Category Archives: Holidays

Romance The Patrick McManus Way

Chalk-Heart drawing on wood of initials PM + OB (with the OB crossed out) and MP. The initials stand for Patrick McManus, Olga Bonemarrow, and Melba Peachbottom.

With Valentine’s Day coming up we could always use a little inspiration to show that special someone how much they mean to us. Along with those flowers and chocolates, read them a Patrick McManus story and give them the gift of laughter as well.

There were several girls in Patrick’s young life, some he had romantical feelings for. Unfortunately we can’t count the girl from a neighboring farm, Valvoleen Grooper, as she was his nemesis (remember “The Tin Horn” in The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw?).

Most of his learning-of-love lessons were at various times between Melba Peachbottom and Olga Bonemarrow. But Patrick also learned the art of wooing from watching others—his friend Crazy Eddie Muldoon and mentor Rancid Crabtree.

Here are some stories guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart:

Backseats I Have Known

Found in the book Never Sniff a Gift Fish

Backseats have long been known as the trysting place for young love, but for the outdoorsman it was his emergency shelter, gun rack, larder, and so much more.

Cupidity, Draw Thy Bow

Found in the book The Night The Bear Ate Goombaw

Patrick remembers his first honest-to goodness date with the radiant, shiny new Melba Peachbottom.

Silent But Deadly

Found in the book Kerplunk!

Just prior to Patrick’s date with Olga Bonemarrow, Gram feeds the leftover turkey gravy from Thanksgiving dinner to the family dog, Strange, with disastrous consequences (of course).

Muldoon in Love

Found in the books Rubber Legs and White Tail-Hairs, Never Cry “Arp!” and The Deer on a Bicycle

The lovely Miss Deets’s tenure as third grade teacher was a short one. Her ill-fated idea of Show and Tell began well enough, but when the poor kids brought in their “most interesting possessions,” the end was not far away.

The B’ar

Found in the book A Fine And Pleasant Misery

Rancid Crabtree has a bear in his brush pile and asks Patrick to help get it out. With further assistance from feisty Ginger Ann, they all get more than they expected.

Not Long for This Whirl

Found in the books Rubber Legs and White Tail-Hairs and Never Cry “Arp!”

In the muddy spring of Pat’s sophomore year of high school, Retch Sweeney stops by with Mrs. Peabody. Retch is taking her to her friend’s house and Pat asks to go along and be dropped off at Rancid Crabtree’s shack. They get stuck in the mud and Mrs. Peabody suffers the indignity of Rancid’s rescue.

Faint Heart

Found in the book Into the Twilight, Endlessly Grousing

In third grade, Pat’s teacher, Miss Deets, told the students they had to bring their fathers in to tell the class about their occupations. Since Patrick’s father had died, he convinces Rancid Crabtree to come instead.

New Strides in Sleeping Bags

Remember Pat’s adventures with sleeping bags? Comfort was not a primary attribute. The ones he got from Grogan’s War Surplus were filled with chicken feathers (and maybe some chickens still attached). They weighed as much as a rolled-up mattress, and if not filled with chicken feathers, they were filled with sawdust, horsehair and No. 6 birdshot. Thankfully more recent ones were much lighter, filled with the down of unborn geese.

He would definitely approve of the Musuc Bag, a sleeping bag with arms and legs, ideally suited for Sasquatch hunting, sleeping out in the backyard, and any time you need maximum mobility at a short notice. And they’re stylish to boot!

Image of man inside a MusucBag

Curmudgeons Need Love Too

Yes, Christmas time is your favorite time of year, the snow, the music, the lights and decorations, the feelings of goodwill. But you know there are some people who, (hm, how should one say,) don’t feel the same way you do.

Around the end of November, or sooner, a perceptible glaze covers their eyes, their jaw sets a little firmer and perhaps even juts out a little, and they’re even just a might bit snippy. So get them this mug (or ornament, or pillow, or shirt) and they will feel just ever so slightly better.

Image of mug with picture of grumpy old mand and the words, "Oh, My Favorite Time of Year...Jingle Hell"