PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Hopes And Dreams

When I die, and you and other friends are gathering ‘round to drink all the beer I left behind, I want you to know that I would prefer it if you drank my beer from real glassware.

It’s the least you could do for me, for crying out loud. Look, I left you all this beer, most of it in kegs. What, you’re going to drink it out of plastic cups? Or coffee mugs?

I know some of you are just chomping at the bit to go under the tap when I die, while people around are chanting “drink, drink, drink…”, but I think you can be slightly more dignified about it. How about tapping 8 ounces into a short-stemmed glass and admiring each beer’s character? If you have chin whiskers, now's the time to massage them while striking a deep, contemplative pose.  

On the other hand, I’ll be dead, so it doesn’t really matter what I want. Nevertheless, I thought you might want to know what I’m hoping for.

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Awkward

Still in the mid-late portion of the early segment of my life, I consider myself lucky to never have been evicted from a residence. But I seriously worry for many other people these days. In better times, moderately-employed people of all stripes seemed able to keep rooves over their heads, despite the lack of safety nets under their feet, by delivering pizzas, waiting tables, and laundering strangers’ underthings. Then, this damnable coronavirus came along, wrecking it all. Now masked people eagerly willing to serve you and your tipsy friends hazy IPAs until you are too drunk to drive are poised to be thrown into the mean streets during the cold winter months, unless our very brave politicians with their excellent healthcare are willing to do something to help them. Not because the masked folk are unwilling to serve your drunk buddies hazy IPAs, but because there is nowhere for beer drinkers to congregate around kegs safely these days.

As someone who has delivered many a pizza and laundered many a strangers’ underthings in my checkered past, I wonder what it must feel like to find that you can no longer pull yourself up by the bootstraps, try as you might.

I’m not suggesting, as some do, that the burden should rest upon the shoulders of the landlords, who owe mortgage payments to banks. Here in the Parkway region of Boston, lots of “landlords” happen to be ordinary folk who might prefer a single family home but opted for a “three-deckah” to make ends meet. These people are in a bind as well.

Which brings us to our soon-to-be Squatter-in-Chief. Let’s be clear: this is not a person who deserves one iota of your sympathy. That he is likely to be removed from the Weiss Haus by the local Sheriffs is at once hilarious and a little scary. Sorry that you don’t want to leave, but there are many people who don’t want to leave their homes either who have better excuses for staying in their apartments than you have for staying in a mansion.

Some people worry that the president’s refusal to leave the White House will be awkward for America, and to them I say, “Yeah, probably.” But there is a lot of awkward to go around. Alas, with the inauguration’s social distancing rules, we’ll not be able to appreciate the further awkwardness of having a single, vacant chair just behind our President, Joe Biden, where the outgoing president would traditionally sit. Thanks to social distancing, there will be many vacant chairs. But at least we won’t have a man-child making faces, rolling his eyes, and sulking while we peacefully transfer power from one administration to another.

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In Times Of Uncertainty, There's Still Beer

Were it not for the impossibility of it, or maybe my lack of entrepreneurship, by now I’d have invented a beer machine. I don’t mean a machine that requires you to steep grains and boil wort and add hops at specific times and take gravity readings, but a truly magical machine into which you add water and maybe a few dry ingredients, set it, and forget it. Two weeks later, you’ve got an effervescent concoction on tap that makes friends and family euphoric.

I needn’t tell you, a voter (hopefully) and maybe even a beer drinker (surely), how important both beer and voting are to our democracy. Voting is the ultimate expression of our citizenship rights; beer soothes the burn when the dink the opposing party has inexplicably nominated somehow bests your sensible candidate.

I’ll be honest and say that I’ve been steeling myself against another improbable victory by President Conspiracy Theory by enjoying a beer every now and again. I’m also planning to tap an ale or two post-vote as a celebratory beverage, or maybe to drown my sorrows.

Good ol’ beer. It’s that versatile.

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That Ol' Normal

Here in Massachusetts, we’re wondering if the current pandemic is the end of the world, or just the beginning. Maybe, once we shake off the cold, we’ll see the world in a totally new and positive light. Or, we’ll come to the sobering realization that this really is the end.

To be honest, this doesn’t feel like it’s rising quite to the apocalyptic level yet. Maybe it’s just a precursor of apocalypses to come.

Like, what, there are several apocalypses? The complete and utter destruction of the world can’t happen “every now and again” now can it. Remember: think about what you’re saying before you blurt it out.

The damnable virus that’s preventing us from gathering in beer establishments and sneezing directly into our hands just prior to extending them forward in gestures of friendship is apparently clouding your mind. And that’s wrecking the plans we all had for a huge apocalyptic end-of-the-world bash, where my homebrew comes spouting from kegs and gets people smashed, such that they forget their stupid apocalypse troubles.

If the world does end, does that mean that, from the ashes, a griffin will rise? Or, instead, will cockroaches, which we all heard in 1970s could survive nuclear annihilation, take over?

Ech. Honestly, I’m just hoping we survive until November and can vote.

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