PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

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Hot And Clammy

 

I’m pitching the idea to Comedy Central of developing a series in which a large “round clam” in Long Island sound, a quahog, sneaks ashore to lead a double-life as a virile human man. Unlike The Shadow of old radio fame who was able to “cloud men’s minds,” this clam clouds women’s minds. Well! You can imagine what happens next.

This quahog becomes an “exotic dancer,” an instant internet sensation from a YouTube video that goes intergalactic. And all these normally staid women, driven to madness by their jobs and their home lives, band together and tell their beer-drinking husbands to screw off because “we’re going out to see Sam The Clam,” and so forth.

What’s the funny part? It’s that while Virile Sam is doing his thing out there in the world of exotic dancing, the men all can see that he’s a total clam, and keep telling the women so, but the women’s minds are “clouded,” and there is almost universal agreement among them that Sam is the sexiest thing they've ever laid eyes on.

The storyline veers toward the mildly gross when a gal named Vivian falls in love with Sam, and he with her; Vivian’s overbearing father goes ballistic, saying things like “My God, Vivian! Can’t you see that he’s a complete clam!”

“Maybe so!” she retorts. “But’s he my clam.”

She runs off with Sam, and eventually Sam asks her to marry him. This is when he is forced tearfully to break the news to her that he’s not this hot prince with retirement benefits, but an actual clam. He tells her this in bed one night and makes the fateful decision to uncloud her mind. She looks at him closely, her eyes growing ever wider: “Oh my God!” she says. “You are a clam! Ew!!!”

Aaaaaand cut to commercial!

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The Invisible Clam

 

In the epic battle of man vs. steamer clam, the clear advantage goes to the clam. With its two valve architecture and ability to burrow deep into smelly mud, clam easily defeats man and his weak armament of hands with opposable digit, clam rake (wrong tool) and the long history of human ingenuity.

Man’s representative arrives via modular (two-piece) kayak. He paddles his way into “Indian Cove” (or whatever it’s called), arriving at dead low tide, and immediately finds a lush oasis of steamer spouts. Ha! This is but child’s play!  Seeing that he is in just a few inches of water, the Clam Hunter pops out of his boat, only to find himself knee-high in warm – almost hot – mud.

Undaunted, for he knows how great the prize is at the end of this muddy road, he proceeds to cake himself in a rich stew of black goo in a vain attempt to provide for his family from what the mud flat giveth.  

But surely, he must have gotten a few steamers, you think to yourself. Like five. Or two? Tell me he got at least one.

Embarrassing, I know. But let me tell you something: a quahog doesn’t stand a chance against me and the moral force of my clam rake. (Will seek them out tomorrow.) 

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The Best Song In The World

 

My current favorite song in the world is the Toyota of Nashua jingle. Sorry to burst your bubble, you Kars for Kids jingle fans. I'll admit that Kars for Kids is unforgettable, but Toyota of Nashua's dramatic final crescendo harkens back to the 1980s, when God reached down from above and bestowed upon us humans Anthem Rock.  Just listen to the gut-wrenching homage to those heady days at the end of the jingle:

Now that I've proved that the TON jingle would smoke any competitor in a head-to-head jingle smackdown, I'm planning to take my case on the road to see if I can get some purchase around the idea of a Grammy nomination.  

Wish me luck as I break the news to my wife and kids that I've started a new unpaid career in jingle-promotions.

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Heathers

 

A friend of mine, having drunk (unassisted) a 22-oz bottle of my high-gravity Belgian Trippel, which required him to rest his brain for the ensuing hour or so, asked me recently (or rather challenged me) to brew something a wee bit less powerful. “Like a heather ale,” he suggested, having enjoyed several of these at a Scottish pub called The Haven.

Sure, I’ll just get online and find myself a good extract recipe for a heather ale, my friend. Of course, all the recipes I come across require an ingredient called "heather."

 

Heather GrahamBrewin' With HeatherThis makes me wonder: what, exactly, is heather? Google, which currently controls every atom on this earth, can help with that! A quick search for “heather” results in a few pictures of flowering evergreen shrubs, and several thousand images of women, one of which reminds me that that I once had a thing for Heather Graham (after Boogie Nights, who didn’t?).

I modify my search to “fields of heather,” and soon find myself at a Yelp page where people are posting their opinions of a bakery in Chester, Maryland called Fields of Heather. No, what I want to know is “where to find heather in the northeast,” imagining that I might cut flowers from a wild shrub to dry-hop my brew. Instead, I discover that someone named “Heather Northeast” is on Facebook, and based on a photo she has (perhaps ironically) posted, seems to have traveled to Southeast Asia. I try once more with the search term “wild heather.” The Internet Movie Database tells me this was a film made in 1921, whose storyline is “A dying senator weds a girl reporter to make her guardian of his three sons.” (A rather curious selection for a guardian, though I imagine the senator's boys didn't argue with him about it.)

Perhaps I’ll just brew an IPA.

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