PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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What Time Is It?

When I retire, shortly after my kids’ college degrees have been secured via subterfuge and related shenanigans, I’m going to start a new business in which I give the current time to visitors of the American southwest.

You’d think from listening to our esteemed commander in chief that the biggest problem facing the US is Mexicans crossing the border to take good jobs in our Mexican restaurants, but that’s because he doesn’t ever book tours in northern Arizona, where the current time is anyone’s guess. Arizona has a deep disdain for the rigging of clocks and has adopted Mountain Standard Time as its year-round time zone, because to hell with saving daylight! Just because the liberal north has a daylight deficit doesn’t mean Arizona does. So when the rest of the mountain time zone is two hours earlier than eastern daylight time (no matter if its daylight savings or not), grumpy Arizona is an extra hour earlier.

Meanwhile, the Navajo Nation, which is almost wholly inside the boundaries of the state of Arizona, has adopted daylight savings time because they know how much it pisses off the rest of Arizona. This means that Page, AZ, just outside Navajo Nation, is on Mountain Standard Time, while the rest of the region -- predominantly Navajo -- is using Mountain Daylight Time.

This makes for complications when you book a tour of the Upper Antelope Canyon, inside Navajo Nation, and need to be onsite 45 minutes before the tour starts. Is that 45 minutes before Page, AZ time, or 45 minutes before Navajo time? Says the outfitters website: “We operate on Mountain Standard Time,” while their website displays Mountain Daylight Time.

Planning to make zillions getting people to their slot canyon tours on time.

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Van Pat's Cockle

In the mind of the average stable genius, mollusks consist of clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops, but you’re not an average genius, and word is you’re not even stable, so you don’t know that you didn’t know for the longest time that most people don’t know that they weren’t aware that in the greatest country in the free world there are several billion species of bivavles.

And more in the greatest country in the enslaved world.

I’m exaggerating. There are only 20,000 bivavle species in the whole universe, give or take, according to the fake encyclopedia media (so who really knows?). And most of them are concentrated here in southwest Florida, from what I can tell from walking the beach on Marco Island.

So now you now: I’m vacationing in warm and sunny gun country. While here, I’ve been feeling out my family’s interest in visiting an alligator farm, where the kids can watch their dad wrestle an animal determined to pull him into the water and drown him. But what a rush it is for dad, I’m told: the primal battle; the prehistoric nature of the animal that has sunk its teeth into your abdomen; the feeling of desperation as you realize that the ‘gator has squeezed the air out of you and has probably already won the battle.

Once rescued from certain death by the 7th-generation swamp dweller running the farm, I challenge the kids to memorize the shells we’ll be encountering. They totally ignore me at first, assuming I’m performing my usual leg-pulling nonsense, until I jump up, all excited. “Make a chart,” I say. They look up from their devices just long enough to scowl. I explain: “You can note the shells you collect, the dates and times and where you found them. You can connect with other children your age doing the very same thing! Imagine how jealous your friends back home will be to know that you’re making charts and filling in data, while they’re spending endless hours staring at their boring devices. Heh, heh.”

They’ve stopped listening. They care as much about finding a Scotch Bonnet on their morning walk as they do about discovering Van Hyning’s Cockle in the bottom of a bucket.

Slinking off to eat some conch fritters and gator-tail while cleaning out my AR-15.

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