After a 12-year absence, a real-life prodigal seeks to serve his hometown, New Auburn, Wisconsin, population: 485, by joining the volunteer fire and rescue department. In a place where men post claims of manhood on bug deflectors, where the local vigilante is a farmer's wife with a pistol and a Bible, and where the most senior firefighter is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives, writer Michael Perry sets out "to meet my neighbors at the invitation of the fire siren".
Regular price: $21.67
What can we learn about life, love, and artillery from an 82-year-old man whose favorite hobby is firing his homemade cannons? Visit by visit - often with his young daughters in tow - author Michael Perry is about to find out. Toiling in a shop Perry describes as "an antique store stocked by Rube Goldberg, curated by Hunter Thompson, and rearranged by a small earthquake," Tom Hartwig makes gag shovel handles, parts for quarter-million-dollar farm equipment, and - now and then - batches of potentially "extralegal" explosives.
Regular price: $19.95
Life is suddenly full of drama for low-key Harley Jackson: A woman in a big red pickup has stolen his bachelor's heart, a Hummer-driving predatory developer is threatening to pave the last vestiges of his family farm, and inside his barn is a calf bearing the image of Jesus Christ.
Regular price: $21.67
Last seen sleeping off his wedding night in the back of a 1951 International Harvester pickup, Michael Perry is now living in a rickety Wisconsin farmhouse. Faced with 37 acres of fallen fences and overgrown fields, and informed by his pregnant wife that she intends to deliver their baby at home, Perry plumbs his unorthodox childhood - his city-bred parents took in more than 100 foster children while running a ramshackle dairy farm - for clues to how to proceed as a farmer, a husband, and a father.
Regular price: $24.95
"The journey began on a gurney", writes Michael Perry, describing the debilitating kidney stone that led him to discover the essays of Michel de Montaigne. Reading the philosopher in a manner he equates to chickens pecking at scraps - including those eye-blinking moments when the bird gobbles something too big to swallow - Perry attempts to learn what he can (good and bad) about himself as compared to a long-dead French nobleman who began speaking Latin at the age of two.
Regular price: $20.97
The author of Population: 485 returns, delivering a truckload of humor, heart, and...gardening tips? Think Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, complete with stock cars, sexy vegetables, and a laugh track. "All I wanted to do was fix my old pickup truck," says Michael Perry. "That, and plant my garden. Then I met this woman...." Truck: A Love Story recounts a year in which Perry struggles to grow his own food, live peaceably with his neighbors, and sort out his love life.
Regular price: $24.95
Live recording of Michael Perry performing humorous stories from Foggy Crossing, a small town in northern Wisconsin where one's true love is declared on bug deflectors, the state animal is the concrete deer lawn ornament, and the four food groups are cheese, milk, beer, and cheese. Topics addressed include high culture in low places, Fightin' Frogs football, parade floats gone bad, the fine art of manure spreader maintenance, coon dogs and the people who love them, things you should never say in an ambulance, Mavis Turner's Love Guide, and the truth about deer hunting in Wisconsin.
Regular price: $7.00
A live-audience recording of Mike searching for truth in everything from the perfect cow to clogged sewer lines. Tracks include: "The Bull Catalog"; "The Perfect Cow"; "Explaining the Nurse Thing to Dad"; "The Dew is on the Beer Tent"; "Faux Pas Avec Monster Truck"; "Holy Bumpersticker"; "Zed Sets Me Straight"; "Freaked at the Conoco"; and "Just Say Whoa." Recorded Live.... 100% authentic laughter. No laugh track.
Regular price: $6.29
Not so long ago, author, humorist and amateur pig farmer Michael Perry fed the chickens, changed his boots, kissed his wife and daughters, and drove downstate to a refurbished opera house in Stoughton, Wisconsin. Waiting for him onstage was a microphone; waiting in the seats was a sold-out house full of folks ready to laugh. For the next two hours the walls of the old opera hall echoed with stories of love and long underwear, happily failed bachelors, aggressive roosters,one-eyed joke-telling butchers, the glories of pickup-truck-based courtship...and wave after wave of laughter.
Regular price: $11.20