PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Tools

When I die, I’m going to leave a lot of tools behind, and I’m worried that you’re going to use them inappropriately and hurt yourself. Despite their colorful outer shells that draw you in for a closer look and beckon you to plug them in and give them a whirl, they aren’t toys. Several of them can easily cut off a limb, put out an eye, or burn you badly.

My guess is that this won’t dissuade my friends from engaging in a melee after my untimely demise. The tear-streaked faces of my wife and kids, still shocked that I’m no longer here on earth and pretty certain I’m not anywhere else either, watch in disbelief as you guys come waltzing into my basement with a twelve pack and start grabbing at my chop saw.

Then, during calling hours, a line forms leading up to the casket, where I can be found laid out with a weird smile on my face, thanks to the misguided work of a new, young undertaker. You utter a few polite remarks to my family and hope to move on, but find that the greeting line is backed up thanks to an octogenarian who has knelt to pray over my dead body and then can’t get back up onto his feet. It’s awkward to be standing there and not saying anything more than “He was a great guy. Really, great guy.” So eventually you blurt, “So, uh, how many battery packs does his impact driver have?”

My personal opinion is that the family should just put everything out on the sidewalk and see who takes what. Bar clamps, pipe clamps, drills, levels, hammers, wrenches, torches, anything that wasn’t put into my personal pyramid in case I need it for the afterlife is sitting out there for the taking.

Of course, no duct tape will be left for the taking, as that is going to be part of my afterlife “tool kit.” But don’t worry – they carry it at most hardware stores. 

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Ghosts of St. Patrick's Day Past

In the not-so distant yesteryear, when I wasn’t so much a wee lad as an underdeveloped adult, I’d find a random St. Paddy’s Day falling on a weekend and would drive home to meet mom and Dad at Coleman’s Irish Pub in Syracuse, NY. Syracuse wasn’t a town known for being Irish, at least in my mind; everyone I knew seemed to be Italian, and the people who weren’t (like me) wanted to be Italian (like me!).

But to hell with any other tradition on March 17th. Friends of all stripes were keen to pack the bars and throw up all over each other. Slight exaggeration. Still, it was a pretty tipsy scene, and there was often an earnest singer crooning “Danny Boy” on a cheap PA system, enjoying his once-a-year day in the sun. And outside Coleman's, the traffic light had the green on top and red on the bottom, blowing people's minds. 

At home, someone (not me) would put “The Irish Rovers” on the record player and we’d sing along to songs like “No, Nay, Never,” which the Dropkick Murphy’s reprised a few decades later. Later my Dad would fall asleep with a toothpick in his mouth (substituting for a cigarette) to John Gary crooning the very sad “Molly Malone” on our console record player.

Years later, when we kids were out of the house, my parents would throw wild parties where everyone would strip naked and drink Irish coffee, because that was life in the 1970s and 1980s. OK, no one ever stripped naked thankfully, but the Irish coffees flowed like coffee. Thankfully, most everyone was walking home (although, I’ve recently read it’s better not to be tipsy when walking).

All these years later, I find the old John Gary “A little bit of heaven” album still intact in my basement, deeply scratched, bearing my long deceased parents’ fingerprints, and coaxing me to YouTube to relisten to the old songs. Hard not to miss mom and dad on this St. Patrick’s Day. 

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The Future Of My Tweets

I don’t tweet very often, but that’s going to change. Soon I’m going to tweet the bejesus out of you and everyone else, and when I do it’s going to be tremendously interesting and also good for America. My friends are going to love it, even as I humiliate them. I’ve already got a few tweets cued up.

  • Hilarious that “Scrambly” Bob is keeps tweeting out the false claim that I like scrambled eggs. I’m not the scrambled one, he is! Do you see the way his handlers refuse to allow him to talk about scrambled eggs? Probably afraid that he’s going to scramble his way through the conversation. Really sick.
  • I mention that I’m golfing and now old More Salt Than Pepper Steve starts blabbing about his golf game. “Shot an 82.” What, nine holes on a par 3 course? Play one of my courses and see if you can break 100, Old Salty. (And then have a meal at one of my fine restaurants.)
  • “Veggie” Tim goes on the record as saying that I eat too much meat. Even though my meat eating is partially fueling the cattle industry’s economic recovery. IT’S BEEFY ECONOMIC PATRIOTISM TIM! Meanwhile Tim doesn’t eat his allotted portion of meat, causing a drop in demand and a drop in prices. And there are stories out there – some good people claim they have first-hand knowledge – that he’s hunting exotic animals with a chef hiding in the shadows to butcher and serve the delicacies he shoots up. Vile!
  • Dirty Howard’s going nuts! He calls me dirty because I dig holes in my yard, while he spends his days up at the cabins riding jet skis, and by night he sits in the shadows and stares into the fire. Like baiting hooks with LEECHES and hauling in crappies is “clean”! Get a life, you dirty loser!
  • Failures like Mark keep promoting TOTAL HOAX BS STORIES claiming that I disparage military veterans. We all know that he’s disgruntled because he wanted a job and I wouldn’t endorse him. TOTAL SUCKER!

I think this will be really good for our relationship.

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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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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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