The Lonestar Book Review: Have a Nice Day! by Mick Foley
Alright, this is it. Have a Nice Day is the book I’ve been building towards while reviewing all three of Foley’s newer autobiographies. I’ve praised and critiqued, recommended those I found worthy of your time and just plain criticized when I felt it necessary, all the while stating that Mick’s first autobiography is the main event, the book that paved the way for numerous other wrestling books to follow, the holy grail of wrestling literature. Now that we stand at the end of our path, are all the praise and the hyperbole that everyone’s ever said about the book and about Mick Foley as an author true? Yes.
What’s very fun about Have a Nice Day are the road stories Foley shares about he and his fellow wrestlers. My favorite would have to be the “cookie story” concerning Diamond Dallas Page, Mick and a not quite Stone Cold Steve Austin, but anything featuring Abdullah the Butcher, Terry Funk, Vader or Owen Hart is quite enjoyable. Speaking of Vader, Foley also goes into great detail about some of his most legendarily brutal battles and what it feel like to lose one’s ear/wrestle with barbed wire/get thrown off Hell in a Cell/get the living shite burned out of your arm/take a Vaderbomb onto concrete. It’s enlightening stuff and a side of life I hope to never experience outside the pages of Foley’s books.
Beyond the funny stories and the dissection of hardcore matches Have a Nice Day is simply a success story about a man who saw something he wanted to do and set out to do it, ignoring all the negatives telling him to stop and eventually becoming one of the very best in his chosen industry. Today especially, in a time where globally the economy sucks and personally I’m making the transition between goof-ball youth and successful adult, that kind of story is welcoming and empowering in its positivity. Did Foley have deal with bosses that frankly didn’t see his potential? Oh hell yes, their names were Ric Flair, Ole Anderson and up to a certain point in time Vince McMahon.Foley bobbed and weaved, reacted to the signs and evolved, raising his experience and profile in lesser companies and coming back a better performer than ever before. It’s an example any struggling wrestler or really any struggling person should look at and learn from.
So yeah, Have a Nice Day is pretty much awesome. While telling a positive and true story about one of wrestling most endearing characters it gives a glimpse into the last days of the wrestling territories, the dysfunction of WCW, the hardcore insanity of ECW and Japanese death-match wrestling, and the rise of the WWE in the Attitude Era while peppering in amusing stories about a bunch of famous wrestlers and life in general. If you like wrestling and you read, you pretty much need to get Have a Nice Day; it’s simply a minor travesty if the book isn’t sitting spine-broken on your shelf.