PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

Recalibration

Isn’t it good just to press the reset button sometimes? Maybe work is stressful, or you’re having trouble with that old jalopy of a vehicle that’s been held together with rope and duct tape for years. Or maybe there is suddenly a pandemic and the globe is awash in disease, except in places where it’s not an actual disease but a concept made-up to wreck the economy and many people’s lives (wait – who does that?!).

Perhaps people are having massive eating and drinking orgies during the economy-wrecking hoax, and that unnerves you. “Why aren’t you guys wearing masks while eating and drinking?” you call out to a crowd of people you encounter at a pop-up restaurant, and then realize how stupid you have made your cause sound.

This is when it’s time to pick up your beer grain scale in such a way as to be holding the “units” and “on/off” button at the same time, inadvertently causing the device to enter “calibration mode," from which there is no return. No “exit” button. No “back.” From here until you can find an “accurate 10 Kg weight” to properly calibrate the device, you cannot use it.

OK, no problem. A guy like me who has paddled the Allagash Wilderness Waterway can figure out how to obtain a 10 Kg weight. Those must be everywhere!

What about at the university gym you belong to? Never mind!

Maybe a neighbor has purchased used barbell weights via a Craigslist posting in a country that once hosted the Olympics, and you could borrow a couple.

Heck! You might as well buy a new scale. It costs twice as much to purchase a 10 kg. weight and have it delivered to your home.

Now what are you supposed to do when your wife asks you to weigh the zucchini? You’ve had too many defeats already this week to find yourself unable to determine if the little piglet sized vegetables she has pulled from the garden weigh 1 pound or 10.

Another option is to visit Tim’s kitchen, where there is a mini scale, and where Lily the cat can watch you weigh beer grains into a plastic food storage container until Tim’s mini scale reads 451 grams, which, when added to 2 10 lb. sacks of grain plus a few hundred grams to account for the weight of the bucket, results in a weight of, more or less, 10 Kg.

Grain scale now recalibrated, life can get back to (relative) normal.

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Mr. Essential

I have always considered myself essential in the sense that I’m game to stay open when people like you are shutting it down. In a sense, I’m essential because I believe I’m essential. And once a person believes he’s essential, that person has no choice but to stay open.

Meanwhile, you’re closed. The American public comes to you with their problems but finds an outstretched palm in their collective face. Not only is that not helpful when maybe the American public needs drapes during a major pandemic, but it’s also not particularly sanitary! Put your (maybe; who knows?) coronavirus-infused hand six feet back, pal.

My main concern: several businesses and rock people I frequent and/or watch onstage are guaranteed not to survive the Democrat(ic) Pandemic Plot. For example, what becomes of The Harvard Bookstore? How about The Modern Homebrew Emporium? Matt Murphy’s Pub? Busted Knuckle? Adi’s Bike World? Jack at Phil’s Barber Shop? George and his people at La Flamme? Eco Builders? Brookline Booksmith? China Fair? Rockler? Abodeon? Leavitt and Pearce? Grant Lee? Mike Doughty? Peter Parcek? Audio Lab? As you can imagine, I could easily go on.

I predict a wholesale slaughter. (But don’t quote me).

At least we know we’ll get a new president sometime in the next five years.

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Just Peachy

When I was a young kid way back in the mid-1800s, the term “impeach” surfaced many thoughts in my young mind, not the least of which was of peaches. I somehow then connected those peaches to bald heads, because peaches have fuzz, and if you were impeached the authorities were going to shave your head as a punishment.

And maybe tar and feather you.

This reminds me that my old friend Bond told me a story of when he was taking a boat from Spain to Morocco in (let’s call it) 1984, and some hippie-sort on the boat started smoking a joint and mouthing off, which caused a boat-official to haul his ass underdeck. When the hippie emerged, his head had been shaved. Which is sort of what I had thought happened when you got impeached. Also, this now shaved-hippie was still smoking weed. And the joint was stubbed out into someone’s eye.

Who knows how many stories I’m conflating into one? Maybe God does. My guess is between 3 and 5; the stories of my young and sordid past, with joints, hippies, and a shaved head here and there tend to ooze into one another at this point in my (extremely high-functioning and mainstream 50-something) life.

Still, those were the days! Smoking a joint was rewarded with free haircare back then. Try that now. Now, you’re lucky if anyone cares if you smoke a joint. The police hold the door open for you when you emerge from the weed store and advise you to mind the steps. (Or so I’m told.)

Just don’t sip a snifter of whiskey in view of a 17 year old because you’ll get a full body cavity inspection.

Anyway, everyone wants to know which side I’m hoping will win, and I know it’s cliché but I have to say I’m just hoping for a fun impeachment.

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Thankfully!

When people encounter me on the street on Thanksgiving Day, the first thing they want to know is what I’m thankful for, and naturally I tell them the truth: I’m thankful for myself.

I get strange looks, but only because most people have subscribed to the Fake News Media perspective that you should be thankful for things like people who have helped you along your journey to success and good fortune. Like, “I’m thankful that mom and dad were so supportive, and I’m thankful to God for the health of my family” blah blah blah.

But do you really have a healthy family? I’ve seen your family, and they aren’t really “all that” health-wise, if you know what I mean. I’d say that just about everyone in your family has an elevated BMI, which (sorry to inform you) isn’t healthy.

OK, so you don’t like my style of honest, frank, “drain the swamp” language, but if that’s the case you’re probably someone who hasn’t made the kind of difference that I’ve made, so you can’t look yourself in the eye (in an excellently- designed mirror) and say, yeah, I don’t give myself enough credit.

But I have a really nice mirror, so I am able to give myself ample credit. And I do.

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J'Biden Era Haikuage

 

People's Arms. That's right!

200 million shots

In 100 days

 

We are good people

But we still have far to go

Repair. Restore. Heal.

 

There's nothing new here

The Affordable Care Act

We're restoring it 

 

America's Day

Democracy is fragile

The world is watching 

 

Strategy is based

On Science, not politics

Truth, not denial

 

 

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