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Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel 07/25/2009

Oh, to be an intern.

Interns -- not the doctor kind -- are those fresh-faced young folk who flood into the offices of non-profit organizations and politicians, law firms, publishing houses, advertising agencies and many other businesses eager to learn a skill and profession, often without pay. They'll make coffee, photocopy reams of documents, do research into subjects obscure and inscrutable, answer telephones and generally make themselves useful.

They do this all with relentless good cheer, tripping over themselves to demonstrate that, in the end, they're the one intern you should hire full-time at the end of the summer.

We do wonder, though, whether Adam Douin and Jonathan Dumont knew what they were getting into when they applied for internships with the Maine Forest Service.

That's because they're literally getting into something in the course of their jobs that would, well, maybe embarrass the rest of us mortals.

They're putting on bug costumes. Beetles, to be precise. One's wearing the costume of an Asian longhorned beetle (long horns, naturally; black helmet; many hands; big, buggy eyes; white-splotched black structure hanging off the back), while the other's wearing an emerald ash borer get-up (green hoodie; weird, lumpy protruberances off the back; things that may be wings between the shoulder blades).

And if that isn't bad enough, they've got to appear all over the state in these things. In front of strangers.

Perhaps that's better than modeling the costumes in front of friends, who will rib you about it for the rest of your life.

It's all for a good cause, and we commend Douin and Dumont for their courage and fortitude. Not to say their respective senses of humor.

The Forest Service is worried about out-of-state visitors to Maine campgrounds bringing in the nasty beetles with firewood they've hauled from their home states. Kind of like out-of-state visitors of the wrong sort. And if a serious beetle infestation takes hold in Maine, it could wreak serious damage on the state's forests.

So Douin and Dumont are humiliating themselves to save Maine's forests. Good job, gentlemen.

Memo to the Forest Service: Hire these guys.

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