Michael Perry’s Voice Mail Episode #196: The Mike and Mary Situation …fret friends.

Welcome to Michael Perry’s Voice Mail, episode 196. This one’s available to free and paid subscribers alike. Click here to listen.

In today’s episode, I introduce a good friend of mine, Mary Cutrufello. I’ve mentioned Mary before, usually when talking about my band the Long Beds (named after the truck in Truck), but since we’re going to be doing some shows as a duo this year (The Mike and Mary Situation), I figured maybe it was time to share some background. Scroll down and you can see a video of Mary on The Tonight Show back in the day.

This week’s marginalia is…well, scroll down for that too.

This episode is from scratch, and not in any of my books. Until I write the one about the band…

If you’re in the Twin Cities area and want to catch Mary’s live shows, this is the place to start.

Mary and I have three shows coming up: February 9 in MinneapolisFebruary 24 in Bayfield, Wisconsin, and then in St. Paul, Minnesota in May. For best details, make sure you’re on the mailing list—we’ll let you know.

Today’s episode isn’t from any of my books, but if you’re looking for them, they’re here. Including this little number, which not everyone knows about:

For years Mary and I shared the stage with Billy…


We were all younger once…here’s Mary on The Tonight Show:

Here’s a Long Beds television appearance from 2018 that features Billy and Mary.


In the spirit of my comments in this episode’s recording about freelance work and ideas that never see the light of day, I thought it fitting to share this checklist I came across in a journal (undated, but based on the entries, I think it’s about 5-6 years old) and update you on the progress (the check marks don’t mean completed, they mean I either completed them or moved them to the next day’s list) (a process that worked for a few months then dwindled):

Daughters Book: 70% done, currently on pause.

WHS backlist plans — indies: Don’t recall, but it has to do with my Wisconsin Historical Society Press books From the TopRoughneck Graceand Danger: Man WorkingAnd independent bookstores.

Prince Piece: Finished that one, it’s here. And parts of it wound up in the Montaigne book.

Poetry Editor?: Don’t recall. Maybe thinking of writing poetry again? Would love to, but hard to pay the rent with it.

Cheese Chapter?: I wrote a sample chapter for a book about cheese. Put together a whole book proposal. Spent months on it. Put in a lot of time and travel. My agent shopped it around. Nobody bit.

Colonoscopy: This wasn’t a reminder to get a colonoscopy, this was a reminder to finish writing my article about getting a colonoscopy—without any anesthetic. It was published in Men’s Health magazine. I just had another colonoscopy. This time I took the juice.

Montaigne paperback: Musta been getting ready to tour this.

WSJ column: Wrote one of those a week for nine-and-a-half years. It was always on the to-do list.

Agri-View: We were in preliminary discussions to have them syndicate my “Roughneck Grace” column. It didn’t work out.

Film/TV (POP/JC): Was working out how to pitch Population 485 and The Jesus Cow as film projects. Nothing yet, but I did recently sell a script and sign a development deal for an unrelated project.

WHSP audiobooks: I own the audio rights to my Wisconsin Historical Society Press books, but so far have only recorded From the Top. I gotta get on that.

Scavengers: The sequel to this. I’m actually making a lot of progress on it lately.

Okey-doke. That’ll do’er. See y’down the road,

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