’t know how anyone could let themselves end up like that, Gorman said. “But he seems perfectly fine being nothing more than a genuinely happy deadbeat for the rest of his life.” No word on what Gorman does for laughs.
Because our deadbeat has “enduring connections” with wife, parents, siblings and neighbors, Onion reports that his life is “pretty humiliating” on multiple levels.
What a loser.
He has no debt (what?) and had no interest in high-price hotels, bars and clubs. If he had to, he could travel to Fog Restaurant in Rockland for tiny little meals at ridiculous prices.
His old high school friend Caitlin Sese told Onion “Everyone else left Camden as soon as possible and is consumed by a deep sense of apprehension about getting ahead. But he’s still hanging around the same places from high school, focusing on the things that matter the most to him and existing as a relaxed easygoing person who’s fun to be around. I can’t imagine anything sadder than that.”
“Pathetic,” she added.
The loser’s cousin, Amary Martin said ‘The poor guy doesn’t even know how bad he has it.”
But remember, the imaginary Husmer has access to the very real golf course, ski area, Megunticook Lake and the ocean. Don’t forget the strawberry pie at Megunticook Market.