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Tracking Happiness: Chapter 13

This is CHAPTER 13 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 sent her best friend Pammy on a mission to find dirt on Big Doodle, dirt she could use to force Big Doodle to retract what he said about Lucinda’s dad. Pammy stealithly set up a Glamor Galore spa at Lucinda’s mom’s house. While the spa ladies were under their GG Gel Masks, Pammy crept upstairs to rifle through Lucinda’s dad’s files. We don’t know what happened next.  

This chapter is full of plot points, so I can’t say much without giving away surprises. It also features a baptism. I don’t want to talk about that either. You need to experience it as it comes. Instead, I’m going to tell you a story about the Mississippi Mass Choir, Johnny Cash, and corndogs.

A long time ago, I went to Jubilee Jam with my cousin. Jubilee Jam was a downtown music festival. I don’t think they have it anymore. We had special tickets, courtesy of a guy my sister was dating. I was wearing white shorts and my cowboy boots. I had a Pebbles tattoo on my shoulder, as in the Flintstones cartoon Pebbles. I had a Pebbles doll when I was little. So I picked Pebbles for my tattoo. It was a temporary tattoo. I wasn’t particularly intimidating. 

Johnny Cash was appearing that day. Our special tickets got us on stage. First, the Mississippi Mass Choir sang. I was on a folding chair about two feet from the choir. I thought I was sitting on a cloud in heaven with the Holy Spirit zipping around me. Johnny Cash was okay, but the Mississippi Mass choir? Awesome. The best thing about Johnny Cash was the corndogs. 

You know how movie stars ask for special things when they perform? Like champagne and chocolate-covered cherries, stuff like that? Well, Johnny Cash wanted corndogs. Hotdogs wrapped in cornmeal on a wooden stick, which we in Memphis call Pronto Pups. Johnny wanted seven of them. And he wanted them hot. So the concert sponsors got seven dogs ready for Johnny. But there was the issue of “hot.” So the festival guys mic’d up a dude to stand with a walkie-talkie at the foot of the stage. Another guy stood at the corndog stand. When Johnny finished singing and bowing to the crowd and walked down the steps of the stage, the guy at the stairs squawked to the guy at the corndog stand, “Drop the dogs.” The corndog guy cooked the dogs, and a third guy trotted the hot corndogs over to Johnny’s trailer, the dogs splayed out in his hands like a royal flush on poker night. 

That’s the entire story, the punch line being, “Drop the dogs.”

The footnotes has info on Pronto Pups. Yes, Pronto Pups of Memphis has its own FaceBook page. Plus, there’s an article on the folks who make them. And what’s in their super secret wrap. 

Okay. That’s enough preliminary information.

Fun Chicken Fact: Most cities don’t allow roosters. I think it’s because they crow too early in the morning and wake folks up. Hens, however, cackle in the mornings, and they’re allowed in most cities. Different strokes for different chickens. 


Notes Section

Pronto Pups 

CA article on the secret to Pronto Pups  

Johnny Cash, Mississippi Mass Choir, Pronto Pups, Tracking Happiness, Tracking Happiness chickens, Tracking Happiness: A Southern Chicken Adventure

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