PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

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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Happy Smile Guy

 

Good news! I’ve decided to refocus this blog’s tone from quirky, tongue-in-cheek commentary on our meaningless existence toward something much sunnier. That old, stodgy Pat, forget about him and all of those hilarious things he used to write! From now on, this website is where you’ll go to have a smile slapped onto your face.

It's time to think of the good things in life, rather than all the bad that is constantly happening around you each and every moment: all those deranged psychopaths running around with guns; the sad state of our environment and the peril our coastal cities face as sea levels rise; the couple of billion people around the world who go to bed each night hungry. Let's concentrate on things that are uplifting, like beer! And mustard! Can you imagine a world without beer and mustard? Actually, don’t, because imagining it is not an uplifting thing. Instead, imagine you’re at a ballgame on a sunny day, eating mustard and drinking beer with other happy people who don’t own guns.

Are you feeling the vibe yet?  

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No Chicken Skin Off My Nose

You’re probably wondering if I ever enjoy a glass of red wine. Sure, now and again. I am not, however, obsessed with the life-affirming nectar, peering through a goblet held to the light to observe the density of a newly opened bottle, bathing the inside of the glass with the purple-hued fluid such that the luscious juices finger back down into the inviting pond of carefully crafted spirits. I mean, sometimes I do that. Okay, often. Like, daily.

A former graduate student at a certain well-known institution of higher education I’m affiliated with (no, not Boston College) once told me that the wines in a particular region of Spain smell like sheep’s testicles. If that doesn’t prompt a fellow run out to his nearest “packy” to buy a few bottles, what does? You may be surprised to learn that this was the very first time anyone had ever used the phrase “sheep’s testicles” in my office. (Fact checkers, please note: I’m willing to admit that this graduate student might not have said, exactly, “Wines in my home region of Spain smell like sheep’s testicles.” It was probably more like, “Wine experts are able to identify 50 distinct aromas in Spanish wines, including the peculiar scent that is given off by the nuts of our local sheep.” Actually, he wouldn’t have said “nuts” either.) Needless to say, even if a wine vaguely suggests the scent of sheep’s testicles, most wine dealers are loathe to highlight that in their literature.

Now, I come to find out that Clos Fantine Tradition Faugères 2011 presents, according to New York City’s Le Du’s Wines, with “kirsch liqueur, violets, mustard seed, horseradish, and fried chicken skin on the nose.” When I first read this, my reaction was that fried chicken skin was not an aroma I wished to smell in my glass of wine. Upon further reflection, however, I have to admit it beats sheep’s balls.

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Mustard Talk

One way I think I might promote my mustard reviews, when they start to happen, is to produce a talk show in which I serve as host and chat with some of the world’s greatest luminaries and pop stars about mustard. Unlike all those unimaginative talk shows out there (Fresh Air, On Point), my talk show would never deviate from this one, key subject. The unwillingness on my part to compromise in order to get anything not done will ensure that I become (eventually) the darling of some quirky political group that emerges from the woods of Vermont, where I will own a house purchased with money that I will have made by selling ads alongside my mustard reviews (again, when I start to write them).

Can you imagine talking mustard with Beyoncé? How about Mikhail Gorbachev? I can and often do. I’ve imagined myself talking mustard with so many huge celebrities that I quickly become a celebrity myself, dressing in outfits that are various shades of mustard when I show up at world premieres (yes, even a mustard tuxedo!). And the jobs that will be created in the mustard industry as a result of people looking at the humble seed (“the seed that could”) in a new light will blow away anything we’ve seen in virtually any other sector of the market.

Now you tell me that you have a better plan for personal economic growth than this.

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Trumpian Tweetage Haiku Continuum

The Special Counsel

Is UNCONSTITUTIONAL

I’ve done nothing wrong

 

The phony witch hunt

The soon to be released book

Looks like a big hit

 

Fake News Media

Together with the witch hunt:

My best poll numbers

 

“Caravans” coming

Must go nuclear option.

NO MORE DACA DEAL!

 

We don’t have a wall

Not going to have a country

FUND THE BORDER WALL

 

Trade Wars are good and

Easy to win. They get cute?

Don't trade; we win big!

 

Gun-adept coaches

Weapons-talented teachers

Instantly Shooting

 

Promote the Fake Book

Mentally Deranged Author

False Information

 

Now that collusion

With Russia: a total hoax

FBI/Russia

 

Kim Jong Un, I too

Have a nuclear button.

And my button works.

 

Tax cut/Reform bill

Massive Alaska Drilling

Incredible Year

 

United Nations

Sanctions on North Korea

World wants Peace, not Death

 

False Accusations.

Women I don't know. FAKE NEWS!

Collusion. Russia.

 

Army Navy Game

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S TROPHY

Congratulations

 

Pelosi/Schumer

He's bad on Crime, Life, Border.

Vets. Guns. VOTE ROY MOORE!

 

Time Magazine Called

Prob'ly "Person of the Year"

I took a pass. Thanks!

 

The Christmas Story

Mother, Father, Baby Son

Jesus Christ. Bahrain.

 

Matt Lauer just fired

When will top executives

Be fired for Fake News? 

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