Most Requested McManus Stories

We all have our favorite McManus stories. For me, just off the top of my head, some of mine are Hunting the Wily Avid, The Grasshopper Trap, The Bush Pilots, The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw, Snake, Pigs…hmm, it seems the more I name the more I keep remembering. I don’t know if I could limit all my favorite stories to a top ten kind of list.

But what I can do is tell you the ten most requested stories I’ve been asked to help people find on the McManus Index website. I’ve helped over five hundred people find their favorites.

These are the ten most requested stories from the past seven years. Grab your copy of each one and read along; you’ll have a day of laughter.

10 – Whitewater Fever/Shooting the Chick-a-Nout Narrows (found in the books The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw and A Fine and Pleasant Misery)

I know it’s two stories, but when people ask about riding the rapids and the Chick-a-Nout Narrows the two stories are inseparable.

9 – Silent But Deadly (found in the book Kerplunk!)

This is the one where Pat’s dog, Strange, slurps up the leftover Thanksgiving gravy, bloats up like a ticking gas bomb, and hides in the backseat—ruining his date with Olga Bonemarrow.

8 – Gunrunning (found in the book The Grasshopper Trap)

Evidently a lot of you need this refresher about how to sneak all those guns past your wife.

7 – Poof! No Eyebrows (found in the book Never Sniff a Gift Fish)

As kids Pat and Retch Sweeney work their way up the caliber range with their black-powder experiments until they try to fire a croquet ball from a sewer-pipe canon.

6 – Mean Tents (found in the book The Grasshopper Trap)

Pat and Crazy Eddie try to sleep out in the Muldoon’s backyard. Unable to withstand the onslaught of darkness, and unable to untie their gunnysack tent, they barge into the kitchen, terrifying the dog and Mr. Muldoon, who had been listening to a scary radio program about a mummy.

It’s interesting to see how the details change in people’s minds. Sometimes it was a mud hut in the rain, and the radio show was about aliens.

5 – Secret Places (found in the book Real Ponies Don’t Go Oink!)

All summer long Pat and Crazy Eddie had been conducting a science experiment involving canning jars and urine, only to have it come to an unforgettable end when Mr. Muldoon accidentally discovered their secret hiding place.

4 – Cold Fish (found in the book They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?)

Always trying to avoid anything resembling work, Rancid Crabtree and Patrick rig a sail to their ice-fishing shack to make it easier to move across the frozen lake. It worked better than they’d hoped, until the wind really picked up.

3 – Sequences (found in the book The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw)

A task or goal may seem simple enough, but unless you’re careful you will be sucked into an endless vortex of sequences. It’s usually best to just go fishing instead.

2 – My First Deer and Welcome To It (found in the book They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They? and also the story titled “The Deer on the Bicycle”, found in the book of the same name)

When hunters get to telling about their first deer, they tend to exaggerate until one can scarcely believe the tale. For instance, one night down at Kelly’s Bar & Grill the stories were becoming so unbelievable that Patrick stepped in to give an unvarnished account of riding his bike to get his first deer.

1 – A Good Deed Goes Wrong (found in the book Real Ponies Don’t Go Oink!)

This story actually contains two that are tied together. Pat and Crazy Eddie build a toboggan run and Rancid Crabtree offers to test it for them. In the aftermath Rancid ends up with a broken leg. To ease their guilty feelings, Pat and Eddie decide to do a good deed by giving Rancid a road-kill bobcat. Of course, their good deed goes wrong.

22 thoughts on “Most Requested McManus Stories”

  1. What’s the title of the story of deep sea diving in the creek when the cattle come down to water?

  2. What is the name of the story when one of Patrick’s friends are coming up with all kinds of outdoors sayings?

    1. There are two stories that mention outdoor sayings:

        “Never Sniff a Gift Fish” in the book of the same name
        “What’s in a Name” in the book The Bear in the Attic
    1. The most famous story about Pat and Bun picking huckleberries is titled “A Road Less Travelled By” in the book The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw. There’s another story about huckleberry picking titled “Pickers” in the book Into the Twilight, Endlessly Grousing.

  3. Where can i find the stories where pat builds a dock, pat makes some home improvements namely an office and the contractor drops a iece of wood on his foot

  4. How could I obtain a copy of the article “Blood Sausage” that was in, I believe, a 1990 issue of Outdoor Life. This was the second or third article I read in a former employer’s collection and I fell in love with the humor…so much so, that I got my own subscription so I could collect the articles. Now, some 30-odd years later, I find myself remembering the story and wanting to share it with a co-worker. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

    1. The story “Blood Sausage” is found in the book “real Ponies Don’t Go Oink! I haven’t indexed the issue of Outdoor Life it was published in (that’s something I’m currently working on in my spare time).

  5. Carlos, the new young doctors assistant had on the rattiest pair of tennis shoes. I knew there had to be a reason and I found out there was. It made me think of two of Pat’s stories. One, I think it’s called, ‘tenner shoe blight’. Anyways, one is story is about the history of tenner shoes, and the other one is about the competition of who could keep their tenner shoes on the longest, which was Buck, where the doc strapped him down to the table, using big leather straps, and then he used Sissel rope to separate his toes, and made all the dogs in the county start howling along with him.
    So I find it an important for me to share these stories with my new acquaintance, but I’m having difficulty finding them.
    Can you help me in my blight?

    1. You’re right, to get the complete picture you need to read both of them:

        “Tenner Shoes” in the book They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?
        “Tenner-Shoe Blight” in the book How I Got This Way

      As a bonus, Pat also mentions tenner shoes in “Crick Ritual” in the book The Grasshopper Trap.

  6. I’m quite surprised “Mountain Men” didn’t make this list. It’s by far our favorite story of Pat’s. We read it every time we have a family gathering. It’s in ‘Into The Twilight, Endlessly Grousing’.

  7. Thank you for this; I just now looked up to see if Pat was still with us. I read Pat constantly as a child, from a big pile of Outdoor Life and Field and Stream magazines that an old friend of my father’s would bring by. That is the nice half of the story. The less-nice half is that I could not do any of these things with my father, as he was making the transition from functional alcoholic to regular alcoholic by the time that I came along later in his life. So, I only got to dream about doing these things, and Pat helped that a lot.

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