Sad Puppies Review Books: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel


Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

There is a disease men get sometimes, or at least some men. Blue-pill beta cucks who have not yet learned the value of going their own way. It is called one-itis, and the women who control the media use it to foster this disease by shoehorning the same love story into every movie and TV show, telling men that there’s one woman out there for them whom they must spend all their time and energy trying to please in order to win her. There’s nothing modern feminists want more than a world where men have to see them as prizes to be won and fought over, because that is the only way they can have true power.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is the story of a sad, broken little man who ultimately loses his lifelong battle with one-itis. It depicts his journey from a proud construction worker to a humble janitor, living out his last days in the dingy basement of a building that only his own honest labor made possible while the man who bested him, a powerful man who consistently demonstrates his value, lords his position over him.

The main characters in this book are Mike Mulligan, the construction worker who is led around by the nose by his ungrateful, greedy shrew of a steam shovel Mary Anne, and Henry B. Swap, a local politician who knows the importance of keeping frame.

The opening pages of the book are a sickeningly, sappy love song to the so-called “virtues” of Mary Anne. Mary Anne is so great, she and Mike Mulligan “and some others” dug the canals for the boats and the roads for the cars and the landing strips for the airplanes. This wording clearly shows us how completely our hero has succumbed to one-itis. Even when he’s participating in grand architectural projects, he only has eyes for his steam shovel, his One True Love.

For a while, he’s so wrapped up in the grand romantic fantasy of it all that it seems like they have a good life together. We’re told that he works so hard and takes such good care of her that she never grows old, but what we never hear is what she does for him. When is it her turn to take care of him? Feminists say they want equality but they have created a world in which men must labor to support them.

And even if Mary Anne looks good for her age (only because Mike supports her!), there’s still trouble in paradise because here comes younger, sexier power shovels: Diesel shovels, electric shovels, gas shovels. Men who know their own value prefer the younger models, and soon no one wants Mary Anne around except for sad sack Mike Mulligan, who can’t bear to let her go, but now can’t find the work he needs to do in order to support her in the lifestyle to which she has grown accustomed.

This is one-itis. Mike Mulligan would have been just fine if he’d been willing to say, “Later, toots!”, leave Mary Anne on the scrapheap where she belonged and started fucking one of the modern shovels instead. Or why one? He could keep a lot of them in the air until he knows he’s ready to settle down. He should be living large. Nothing demonstrates your value to women better than your willingness to keep a lot of plates spinning.

But because he has one-itis, Mike doesn’t realize that while Mary Anne cannot function without him, he can function just fine without her. Mary Anne needs Mike Mulligan inside her in order to come to life. Without him stoking her furnace, pulling her levers, and ramming pistons, she would remain cold and inert, without purpose or function. What does he need her for? To dig a little faster and a little better? I submit to you that Mike Mulligan on his own could eventually dig any hole that he dug with Mary Anne’s nominal help, but Mary Anne on her own is just a big useless thing, waiting for a man to fire her up and give her direction!

But rather than trading her in for a younger model, Mike follows Mary Anne out of the city and away from the lucrative construction jobs to a podunk town where an aging beauty can still act like a big fish in a small pond. There, desperate to be able to continue to please her like he once did, Mike lets himself be manipulated into a bet with the town’s alpha red pill selectman, Henry B. Swap: he’ll dig a cellar for the new town hall, and he’ll either do it in a single day—meaning he’ll bust his ass way harder than he needs to—or he’ll do it for free, meaning he’ll bust his ass for nothing.

Mike’s problem, from start to finish, is that he has no notion of keeping frame. Frame is how men control their interactions with the world. You, not some steam shovel you picked up, should be setting and controlling the frame in your relationships. Whoever sets the frame for any negotiation, in a relationship or business transaction, controls it.

Where Mike should have been demonstrating his power to Swap, he instead broadcast his desperation. And he gets taken advantage of, because of it. He lost frame with Mary Anne years ago if he ever had it to begin with, and he loses it immediately with Henry B. Swap, and so we’re treated to the sad spectacle of a man who once laid the foundations for skyscrapers trying to scrape out the basement for a two-story building in a single day.

Now, he succeeds, sort of. He succeeds because Mary Anne isn’t even loyal to him. She’s an exhibitionist. Any time a crowd watches her work with Mike, it just stokes her boiler even harder, and so they “dig faster and better” the more people are watching.

Men, if you’re ever dating an excavator, her work should be for your eyes only. She shouldn’t need a crowd watching to do her job. She should be digging modestly, in the privacy of your own home. It’s one of the simplest rules of red pill logic: sooner or later, a steam shovel that needs to dig in front of other people will want to dig with other people.

One-itis often leads to tunnel vision, and that’s the case here. Mike fulfills his beta boast, but at the cost of everything. He has literally dug himself into a corner. With no ramp to get out of the cellar, he’s stuck.

Or is he?

There’s no way to get Mary Anne out of the pit he dug, but just a few pages later, Mike’s climbing out on a ladder. It’s only his irrational attachment to her that keeps him there with her. The lesson here is that it’s easy for women to fall, but men can still just get up and leave when that happens. Mike, sadly, doesn’t learn it. A little boy suggests that if Mike is so in love with Mary Anne, he should just stay in the basement with her. If there was any doubt that Mike was a cuck of the highest or maybe lowest order, Mike agrees.

When the book closes, Mary Anne is keeping Henry B. Swap warm while Mike is still devoting his life to maintaining her. That’s the way it is. Women keep men like Mike Mulligan around only so they can leech off their beta bucks while they chase after the alphas. This book shows the entire process from start to finish in breathtaking clarity, but in an Alinsky-style propaganda twist, it puts a happy face on it, showing Mike Mulligan’s final defeat as a kind of contentment.

He’s going to live the rest of his life in that basement, because retirement would mean walking away from his “one” and if he could have done that he’d have been living the high life with a string of motor shovels up and down the coast, and we’re supposed to believe he’s happy about it. He certainly does.

Two stars.

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