Pop-Break’s #FridayReads is a column where we recommend to you, our reader, a book we’re currently reading. It doesn’t have to be brand new at all, it just has to be something we’re perusing through right now and think you should really check out.
This week, I wanted to share with you all the book that 100% changed my life — Have a Nice Day! A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks by Mick Foley.
Published in the year 2000 at the height of the pro wrestling boom known as The Attitude Era, Mick Foley, then known as Mankind, released a self-penned biography, chronicling his life in and out of the ring. As a fan of Foley’s work in the WWE as well as a fan of his work work as Cactus Jack in the NWA, WCW, Global Wrestling Federation and World Class, 18-year-old me had a lot of reasons to read this book. Foley was not only a wrestler I had grown up on, but was one of those performers who could entertain me through his hilarious work on the microphone and his high impact style in the ring.
Yet, when I cracked open his autobiography, there was no way that I would know that this book was irrevocably change my life forever.
Reading Have a Nice Day! was as if older me had written a book and published it. Foley was able to capture the writing style I wanted to (and still want to) put out there. His style was a beautiful amalgam of humor, intelligence, wit and wisdom. Every word put down on every page was perfect. He painted movies with every sentence he constructed. Every chapter was a time capsule, filled with a rich history and perspective on a sport that I had grown up with and during our roughest patches, bonded with my late father over.
To me, this book was a challenge. A gauntlet thrown down by the literary gods saying, “Try and be this good.” And for me, it has been the challenge to be as half as good as Mick Foley was in this book.
As for the book itself, wrestling fan or not will adore this work. It’s not just a “wrestling” book, it’s a life story, a journey of an underdog rising above adversity to achieve greatness and most importantly it’s a delightfully hilarious and touching look at a man from Long Island, who had a passion for wearing tights and jumping off roofs. It’s a tale that everyone, no matter your love or disdain for pro wrestling, can truly enjoy. It’s so well-written, so charming, so engaging, that you’ll find yourself tearing through this book in no time flat.
Mick Foley has gone on to become quite the prolific author, but they all pale in comparison, at least in my eyes to what is, and what many consider to be, the greatest wrestling book ever created.