Michael S. Manley

New Shirt, Old Memories

Prior to Holiday World, my jobs had all been farm work, putting up hay or working tobacco for neighbors and getting paid in cash out of a farmer’s wallet at the end of the week. In the summer of 1987, I made $3.35 an hour – minus taxes and the rent on 5 SaniClean uniforms a week (name in a blue oval patch over the breast and everything) – swinging a weedeater or pushing a lawnmower or occasionally digging out the icy, knee-deep clay next to a leaking room-sized freezer, from a few hours before the park opened until a few hours before it closed. By the end of the summer, I was about fifty pounds lighter and had no problem breathing through a respirator mask all day in the humid Southern Indiana summer air. I don’t think I’m violating any kind of NDA by reporting that Santa Claus’s real name back then was Ray, though I might be misremembering that. The experience of that summer inspired the first story I selected for my MA thesis, and a second story, “Believing in Santa Claus”, that became one of the first pieces of fiction I ever published. I still think about that job any time I see a ditch that someone has left unmown.

So when they offered up these shirts for sale earlier this year, I broke my usual rule about no clothing with words or pictures or patterns and snapped one up. Showed up in the mail today. Happy anniversary, y’all.

I spend entirely too much time thinking about the “Six-Fingered Hand” storyline in “The Defenders” from 1981. Shown here, IIRC: The entire town of Citrusville, FL is sent to Hell, leaving only a steaming crater.

Amazon, I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

So glad you have your metadata all squared away, Amazon and Hachette.

My bartender, @ronniecraig, created a drink that we’re calling a Summer Quarantine: 1 cup watermelon juice, 1 cup @JourneymanDist Humdinger Jalapeño Spirit, juice of 2 fresh limes. Shake with ice & 2-4 seeded fresh jalapeño slices. Makes 2. Serve on the rocks.🍹

This seems just a little bit off today, unless there’s a different temperature unit in our current dystopia.

What appears to contain the cover painting of every paperback I read in high school: Space Colony Art from the 1970s

Nurse Rembert taking care of his sick bubba.

Dogs with Broom

Every year the alderman sends around a public service flyer: Do Not Feed the Shelobs. And every year someone feeds the shelobs.

The first year’s harvest.

Bubbas

You gotta take your comfy where you find it, I guess.

Calm Boys

Dim Sum Dinner Club

Had a wonderful dinner this weekend at Brian Moy’s Dim Sum Dinner Club pop-up. Somehow managed to forget to snap a pic of one course, but everything was just delicious. Cannot wait to see what he does with his plans. Great wine pairings offered by Diversey Wine, too.

Early bedtime for these boys.

Bad Apple News! Bad!

TFW you can’t tell if the description of a software package is a buzzword bingo joke, or if you’ve finally reached your own technical decrepitude, or both.

This looks like the most boring Jack Kirby comic book ever.

EXPERIENCE the plight of the poor humans treated like the machines that will replace them. MARVEL at the lack of economic security! WONDER at the absence of any labor gains made by over a century of unionization! BOOK YOUR POVERTY TOUR TODAY!

TIL the etymology of the word “cliché.” H/T to Eve Batey (🐦 @eveb), the “Inside Media” newsletter editor. How I got this far, given my interests, and never knew this, surprises me.

No, no. I don’t think I would like any of those things, but thanks for the suggestion

Someone had a big day meeting the new walker.

Bad enough that the AARP mailings started the day I turned 50, but this morning the clerk looked me right in the eye and punched that damn button.