Mainers march to their own beat. Because of that unconventional Maine lifestyle, out-of-towners may feel like we’re a weird bunch, but real Mainers don’t even bat an eyelid at their odd quirks — we know that it’s “the way life should be.” Here are 21 signs only Mainers know to be true.

1. The perfect dinner consists of red hot dogs, baked beans, and brown bread from a can.

2. You can’t get there from here. Well, you can after driving on 17 unpainted backroads, dodging a moose, and taking a ferry.

3. You see duct tape everywhere. Patching cars, holding appliances together — even duct tape prom dresses and tuxedos. You know what they say, “If you can’t duct-it, ….-it.”

4. Everyone you meet has a dry sense of humor. You might miss the joke if you don’t catch the deadpan delivery.

5. Your breakfast stars blueberries and maple syrup from your backyard.

6. You’re not far from the scent of mudflats, woodsmoke, or damp earth.

7. You get lobsters from your aunt’s boat, not a restaurant.

8. The school board debates getting rid of the September harvest break because kids don’t work like they used to.

9. Parents take their kids to school in four-wheelers or boats.

10. The breaking news primarily highlights non-violent incidents; for example, an abandoned dryer left near a trail entrance in Augusta.

11. Viewers develop an emotional attachment to local news anchors and meteorologists.

12. You get directions in minutes, not miles.

13. You have to leave the county to date because you’re related to everyone.

14. The snakes are non-venomous, but people in Maine tend to be very afraid of reptiles. It’s not uncommon for a Mainer to grab their shotgun when confronted by a harmless, albeit creepy garter snake.

15. You can drive across the state without ever seeing a billboard.

16. Trees outnumber humans.

17. Moose commit more crimes than people do.

18. Being called “French” or “Canadian” is derogatory.

19. The tourists flock to Maine’s seafood restaurants, but the locals opt for Vietnamese or Greek cuisine on a night out.

20. There are more ice cream and hot dog stands than coffee shops.

21. The women hunt, the men pick berries, and the children run wild from June to September.

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