PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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It drives me crazy that I can only semi-automatically text using my smartphone. How can it be 2017 when there is this kind of restriction? You’d think that in a free country I’d be able to fire off texts as quickly as I’d like. The kind of 21st century America I was told to expect (in my previous life) is one that gives its citizens the means to let texts fly in rapid fire succession whenever they damn-well please. But wait a minute: you almost never have anything important to say!

That’s probably true.

And still, that way of thinking assumes that informing my spouse about the ripeness of our avocados, the status of my commute, and how many scoops of ice cream the kids ordered for dessert are trivialities. And whatever else I’m thinking.

In the next few weeks, I’m planning to go fully automatic by way of attaching blue tooth-enabled probes to my head and hacking into my phone such that my conscious and semi-conscious thoughts are streamed to everyone in my contacts list automatically. It’ll be a Cat-5 text storm. I want to inflict maximum texting damage. You’re going to be swept downstream by my flood of texts. But don’t worry, if the text flood is too overwhelming I’ll throw a bunch of rolls of paper towels out to you so you can sop-up the flood.

Looking for additional storm-related texting metaphors, so send if you got ‘em.

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Who's Your Uncle?

Now that the US Military has dropped “The Mother of All Bombs” on ISIS in Afghanistan (without scratching a single innocent civilian!), and Russia claims to have “The Father of All Bombs,” I might as well admit that I’ve long been working on The Uncle of All Bombs.

My bomb is a balding old fuddy-duddy of a bomb, with a comb-over and yellowing teeth. It sometimes forgets to zip its fly and makes stupid jokes that causes adults to cringe and teenaged girls to throw up.

Is The Uncle of All Bombs going to dismember or liquidate people? Probably not. It mostly inflicts an emotional and psychological toll on its victims. But when people see my boring old tippler of bomb come stumbling its way across the sky at the end of a long day of drinking Lambrusco, hiccupping and belching, they’ll clear out of the area in short order.

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I'm Not Actually Related To Ted Nugent

Just because my father once owned a business called “Nugent Income Tax Service” doesn’t mean I was ever related to Ted Nugent. I’m sure that disappoints you. It certainly disappointed my friends in grade school. At the time, Ted Nugent was merely an insane rocker who would dress like Tarzan and swing from ropes onto the stage. In my little world of 6th grade boys, Ted was famous for his album Nugent Comes Alive (just joking – it was actually titled Double Live Gonzo) for banter in which he asks the crowd, “Does anybody want to get mellow?” And then adds, “Anyone who wants to get mellow can turn around and get the fuck out of here, alright!” He then launches into his seminal “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” (OK, not really seminal at all). We all thought it was so cool the way he swore and rocked out.

Some years later, my mother had heard that Ted Nugent was against drugs. She told me this because I was in a rock band and she thought that having a famous rocker come out against drugs would keep me from dabbling in illegal substances. My response, as a smart-assed teen, was, “Ted Nugent is an argument for doing drugs, Mom, not against doing them.”

All these decades later, some of us (not me) still think he’s cool, the way he wants you to have whatever kind of firearm you’d like with no restrictions. Others (like me) think he’s a dink.

The only thing you need to remember from this post is that I’m not related to him, nor to Timothy McVeigh, despite the fact that more than 20 years after a truck bomb killed 168 people on Oklahoma City, store clerks still mention Timothy McVeigh when they run my credit card.

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Daily Lamentation

Have you a favorite lamentation? Personally, I enjoy Lamentations 2:10, where the elders gird themselves with sackcloth, which is still in great supply today. At this time of year, my friend Mark is always exhorting me to gird myself – specifically my loins – for the battle ahead, so that I may prevail against the enemy. Currently, the enemy is the Pittsburgh Steelers (or, as the Brits would say, are the Pittsburgh Steelers), and they themselves are busy girding loins left and right, possibly also with sackcloth.

Of course, I’m not involved in the battle, except that I’m watching with great interest.

This happens to be an excellent time in the history of our great nation for lamenting. Who doesn’t wake up these days and immediately think, For the love of Pete, look at everything there is to lament!?: our bee colonies are collapsing; you go to the mall to buy something you probably don’t need and someone decides to spray the place with bullets; the latest of the crazy North Korean dictators has the bomb and one of these days is bound to make an ICBM that won’t drop into the ocean. And worst of all, you have to look at that stupid haircut for the next four years.

I’m sure some of you would prefer not to lament, so you’re hoping the NFL games this weekend will provide sufficient escapism to take your mind off all the negative, but the fact is every few minutes you’re bound to wonder if you just witnessed someone’s brain being jostled inside his skull. Talk about a lamentation!

This is why I weep:
The enemy has prevailed
With a blow to the head
of a defenseless receiver.

I actually spent some time recently not lamenting when I saw Slim Jim and the Mad Cows do their country-fried rock thang (you gotta see them do The Immigrant Song). It was the perfect antidote to daily lamentations of girding with sackcloth. Maybe if I see more bands, the next four years will be less painful. It’s definitely something I’m willing to try.

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