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Tracking Happiness: Chapter 12

This is CHAPTER 12 in our series offering gossip, novel backstory, and personal confessions about TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE. We’re working our way through a novel here. If you’re just now discovering us, you can jump in now or go back to the first entry and catch up. If you jump in now, I can’t promise you it won’t be confusing, but it might be interesting too.

Ok. Last we left off: Lucinda had suddenly realized that she herself might have led folks to believe her dead dad was involved in the drug scandal. She did NOT spew mashed potatoes all over the Gminsky’s dining table, but she almost did.

You might wonder in reading this chapter, how the word “quest” came to be in a modern fiction novel. Truth tell, it’s from Don Quixote. During the LONG period when I was writing this novel, I read Don Quixote. Don Quixote, the total title of which is Don Quixote: The Ingenious Nobleman Mister Quixote of La Mancha, was published by Cervantes in 1605. That’s 400 years ago. And there I was reading about Don Quixote and his sidekick Sancho (who is lots smarter than poor old Don) and laughing like the thing was written yesterday. I find that amazing. That humans have changed so little in 400 years that I still find the same durn thing funny that Cervantes did. 

Critics have said Don Quixote is a work of nihilism (this is in the Wikipedia description that I’ve included in the footnotes below), which is really interesting because critics say the same thing about Celine’s novel Journey to the End of the Night. This is the novel I gave to Lucinda to buoy her spirits right after her daddy’s death because I found it full of exuberance . . .  and it’s known for its unrelenting pessimism. Oh, well. We all see the world in our own way. Let’s move on. 

Here, we get to some train talk. A tip: Don’t talk about riding the train unless you’re prepared to have people look at you like you’re a talking porpoise. “You rode the train when?” “Do they still have trains?” “With passengers on them?”

This may only happen in the South where, thanks to line closures, it’s almost impossible to get from here to there on the train. I understand the train is much more common on the Eastern Seaboard. They’re more sophisticated on the Eastern Seaboard. Here in the South, you talk about riding the train, folks look at you like you’ve just admitted you enjoy role-playing The Lone Ranger. With cap guns. My advice: talk about riding the train only amongst friends or people you know very well.

Okay. That’s enough preliminary information. 

Helpful Train Hint: An idling train may or may not blow its whistle before it moves again. If you for example, are lifting your bike and shoving it between the train cars because you’re impatient as hell to get to the other side, you may get no warning you are about to be squished. Please do NOT mess around with trains.


NOTES SECTION for Chapter 12

Don Quixote:


Don Quixote, Journey to the End of the Night, Tracking Happiness, Tracking Happiness chickens, Tracking Happiness: A Southern Chicken Adventure

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