PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

Thankfully!

When people encounter me on the street on Thanksgiving Day, the first thing they want to know is what I’m thankful for, and naturally I tell them the truth: I’m thankful for myself.

I get strange looks, but only because most people have subscribed to the Fake News Media perspective that you should be thankful for things like people who have helped you along your journey to success and good fortune. Like, “I’m thankful that mom and dad were so supportive, and I’m thankful to God for the health of my family” blah blah blah.

But do you really have a healthy family? I’ve seen your family, and they aren’t really “all that” health-wise, if you know what I mean. I’d say that just about everyone in your family has an elevated BMI, which (sorry to inform you) isn’t healthy.

OK, so you don’t like my style of honest, frank, “drain the swamp” language, but if that’s the case you’re probably someone who hasn’t made the kind of difference that I’ve made, so you can’t look yourself in the eye (in an excellently- designed mirror) and say, yeah, I don’t give myself enough credit.

But I have a really nice mirror, so I am able to give myself ample credit. And I do.

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I'm Back

The number of blog posts I should have but didn’t enter in the past month is astonishing. Did you know that I saw Titus Andronicus in Chicago? And no, I don’t mean the Shakespeare play.

I’ll save that for a different date, as I have photos to share.

What about the “caravan” of Latin-American “invaders” (i.e. poor people)? What about the latest mass murder via military-style weaponry, this one involving a deranged anti-Semitic psychopath? And, oh yeah, what’s the status of my home addition?

Sorry, not blogging about that today. Instead, today is all about the Boston Red Sox, who took the World Series again, beating first the hated Yankees (the only playoff series I really cared about), then the “best team in baseball” – the Astros, then dear old Dad’s Dodgers.

I blame my lack of posts on the late nights watching 18 inning games and enduring Craig Kimbrell’s myocardial infarction-inducing ninth-inning “relief” pitching as he tried and mostly succeeded in saving games. But not before making me dread the appearance of his Whoville beard. 

The good news is that baseball is now over. Ergo, I get my life back.

A friendly heads-up.

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He's Back

I know you follow this blog on a daily basis from your outpost in southern Rhode Island, the twin cities, San Diego, etc., and so you’ll fondly recall my blog post from November, 2013, in which I talk briefly about a certain portly, aged gentleman clad only in a loincloth, who rides up and down the streets of greater Boston on a scooter. I’ve caught sight of him in Harvard Square, in Brookline, in West Roxbury, and just last week spotted him motoring through Cleveland Circle in Brighton. He’s unmistakable, an aging Sasquatch of a man, mostly nude, riding around on secondary roads with his baggy white flesh exposed. It’s like this is the only way he can cool down during the hot summer months. Hey, I get that. It’s why I ride my scoot.

Of course, I don’t ride nekked.

I can’t tell you his brand of scooter because I’m always caught unawares by his sudden emergence, riding across my field of vision. And then he’s gone. He’s like a rare bird alighting in your backyard maple tree long enough for you to spot him and yell for the kids, but not long enough for them to see him too. In those few seconds, it’s impossible to pull out my smaht phone and git me a pitcher. Perhaps if I spent more time staring at my phone whilst driving I’d be at the ready when the naked scooter man happens by. Of course, then I probably wouldn’t see him.

Truth be told, he’s not totally bare; he does us the favor of covering up his groinal region – previously employing a loincloth, and last week opting for something more Speedoesque – but otherwise he hasn’t changed: still plump; still with thin wisps of gray hair sprouting from the sides of his helmet; still on that scooter.

The first time I saw him was so long ago (like decades) that I should be forgiven for assuming that he must have passed on to the next life by now. The naked scooterist is a survivor.

I’m suddenly reminded that in the late 1980s, when I worked at Mass General Hospital, there was a guy who used to roam around the Charles Street area wearing nothing but a speedo and a little holster for his essentials (keys and a few bucks?). Short, sinewy, with black hair in tight curls, he seemed perfectly normal but for the lack of clothing. I imagined back then that he must have had a mental illness. Perhaps exhibitionism is the word.

You’re probably wondering if I ever roam the streets similarly scantily-clad. The answer is no. It turns out I’m not one of those very few (if any) people who look good in a speedo. (Or a loincloth.)

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Who Does That?

 

In the middle of a snowstorm in the Northeast, it’s hard to imagine how it ever made sense for Sister Verna, Sister Lena, and Sister Elizabeth to move from Hawaii to East Syracuse, NY in the 1960s to teach me and my scores of Catholic schoolmates reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic, and 'religion. I know they didn’t have access to all the great data we 21st century humans have at our fingertips about world climate stats or how to lose 50 pounds with this one simple trick, but surely someone explained that a perpetually wet and more often than not cold village in central New York State wasn’t going to be Hawaii.

First of all, if you move anywhere from Hawaii, you’re probably taking a step down. That said, there’s no reason to move to Siberia.

On the other hand, some people really believe in suffering. The Franciscan nuns of my childhood are kindred spirits with triathletes and wrestlers trying to make weight. Denying their basic human desires by taking vows of poverty, chastity and obedience is evidence enough of their willingness to inflict suffering on themselves, so why add being perpetually cold and damp?

You note that when I moved from Syracuse I ended up in Boston, where the weather isn’t much better. True. But if one must live in the cold and rain, it might as well be in a city that has major league baseball. This might explain Richard’s decision to move to New England from Olde Englande (probably not), but even he couldn’t take it any longer and now finds himself in San Diego. On a windswept day in February, that’s a move that seems perfectly sensible.

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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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