Mankind: Have a Nice Day! A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks is the autobiography and memoir of WWE Hardcore Legend Mick Foley.
This may surprise some of you but I really love wrestling. I love everything about it. I love the brutality, the spectacle, the theater, the giant hunky men in skimpy clothing with long hair whipping around. I am saddened by that not being a popular opinion anymore because nobody wants to watch WWE with me and it’s just not as fun by yourself. I haven’t been able to keep up with the modern roster but I used to watch every Monday and Thursday like clockwork.
Mankind, Mick Foley, was always a favorite of mine. Despite the leather mask and missing teeth he has a big goofy grin that I just always loved. I am also partial to big hairy guys who look like good huggers so excuse me while I fan girl out.
Foley spent the bulk of his career wrestling as Cactus Jack but became a champion as Mankind. It was toward the end of this tenure that he decided to forego a ghost writer and handwrite 700 pages of his story. Have a Nice Day! is still widely considered to be the best professional wrestling autobiography to ever be written. I haven’t read any others but I doubt their ability to compete.
The memoir opens with the story of how Foley lost his ear in the ring. It’s an intense occurrence that will certainly make you wince and really drives home the fact that this “fake” sport is truly dangerous. Let’s get this out there, wrestling is not half as fake as people believe. Wrestlers do actually get very injured and have even died in the ring. Although the story lines and dramas are often scripted the punches and throws are very often real.
No one can accuse Foley of ever taking the easy road. As he recounts the beginning of his career we see that he was taking every small gig he could book. Sometimes this meant traveling hundreds of miles to make tens of dollars. He was living out of his car, eating nothing but peanut butter, and often losing money on his jobs after expenses. He was brutalizing his body for the pure love of it and nothing more.
Throughout Mankind: Have a Nice Day! Foley says that he does not love pain. It’s very hard to believe this. Most of us spend a lot of energy avoiding injuries and will do anything in our power not to be thrown off of a 16 foot tall cage into a table. There are, however, a lot of feel good chemicals that come with pain and the rush of a crowd so my guess is that that balances out the pain until recovery time when pain would no longer be enjoyable.
Regardless of Foley’s affinity for pain I thank him for all he put himself through to give us a great show. I also thank him for this amazing book that does not glorify the typical macho man lifestyle that people assume this career choice would contain.
Foley is not afraid to cry and he loves his wife and children more than anything in the world. He does not harass women and has even defended female wrestlers from creeps and gawkers. He jokes about having a small dick. He is secure in his “testicular fortitude” and does not need to flex bulging biceps to be respected. Many people could take a lesson from him.
He’s honestly a big sweetie pie and that makes me love him more. They say you shouldn’t meet your heroes but I have a feeling that I would not be disappointed with Mankind.
Reading Have a Nice Day! filled me with excitement about the sport of wrestling all over again. As he describes his matches make sure to follow along on YouTube. Many of them are available through fan uploads to watch for free. It was fascinating to see these matches and feel the pain and exhaustion and surprisingly little rehearsal that went into them.
Foley is honest about the industry, his injuries, and his relationships with the wrestlers and different companies. He is also honest about the rise of Mr f’ing Socko that nobody saw coming.
Apparently, when the book first hit the bestseller list book reviewers were still too snobby to publish a review of a wrestling book. They saw it as beneath them. Well, I hate that. I’ve always had a respect for the sport of professional wrestling and it took me way too long to read this book. But I’m very glad I waited until after I started this blog so that I could review it. I’m sorry other reviewers can’t appreciate high entertainment when they see it but at least here’s my positive review.
Even if you’re not a WWE fan I encourage you to read and review Mankind: Have a Nice Day! A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks.
5/5 wrestlers 🤼♂️🤼♂️🤼♂️🤼♂️🤼♂️
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For another great celebrity memoir check out I’m Glad My Mom Died