I’ve written a book with no redeeming social value whatsoever except for one: it’s funny.
I think of Trouble at Big Daddy’s Chicken Palace Emporium and Museum as my Bruce Springsteen novel. You see, I have this image of Bruce arriving at the Pearly Gates. Jesus is standing there, talking to him. Do you think Jesus is saying, “So, Bruce, what’d you do for the least of these? Did you feed them, clothe them, visit them in jail?”
I think Jesus is asking The Boss, “Man, can I get a rift of ‘Thunder Road?’” (Of course, this conversation is purely theoretical. The actual conversation already occurred when the Big Man arrived and played sax for, well . . . the Big Man.)
The Little Drummer Boy as Rock-n-roll guitarist or Pure As Heaven saxophonist. My gift, your gift, his gift, her gift. The delight of God—to sing, to laugh, to tell puns. Even, God forbid, to write chicken novels.
Trouble at Big Daddy’s Chicken Palace Emporium and Museum:
You’re standing on the platform, your toes not a foot from the steel tracks, when you sense it—a pounding, powerful thing, heavy and on its way. Your heart is thumping against your chest, then all of a sudden the whistle lets loose and a hollow sound escapes like a dog baying at the moon, that long hollering where the dog’s head is thrown back and his cheeks are warbling, his head turning from side to side, because there’s no other way to express what he feels. A rocking starts underfoot, and everyone on the platform glances at one another, smiling, nervous. If it’s night, the double headlights dig a trench in the tracks. If it’s day, the sun shatters a halo around the bullet nose of the train. Either way, you’re blinded by two distinct ribbons of light, this unknown thing acting as if it’s giving you a choice in the way you want to leave this world: you can take the high road, little lady, or the low.
Then it’s upon you, blocking out everything but itself, its body, its bulk, its everlasting steel metal oneness. Until—suddenly—quiet as a baby—no screeching, no chugging, no slamming on brakes—it glides to a stop at your feet.
And offers you a ride.
How can a girl refuse?
Here’s to creative synthesis . . .