Future Islands

You will die in the cold uncaring ocean and the lobsters will eat your flesh from your bones

Yesterday INDIGNITY brought to my attention that Duck Ledges Island in Maine has been sold to a New Jersey woman. The flat and treeless island is about an acre and a half and sits a mile to the east of South Addison in Wohoa Bay, which is about halfway between Bar Harbor and Machias if that means anything to you (it probably doesn’t). Back in 2021, Tom Scocca memorably described the cabin on the island:

It's a cartoon setup brought forth in real life, and the punchline is that you will die in the cold uncaring ocean and the lobsters will eat your flesh from your bones. One point five acres, known as Duck Ledges Island, of which maybe one-quarter is high enough above the waves to sustain terrestrial life, in the form of a patch or two of grass. The square footage of the house is abysmal, the so-called bedroom is a loft reachable only by ladder, the bathroom appears genuinely, actually to be an outhouse—and none of that even rated in the calculation as I tried to imagine physically inhabiting it.  

I don’t know if this is common knowledge for the casual Tabs reader or not, but I have also lived on a Maine Island for a couple decades now. It’s nothing like Duck Ledges, lots of other people live here too and my house is both a comfortable distance from the cold uncaring ocean and has bathrooms, but as a Genuine Maine Islander I feel uniquely qualified and sort of obligated to provide some analysis. Plus, again, it’s August and I don’t have anything important to tell you. So let’s do it:

  • Charlotte Gale, the Hoboken massage therapist who bought the island and was profiled by a somewhat over-credulous Steven Kurutz in The New York Times seems like a bit of a woo-woo New Age dreamer. But rural Maine has attracted that type of person for a long time, and there’s no way of telling how it will turn out for them. Gale clearly doesn’t know what she’s getting into now, but she might learn.

  • Addison, Maine is a long way from anywhere.

  • The island itself looks idyllic to me. Tidy little house, with the incredible luxury of an outhouse. Good opportunity to rig up some small-scale solar power and some kind of rain catchment for water. It doesn’t look like it would be impossible to put in a mooring off the north side of the island, to make it easier to get back and forth. It’ll never be a year-round residence, but it would be a nice summer house. $339,000 seems like a pretty good deal.

  • Let me expand on that point about the outhouse: for most islands this size, the soil cover is so thin and fragile that visitors are required to pack out all of their own waste. Systems for doing so range from WAG bags to sections of PVC pipe to Tupperware and cat litter. A composting toilet inside a dedicated shelter is the height of luxury.

  • Gale’s “longest stay alone on the island has been four consecutive nights…” Not very impressive so far. Get a boat! Make friends with one of your neighbors to the west and see if they’ll let you park a car at their place and stash a kayak on their property.

  • I think the biggest question people probably have is “why would anyone do this?” I’m convinced that there are those of us who find being on an island irresistibly neat, and those of us who don’t, and I think you’re just born with it. My favorite word is “circumambulate.” Virtually every time my family goes on vacation, we manage to visit another island. I think Charlotte Gale arrived on Duck Ledges and just immediately realized that she was born with it. Good luck to her! She seems like a weirdo, and so are the rest of us.

Skeet by antlervelvet.bsky.social that reads “You did a genre hurt. You did a no-comfort” with a screenshot from… Tumblr I guess? of a post addressed to Neil Gaiman that says: “Hi, Neil, Just quick reminder, in case you've forgotten: TV shows are supposed to save us from hurtful reality, and S2 had a genre hurt/no comfort. I really hope S3, if it ever happens (or a book maybe?), will take away all no-s, and transform them into yes-s. I refuse to embrace cruel reality of the end of Ep6. I even wrote a fix-it on AO3. Your heartbroken, saddened, crying fan, Lots of love and respect though, always, Helen”

It’s a big week in food law. ReutersJonathan Stempel reports that Kraft Heinz convinced a Miami federal judge to throw out a $5 million lawsuit filed by Amanda Ramirez, who “objected to packaging that said her macaroni and cheese would be ‘ready in 3-1/2 minutes’ because it did not include time to remove the lid, add water and stir in a cheese sauce pouch.” The doctrine of “that’s how they getcha” has fallen at last. However New Yorker Frank Siragusa is attempting to revive it with a deceptive trade practices class-action lawsuit against Taco Bell, alleging that the Yum! Brands Mexican chain’s food looks good in ads, in a legally actionable way. In Canada, a real estate agent was found guilty of the worst infraction known to the Canadian justice system: rudeness.

After a home surveillance camera caught Mike Rose drinking milk straight out of the container at a house he was showing, the British Columbia Financial Services Authority, a government agency tasked with regulating the Canadian province’s financial institutions, on July 18 deemed Rose’s actions “unbecoming” under the British Columbia Real Estate Services Act.

He has been fined $20,000 Canadian pesos, or approximately 1,400 kilograms of maple syrup. And finally: don’t drink Borax. Just… don’t do that? It’s not food, or medicine. It doesn’t even look delicious.

[TURN TO CAMERA 2] Imagine if you put an enormous amount of creative energy into a website where you rotate sandwiches, and one day you finally achieve the pinnacle of stunt website success: a segment on local TV news in Philadelphia. But when you watch your big moment, you discover that they have put your rotating sandwich website right after a segment about Toko the Human Dog. For one Washington DC sandwich rotator, that nightmare just became a reality:

In a statement, sandwich rotator Lauren Walker clarified that “rotating sandwiches is in no way associated with or for perverts.”

Today in Crabs

Crustacean Celebration in Menstruation Station Transformation:

Skeet by fouraccoons: “it gives me great pleasure to finally show off my crustacean menstruation station” with an image described as: “A ceramic crab ashtray sits atop a bin of menstrual products on a bathroom counter. the crab has a tampon sticking out of its mouth like a cigarette”

Get Crexit Done:

Tweet from NoContextBrits: “Crabs with threatening auras.” And a picture of what looks like a transit ad with a picture of a crab and the text “Get out of London.”

A 1978 orange LandCruiser fondly named the “mud crab” has travelled 7km across Darwin harbour’s shipping channel while 30 metres underwater, in a feat that may have broken two world records.

It took a team of 30 more than 12 hours to get the job done, with commercial divers changing out of the driver’s seat every 15 minutes due to the underwater pressure.

The ‘mud crab’ was fitted with a waterproof electric engine and 150kg water-filled tyres.

I’m running out of time here, so: The Appalachian Trail keeps getting longer. Sun Bear doubted. Everyone leaves VICE. Japan is not amused by cute Barbenheimer memes. Biodegradable “MyCelia Barbie” is a hoax, but we can always hope. Amanda Marcotte on why the trolling is getting more intense on Xitter these days. John Herrman has three theories on how AI might change journalism. HTML tables from images of tables: 2D OCR. Georgia’s Lake Lanier profoundly cursed.

Tweet by tlonic: “my new favorite noun phrase is ‘russian soviet nostalgist anime pfp catgirl soil scientist superconductor replication attempt’” I am devastated to report that I understand all of this.

Today’s Song: All of Media Twitter appears in the new video for Speedy Ortiz’s “Ghostwriter” for some reason.

Thanks to Music Intern Sam, and thanks to you for indulging me in a real “last week of the season” newsletter here. Tomorrow: I probably won’t do better.

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