PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Gappy

Before I figure out what my next move will be, I think I’m going to follow in former Massachusetts state senator George Bachrach’s footsteps and take a gap year. I’ve always wanted to take a gap year. The only thing that’s ever prevented me from doing so is that I need to eat and keep myself clothed.

George Bachrach and I go way back. He ran for the US House of Representatives in 1986, the year I graduated college, but lost to Joe Kennedy and that damnable last name of his. If I’m not conflating several election campaigns, this one was filled with “colorful” (i.e. ridiculous) characters like Clark Abt, Dapper O’Neil, and a Communist whose name I forget. I was at a debate at Boston University during that campaign and, when it was time to take questions from the audience, got in line and actually asked George an entirely pinheaded question. As I recall (hazily, as you might imagine) he was running as a kind of male feminist, and I asked him what he had against men, or something equally stupid. And as he was struggling to answer this nutty softball of mine, some low-level functionary working for another candidate strode by and said, “Did the Kennedy campaign put you up to this?” And for some reason I answered “yes.”

But I actually came up with that stupid question on my own.

That’s how humble I am: even when I come up with perfectly inane questions without any outside help, I’m totally willing to allow someone else to take the credit.

I will say that I have taken gap months before. Just after college, I drove across country until my money ran out, which happened startlingly early, such that my then-girlfriend and I had to drive from Texas back to Massachusetts pretty much without stopping. This is one reason I have never been to New Orleans.

I also spent 3 months with my grandfather up in Canada a couple of years after that, where I wrote an awesome play that won several awards. (Not really – I mean I wrote the play but the few people who read it hated it and ever since then those pages have only been used as scrap paper for grocery and to-do lists.)

Really, for me, gap weekends are where it’s at. I go to work and, by the end of the week, when I’ve accomplished everything there is to accomplish, I start to ponder my next move and usually decide I should have some kind of noticeable gap between the task I’m currently finishing up and the one I’m about to undertake. So a take I couple days off.

I’d keep writing, but it’s time for a gap overnight. See you in the morning.

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Dead Senators

When I’m subpoenaed to testify before congress, as we all know is inevitable, my plan is to don a nice suit and come with prepared statements that I deliver with complete earnestness. But deep down in my heart I’ll be totally goofing on the senators interviewing me.

Because who can resist goofing on senators? Not even God can’t resist goofing on US senators.

Did you know that when US senators die they start making their way toward the gates of heaven, but instead of being greeted by a tipsy Saint Peter dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and drinking from a hollowed-out pineapple, they curiously find themselves alone in an old cemetery at dusk with the wind howling, a rusty old padlock securing the wrought iron gates?

What the heck! I wasn’t so bad, was I? What, just because I killed a gun bill or two? Or ten? That means I go to hell?

As darkness descends, pitchfork-wielding demons emerge, surrounding the dead senator. Before being fitted with a suit of flames, the old stodgy white male is brought to a podium, where he is forced to answer questions from an unrelenting British press.

But suddenly the lights come up, God struts out, and a studio audience applauds. It was all a joke. It turns out that God doesn’t send anyone to hell.

Sounds awesome, until you realize that this means that everyone you’ve ever met on earth is in heaven. Major design flaw!

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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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Wall Art

Did you get a chance to submit your design for the border wall between the US and Mexico? They were due April 4 to the Department of Homeland Security. I submitted mine. It’s a deceptively complicated plan, even more complicated than this teeter totter wall designed by Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello.

Another Interactive Wall

My wall is also going to be interactive as it calls for having lots of false doors built into it. And I don’t mean a door here or there; my wall will be nothing but doors, one right after the other, section after section, mile after mile, except that 99.99+% of the doors will open to reveal – you guessed it, a concrete wall. So when one of those bad hombres we’re always hearing about (or a child who is trying to escape gang conscription in his home country) comes upon this wall of doors and pulls on the handle, he is going to be momentarily thrilled when the door actually opens, then emotionally crushed when he sees that it's really a door to nowhere.

Is this art? You tell me. I think it is, and consequently submitted the design plan not just to Homeland Security, but also to the NEA. I was informed, however, that first of all if I’m going to use bad hombres and children escaping violence in my performance art/border wall, the door-pullers are technically performers and will need to be paid prevailing wages, and will also need to sign release forms. Secondly, given efforts to shut down the NEA, don’t count on them contributing to this art of mine.

Needless to say, if I’m going to go through all the trouble of release forms and prevailing wages, I’m going to want to make my wall design even artier. For example, I’ll put some revolving doors in my wall so that technically the bad hombres can step onto US soil (if you think of the border as razor thin, such that you can actually straddle it). Aha, but then they discover that there is no outlet to the American side's unforgiving desert wastelands! There will also be automatic doors like on The Starship Enterprise that open to reveal 2-foot thick concrete, and even some bifold doors like we all used to have as kids in the 1970s, which were constantly coming off their tracks. Who’s going to fix these when they come off their tracks? As far as I’m concerned that's Mexico’s problem.

Finally, somewhere in my wall of millions of doors, I’m going to secretly install a door, maybe two, that will actually open into the US. I can just imagine how shocking it will be for whomever is lucky enough to have opened the correct door and suddenly finds herself in America. I think we should leave a care package at the door, better yet have a personal valet waiting there to greet the visitor to our country, along with a lawyer, ready to help fill out immigration forms.

Just wait ‘til you see what I have planned for the US-Canada wall.

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