PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

This text is currently hidden by a css change. Alow's me to go directly to the category description because it is editable in the front end,

Advice To A Young Motorist

Arriving at a red light two days ago on my trusty Surly Straggler, a scene began to unfold that was not unlike one I have witnessed a hundred times before. I am in a painted bike lane with motorists on my right and left. The light for the motorists in the right lane changes to green, and the second car in line doesn't move. I figure this guy is staring at his phone.

I tend to give the texter or internet browsing person a heads up that the light has changed by waving them onward. "Go forth, young texter." But this gentleman (I don't know him; is he really gentle?) is not staring at his phone and seems to know that he has a green light. Still, he doesn't move.

A cacophony of car horns; hollering; curse words abound. Still, he doesn't budge. I realize that he is in the wrong lane, wishing to go left, not right, so I direct him to move forward and sneak ahead of the cars to my left so that the angry motorists behind him have an avenue and a chance to move on with their lives. "Go there!" I say, pointing. "Go there!" He rolls down his window and says something like "Don't tell me what to do."

By this point the people behind him, starting at a green light but stuck behind what is either a person asleep or a disabled vehicle, are exasperated and start to issue their nastiest invectives.

He finally moves ahead as I had directed him, and as the car behind him finally is able to move the driver hollers angrily, "Get the fuck out of the way!"

There was another cyclist with me, and I said to him, "I was just offering him advice."

The cyclist turn and said, "So was that driver behind him." 

Continue reading
  129 Hits
Tags:

Creep

When I was a youngster, I was informed by random adults that unlike sticks and stones, names would never hurt me.

That turned out not to be the case then and still isn't today. I am somewhat easily wounded, psychologically and emotionally, by words. Mutter under your breath that I am an idiot or a thoughtless jerk and I'm sure to feel aggrieved deep down inside.

But a creep? I'm familiar with creeps, having met several during my still quite young life. Creepy people exude an aura that makes you cringe and want to slink away, backwards, keeping an eye on them lest they grab you from behind. They stand too close to you and touch you on the arm when speaking, even though you barely know them. Who the hell is this creep peeking through my bedroom window? That's the kind of thing you say when you meet a creep. I don't think I've ever been called a creep, until a few days ago.

The circumstances were very much not creepy. I was riding my bicycle to work in broad daylight along the Memorial Drive bike path in Cambridge, MA, doing what we bikers are urged to do by dinging my bell before passing people ambling along mindlessly with ear buds stuffed into their heads. These people are not barred from their careless saunter on the bike path, but they often have no clue that they are on an actual bike path, not a sidewalk, and are startled when you pass them. They jump and they yell at you. "Give me a warning, idiot!" they holler. Of course, you did that, but the earbuds pouring a stream of Taylor Swift into their heads drowned out your bicycle bell.

As I was riding along the other day (pretty slowly – the bike path was packed given the beautiful weather) I encountered a couple crossing Memorial drive coming toward the bike path. Most people are careful when crossing car traffic but have no awareness of bike paths and lanes and step into them blindly. So, I dinged my bell to alert them that they were encountering a bike lane. Upon doing so, a man who was crossing in the opposite direction – away from me – bellowed, "Go to hell, creep!" He continued: "And slow down!" This person had no idea how fast I was going (not very) because before he started to cross Memorial Drive his back was turned to me. He may just have been a rare person ambling sans earbuds and was startled by my bell, which is loud in order to penetrate the sound of Taylor Swift. His rant continued as I kept riding. I was a block and a half away and he had worked himself into a froth, though I don't know exactly what he was saying. Maybe that I was a creep.

Full disclosure, he may have called me a freak, not a creep. Given that I'm neither creepy nor freaky, it really doesn't matter. Either way, this time I wasn't hurt. 

Continue reading
  156 Hits

2024

As 2023 was drawing to a close, random people on the street would stop me and ask what my hopes and dreams were for 2024. "Snow," I said. Also, to figure out how to install new front and rear derailleurs on my old Fuji Palisade without it taking another week. If time is money, I just spent a lot of money cleaning up this old bike.

If the first hour and three quarters are any indication, 2024 is going to be cold and dark. Everyone will be asleep. No one will answer my texts. All services will be shut down including grocery and liquor stores, leaving us hungry and thirsty.

So, yeah, not starting out great. Nevertheless, Happy New Year! Fingers crossed that the sun rises in the morning. 

Continue reading
  277 Hits

The Acorn Spitter

When I was a lad getting fed a lot of mumbo-jumbo at St. Matthew's Grammar School in East Syracuse, New York in the 1970s, a teacher assigned us a short story to read about a midget, as they were called back then, who was signed by a minor league baseball team because he was an expert bunter. This guy wasn't just able to lay down a bunt; he could place the ball anywhere he wanted (within bunting distance). My memory – which is always 100% accurate – tells me that he was discovered at a circus, where he was bunting balls into various buckets that were placed around his batting cage. He never missed, directing each ball with spin and bounce and speed in such a manner as to expertly deposit them into containers of various sizes. Needless to say, he became very valuable to the baseball team that picked him up.

This makes me want to write a modern-day version of this story in which I (the narrator) am cast as the hero. Except in this case, I don't bunt balls into buckets, but instead spit acorns from under the treads of my bike tires at motorists who irritate me on my morning commute.

The story starts with me on my sleepy bike ride into the office on a crisp fall morning. There is a traffic jam, but I, as a cyclist, am unaffected, able to breeze past all the cars that are belching greenhouse gases into the atmosphere while not making much progress on their commutes. As I ride along on this beautiful fall morning, my front tire runs over an acorn, which squirts out and strikes the side of a shiny, black BMW sedan, making a funny "ping" sound as it does.

The damage is non-existent, but that doesn't stop the douchebag driver of the Beamer, after traffic starts moving again and he catches up to me, to roll down his window and call me an asshole for purposely spitting an acorn at his stupid-ass car that costs like $150 just to change the oil. Of course, I didn't "purposely" shoot the acorn at his car. Who could do something like that? Wait, that bunting midget in the short story I read in fifth or sixth grade could have.

So, I set myself to learning how to shoot acorns from under my bike tires at cars stuck in traffic, particularly at douchebag drivers who leak into my bike lane because they are reading threads on X while driving about how bike lanes are ruining life for drivers. With time and a lot of practice, I become an expert at this obscure "sport," able to use my perfect vision to pick out acorns in the road ahead and determine, instantaneously, where to run over them to propel them at Hummers and Navigators and any car that I don't like or driver who has irked me. Soon, I become famous, alleged on obscure websites that I have caused "thousands of dollars of damage," never mind that you could shoot an acorn out of an air gun at high speed and not even put a scratch in a modern auto paint job.

Police try to set up roadblocks in bikes lanes to nab me, but I am too wily, weaving through traffic, dodging cars trying to "door" me, spitting acorns at cars all the while.

I haven't figured out the denouement yet, but I know that this story will have a moment when it seems like I will be caught, and then a happy ending as I get away Scot free, just like the story of the bunting savant had a happy ending.

[Editors note: I found the story online in a copy of The American Legion Magazine from August, 1949. Titled "Lay it Down Ziggy!", it starts on page 11, but don't let that stop you from perusing through the rest of the magazine. Plenty of fun stuff to see, including on page 2 the "The Bracer Royal Supporter Belt," which appears to be a male girdle.] 

Continue reading
  422 Hits

 

 

Daily Haiku

 

Cats oft’ void their guts.

They cough out fur balls. They puke.  

We tread carefully.  

 

College Tuition

We dig ourselves a deep hole

Need a second job.

 

Now that I’m sixty

People think I’m a wise man

Probably, I’m not

 

I’m in my Fifties

But tomorrow I’m Sixty

Will need a sports car

 

My PCP Says

“Keep doin’ what yer doin’”

Prob’ly I should not

 

It’s St. Patrick’s Day

We eat beef that has been corned

Whatever that means

 

Robots and A.I.

I will make use of these soon

To do my taxes

 

Strange Oscar night end

Pacino failed to mention

Best pic nominees

 

Who’s this Katie Britt?

Scary. Wierd. We could have used

A Trigger Warning

 

Subscribe To The Blog

Produce This Audio Play!

Ever wanted to produce a radio play?  Think you have the mettle?  Read on!

Tag Cloud

Bands I've Seen Soul Coughing Candy midwinter vacations Theater Soccer Ukraine technology Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde Canadiana town square War and Peace Skating soapbox rantings Sugarbush Higher Education seasons Music Liz Phair Quebect Diseases Hand Planes Soviet Union Masks Hurricanes high winds Email My Parents Elvis Presley Syracuse Them Kids US Senate Hawaii Imaginings Ticketmaster Marketing Gimmicks Reveillon Communication Channels Butterfingers Mike Doughty Food The Past Royal Stuff Guns and Ammo Cars afterlife Boston Audio Joan Jett Canada coronavirus Stories I should write The Future When I die Vaccines Cats Bodysurfing punk music the sea Fiction My Estate Halloween Football Mom and Dad Radiohead Zoom COVID-19 Scotch and Sirloin The Old Days Texting Good Reads Motorists Eating and Drinking Rabbit Hole acerbic high school principal Martinis The future Short Fiction vacation Reese's Peanut Butter Cups the future Bikes Trump Things I've done Accounting Sports Psychology Bicycles gathering throngs Head injuries Eclipse Sports winter Peacekeeping Bands I haven't seen Bunker Bob Dylan Knots Spoon the band Weather Car Dealerships Advertising Existential Crisis My grandparents Bands I've seen Mustard Smoke Meat Dad advice Wind Big Shoes Yeast Me Soup nukes TV COVID Mass General Hospital tambourrine Emergencies Ketchup Golf Earth Cornhole star Allergies BB King First World Problems Folk Music New England Beer People I know curling shoes Peter Paul and Mary Politics As Usual Ice Dancing Grass Skiing Places I've been to My sisters Work Christmas Plastic Teeth Brain Surgery Belgian Ales NPR Chowder Vaughn cornhole Religion Red Sox Art Hot Air Balloon Godfather baseball Rock Bands Tom Waits Skiing plan mid-winter vacations College Coyotes NFL Snow Guns Barber Shops China Audubon Bar 1980s Bill Monroe Putin Stairs Pats Drumming Little League Roommates I've Had England Spice Girls Climate Change weather Europe Brewing Hache Verde Real Estate Biden