PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

Hurricane Leg Approaching

Thirty years ago today, I became an uncounted casualty of the last hurricane to disturb the Massachusetts coast. It was a blood and guts event, as an airborne pane of glass found the middle of my right calf in mid-flight and nearly did me in.

I was given Last Rites, now called Annointing of the Sick (better messaging, according to a team of Vatican communications professionals), and was nearly pronounced dead. The Pope came to my bedside, declaring me a saint. There is now a hospital wing named after me because during my recovery I entertained sick children by popping wheelies on my wheelchair while juggling stethoscopes.

Some of the aforementioned isn't true, but what is true is that my favored right calf was sliced pretty much in half, and if it weren't for the efforts of drunk street people on Harvard Ave in Allston, I might not have survived. (In truth, the drunks just watched; other passersby helped).

Tourniquet in place, I followed that godforsaken hurricane (named Bob, not Leg) right up into Canada and gave it a piece of my mind, cussing it out while I bled all over the north country.

Hurricane Bob is now dead and gone, but I'm still limping along. How ya like me now?! 

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Destination: Unknown

I should have plotted my family’s summer vacation well before these early hours of May. What the hell was I thinking? Now all the vacation spots are taken. Every resort booked; every campground full; every friend’s couch occupied (yes I checked). It’s like the latest crisis is that there’s nowhere to go. Maybe it’s a CDC plot to keep me from leaving New England. I’m under house arrest in these six states!

OK, slight exaggeration. But the CDC is well aware that spending 16 months straight in New England is harmful to one’s psychological health, if for the weather alone. Even Rochelle Walensky, the head of the CDC herself, has been granted leave from the region; surely I can leave town for a week or 10 days too.

But where to go? My many years in Catholic school taught me that angels have a penchant for coming to people in dreams and visions to provide useful information, such as announcing the birth of a savior. So there’s a chance that an angel with some time on his hands might pop into one of my frequent dreams to suggest vacation places for my family, with star ratings and user reviews. I like to know what kitchen implements are provided when I rent someone’s space. I’ve stayed in one or two places that had no wire whisk on the premises, confounding plans and diminishing the vacation’s karma. So it’s important that the angels be transparent, providing all the necessary pros and cons of each vacation opportunity. Of course, they are angelic, so one should be prepared for them to be somewhat cryptic in their messaging.

Also, I’m hoping they take into consideration cost. We don’t have wings so we’ll have to book seats on commercial airlines to get from here to there, which isn’t necessarily cheap.

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Recalibration

Isn’t it good just to press the reset button sometimes? Maybe work is stressful, or you’re having trouble with that old jalopy of a vehicle that’s been held together with rope and duct tape for years. Or maybe there is suddenly a pandemic and the globe is awash in disease, except in places where it’s not an actual disease but a concept made-up to wreck the economy and many people’s lives (wait – who does that?!).

Perhaps people are having massive eating and drinking orgies during the economy-wrecking hoax, and that unnerves you. “Why aren’t you guys wearing masks while eating and drinking?” you call out to a crowd of people you encounter at a pop-up restaurant, and then realize how stupid you have made your cause sound.

This is when it’s time to pick up your beer grain scale in such a way as to be holding the “units” and “on/off” button at the same time, inadvertently causing the device to enter “calibration mode," from which there is no return. No “exit” button. No “back.” From here until you can find an “accurate 10 Kg weight” to properly calibrate the device, you cannot use it.

OK, no problem. A guy like me who has paddled the Allagash Wilderness Waterway can figure out how to obtain a 10 Kg weight. Those must be everywhere!

What about at the university gym you belong to? Never mind!

Maybe a neighbor has purchased used barbell weights via a Craigslist posting in a country that once hosted the Olympics, and you could borrow a couple.

Heck! You might as well buy a new scale. It costs twice as much to purchase a 10 kg. weight and have it delivered to your home.

Now what are you supposed to do when your wife asks you to weigh the zucchini? You’ve had too many defeats already this week to find yourself unable to determine if the little piglet sized vegetables she has pulled from the garden weigh 1 pound or 10.

Another option is to visit Tim’s kitchen, where there is a mini scale, and where Lily the cat can watch you weigh beer grains into a plastic food storage container until Tim’s mini scale reads 451 grams, which, when added to 2 10 lb. sacks of grain plus a few hundred grams to account for the weight of the bucket, results in a weight of, more or less, 10 Kg.

Grain scale now recalibrated, life can get back to (relative) normal.

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Mr. Essential

I have always considered myself essential in the sense that I’m game to stay open when people like you are shutting it down. In a sense, I’m essential because I believe I’m essential. And once a person believes he’s essential, that person has no choice but to stay open.

Meanwhile, you’re closed. The American public comes to you with their problems but finds an outstretched palm in their collective face. Not only is that not helpful when maybe the American public needs drapes during a major pandemic, but it’s also not particularly sanitary! Put your (maybe; who knows?) coronavirus-infused hand six feet back, pal.

My main concern: several businesses and rock people I frequent and/or watch onstage are guaranteed not to survive the Democrat(ic) Pandemic Plot. For example, what becomes of The Harvard Bookstore? How about The Modern Homebrew Emporium? Matt Murphy’s Pub? Busted Knuckle? Adi’s Bike World? Jack at Phil’s Barber Shop? George and his people at La Flamme? Eco Builders? Brookline Booksmith? China Fair? Rockler? Abodeon? Leavitt and Pearce? Grant Lee? Mike Doughty? Peter Parcek? Audio Lab? As you can imagine, I could easily go on.

I predict a wholesale slaughter. (But don’t quote me).

At least we know we’ll get a new president sometime in the next five years.

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J'Biden Era Haikuage

 

People's Arms. That's right!

200 million shots

In 100 days

 

We are good people

But we still have far to go

Repair. Restore. Heal.

 

There's nothing new here

The Affordable Care Act

We're restoring it 

 

America's Day

Democracy is fragile

The world is watching 

 

Strategy is based

On Science, not politics

Truth, not denial

 

 

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