Machias, Me./ AP - In keeping with their regional marketing plans, a Machias, Me. McDonnalds has been authorized to test market their new breakfast sandwich, The Puffin McMuffin.
Machias's Seal Island has been a natural habitat for the colorful one pound birds since the 1800's, and used to be a diet staple for the hearty Mainers who inhabit the surrounding area. The cuddly birds, a member of the Auk species, live on a diet of fish and mollusks which gives their flesh a slightly salty flavor, not unpleasant to the palate.
Enterprising Mainers who have cleared their coasts of blood worms, scallops, alewives, lobsters , urchins and timber in recent years in order to sustain their meager economy, welcomed the government's suspension of the endangered species designation. Mainiac entrepreneurs are now starting Puffin habitats of their own, finding and resettling Puffin eggs in a more controlled environment. The bird, which produces only one egg that requires 42 days to incubate, is now the subject of intense study at Bar Harbor's Jackson Lab, which currently is the world's largest supplier of sterile mice for medical experiments.
Scientists are working around the clock trying to increase the fertility ratio of the Puffin to make Puffin farming more economical and cost effective and justify the $48 million dollar earmark placed on the recent Aid to Somalia bill pushed through the Senate by Barrack Obama. Start up Puffin Farms now receive a tax incentive of $10,500 from the state to help relieve an already odious tax rate of 8 1/2 percent which has stifled small business for years.
Shares of McDonnalds have risen 4% in the past two trading days, and Jim Cramer says the stock is now a "hi-flyer".
Dickie Beal, manager of the local McDonnalds, says sales on the new breakfast snack have been brisk with locals, and even more popular with tourists from Newfoundland. "Them Newfies have been pouring in here and snappin' up them sandwiches like there's no tomorrow, "he said while trying to keep up with demand. Beal's store keeps an aviary of fresh Puffins in a specially constructed breeding cage in the rear of the building which includes a state of the art de-feathering machine which neatly prepares the bird for deep frying while at the same time preserving the feathers for other marketable uses such as Christmas wreaths, another Maine cottage industry, made completely of Puffin feathers. Beal says Martha Stewart is interested in marketing the wreaths at K-mart under her name, and is also planning a cooking episode on her TV show featuring Puffin recipes.