Summer of Marv

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My first memoir detailed two full decades of my adult life. It featured exotic locales and femmes fatales; it soared through giddy peaks of unbridled passion and forbidden love, and plumbed the murky depths of suicidal despair; it crammed the adventures of a lifetime into 240 taut, breathless pages. I figured, "Who needs any more of that crap?"

This time around, in a book of almost precisely the same length, I cover ten months of the year 1975 during which, at nineteen, I flunked out of college in Mankato, Minnesota. The narrative follows young Josh through a series of mutually unsatisfying relationships with young women, while the action consists primarily of nights wasted at parties and days playing in slow-pitch softball games.

If that doesn't set pulses quickening and glands salivating, then, by God, I don't know my readers. Summer of Marv is now on sale at as few locations as is humanly possible. -- JM


Random Lines from Summer of Marv



Cover design (the fabled Rathskeller bar of Mankato, Minnesota) by Gary Pettis.




It was one of the most pressure-packed situations
I’d found myself in throughout an already long, illustrious masturbatory career.
The crowd would glare balefully at this naked interloper with eyes that said You’re not our real mom and Durward would spout mean poetry at her until she went away.

“Well, all right, then. Hey--you flaccid?”
Then, as if to punctuate his point, his large bowel unleashed a long and rippling expulsion, evocative of two soggy decks of cards being shuffled together by a clumsy blackjack dealer.
We each must choose our own path through life, our own road from cradle to grave, and my friends, true Midwestern men to the core, seemed hell-bent on competing to find the best shortcut.

“Hey, look. I’m just tryin’ to be affable here.”

He knocked the ball down on the first bounce but lost it momentarily in the webbing of his throwing hand.
It’s said that every generation believes itself to be the one that invented sex. I for one never suffered such delusions on behalf of my generation, but for God's sake at the very least I thought that we had invented the Wheelbarrow. Imagine my chagrin years later upon learning that we hadn't.
That girl was to penile stitches what Little Boy was to Hiroshima architecture, what Mad Dog Vachon was to the Very Capable Kenny Jay, what John Denver was to legitimate country rock: a Force of Nature, a Destroyer of Worlds.

 “The fuck you yellin' mollusk for?”
Easy for him to say, the circumcised bastard. Grandma Naked just wasn’t going to cut it this time.
The dress was cinched at the ribcage with an elastic band, over which flowed pleasingly contoured globules of fatty tissue. All great fetishes are the evolutionary product of trial and error, and someday I would be hailed by a generation of mouth-breathers yet unborn as the Father of Bra Sniffing.


Excerpt 1

To The Very Capable Kenny Jay, that doughy sacrificial lamb of the American Wrestling Association, Falling Just Short was more than a pastime: it was a way of life. By 1975 he was roughly halfway through a losing streak of some six hundred fifty consecutive televised wrestling matches, along the way authoring a resume bespattered with the sweat and saliva of many an AWA Hall of Famer. He had been bolo-punched by The Crusher, drop-kicked by Vern Gagne, whipped into innumerable turnbuckles by Nick Bockwinkle, ardently masticated upon by Mad Dog Vachon, pounced on from the top rope by Handsome Harley Race--even though that’s banned in some states and should be in this one!--tomahawked by Wahoo McDaniel, clawed by Baron von Raschke, poleaxed by Ivan Putski, and tummy-tickled into submission by Pampero Firpo, the Wild Bull of the Pampas. There were career prostitutes near Medicare age who had spent less time on their backs flailing in feigned emotion than the Very Capable Kenny Jay had.


Excerpt 2

“But the deeper point is, why beaver? Does that”--here I gestured in the general direction of Donna James’s venerated reproductive organs--“resemble a beaver any more than it does, say, a possum or a muskrat?”

“Okay, I see what you mean,” said Arnie

“Beaver!” insisted a tomato-headed patron with growing resolve. The cry was picked up by his fellows:

“BEEEE-VER! BEEEE-VER! BEEEE-VER!...”

And then from Donna’s nether regions sprang blinding lasers. It was the lights catching her spangled G-string as she ever so briefly pulled it down to offer the addled masses a glimpse of the Promised Land

There was a long instant of stunned silence followed by a uniform hoot of approval, spiked with hoarse cries of “Beaver! Beaver!”, for these are men who know it when they see it. And then it was gone. In a blinding, spangly flash, the highlight of their week had passed.