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Tracking Happiness: Chapter 17

This is CHAPTER 17 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 and Rahtz were on the Golden Gate bridge when an earthquake hit.

The most basic maxim in writing is “write what you know.” I know what it feels like to be in an earthquake. Earthquakes hit Memphis all the time. Okay, they’re minor earthquakes, but Memphis sits on the New Madrid fault (which, when I first moved to Memphis, I thought was the New Madras fault, like, you know, a really preppy plaid fault.) Anyway, the earthquakes that hit Memphis feel exactly like what I’ve described in the opening to this chapter. I used to live on Mud Island and if a real earthquake had ever hit Memphis, my Mud Island home would’ve liquified because Mud Island is nothing more than a glorified sand bar. I was much interested in EarthQuake preparedness for a while. I bought yellow slicker overalls. Bungie cords. Battery-less flashlights. I wanted to hang an inflatable boat on the garage wall. Get a life vest for my dog. My husband said if an earthquake hit Mud Island, I’d be in New Orleans before I knew what had happened. I still have the yellow overalls.

In this chapter I use Stuckey’s as a pejorative adjective. That’s the roadside cafe. I apologize to my childhood self, who loved Stuckey’s—I did not mean to grow up to be a snob. There is also a reference to the pitiful dribbles of spit the folks out west think are ‘rivers.’ This is the type of river snobbery that develops when you live on the Mississippi River. I’m working up the desire to apologize for this snobbery too. Give me time.

There’s also a reference in this chapter to coloring baby chicks pastel colors for Easter. As Lucinda points out, people don’t do that anymore. In some states, it’s illegal. In furtherance of our ongoing “be nice to chickens” theme of this book, we would ask that you not dye baby chicks at Easter. Better yet, don’t buy baby chicks for Easter unless you’ve got a chicken farm.  

Okay. That’s enough preliminary information.

Fun Chicken FactThere are no chickens in the Arabian desert. This Fun Chicken Fact was submitted by my husband, who tries to support me in all I do, no matter how weird it might be. I think he got it from a movie. If there are naturally-occurring chickens in the Arabian desert (we’re not talking imported commercially-grown chickens), blame the movie industry, not me. 


Earthquake preparedness, earthquakes in Memphis, Stuckey's, the Mississippi River, Tracking Happiness, Tracking Happiness chickens, Tracking Happiness: A Southern Chicken Adventure

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