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.
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.
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.