A Little Laughter To Make it Through This Dark Time

Illustration of man laughing while reading a Patrick McManus story

If you’re anything like me, each day is covered in a blanket of unease and nervousness, feeling like there’s nothing I can do. But of course I am doing something to help the situation. Keeping apart from everyone right now is the best thing any of us can do, but it doesn’t feel like much.

So I did what I usually do when things are stressful—I turned to Patrick McManus. I read a story this morning with my wife. “Secret Places,” about Pat and Crazy Eddie’s science experiment in the rafters of the Muldoon’s garage. It did both of our hearts good to laugh. (It’s found in the books Real Ponies Don’t Go Oink! and Never Cry “Arp!”)

Here are a few stories that should help take your mind off things, at least for a little while:

Mean Tents

Patrick describes the various tents that have tormented him throughout his life. In particular, he tells of shooting arrows through Cousin Buck’s new tent, and the time he and Crazy Eddie were mistaken for a mummy late one night in the Muldoon’s kitchen.

The Grasshopper Trap

 

Camping In

Camping out is a lot better if you can do it in a camper. It keeps you off the cold, hard ground and protects you from assorted wildlife, including Sasquatches.

Real Ponies Don’t Go Oink!

 

Scritch’s Creek

As kids, Patrick and Retch Sweeney discover a fishing hole so wonderful it may never have been fished before. Then they discover the reason it hasn’t been fished—it’s on the property of Ketchum Scritch, the meanest codger anyone’s ever met.

The Night The Bear Ate Goombaw

 

The Grasshopper Trap

Finally, one of Crazy Eddie Muldoon’s ideas for a contraption actually works. With Rancid Crabtree’s help, they build a grasshopper trap that works, in some ways, even better than they imagined. In other ways, not quite.

The Grasshopper Trap

 

The Blue Dress

While Rancid Crabtree was swimming in the creek on a hot summer day, his clothes were stolen by the Skragg boys. Pat and Retch Sweeney are sent to a nearby house to find some clothes, but all they’re able to bring back is a blue dress.

How I Got This Way

 

Cubs

Mr. Tiddle offers to take Mrs. Slocum’s Cub Scouts on an overnight outing. His Boy Scouts, Attila and Lucifer, lead them on a near-death march to the campsite. They get the sweetest revenge when Mr. Tiddle goes skinny-dipping in the icy lake.

The Good Samaritan Strikes Again
and Never Cry “Arp!”

What stories have helped you during these past few weeks?

Stay safe friends,

Lauren