TRACKING HAPPINESS: Chapter 20
This is CHAPTER 20 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’s mother had warned Lucinda about odd or erratic statements Big Doodle might make during their meeting. After her mom delivered this cryptic message, the Moffat Tunnel swallowed them up.
In this chapter, we meet Big Doodle and his wife, Mrs. Big Doodle. This novel, of course, was read by many Beta readers for feedback before it came to be published. One reader was very sensitive to my comparing Mrs. Big Doodle to the chicken on Saturday morning cartoons who was always trying to woo Foghorn Leghorn. But I’ve seen women in real life who look like this chicken, Foghorn Leghorn’s girlfriend. And sometimes I call my own legs “chicken legs,” which this reader also objected to. I also compare Big Doodle to a heavy-jawed bulldog. And say his eyes bug like a teenager seeing his crush at the next table. She didn’t object to those. I think we had a different level of comfort with people looking like chickens. Or, to state it differently, she considered it more offensive to compare someone to a chicken than a bulldog.
Of course, if that’s the case, I HAD to leave in the comparison, since one of the themes of this novel is to sow chicken love happiness while working to defeat anti-chickenism. (Just for the record, I’m not a stubborn writer who never accepts criticism of her work; I did remove several references that I decided were offensive; I’m not going to tell you what they were because, well, that defeats the purpose of removing them.)
Also send yourself to the Notes Section to see Foghorn Leghorn’s girlfriend in case you don’t remember her. She has a name—who knew? Miss Prissy. One website identifies her as Foghorn Leghorn’s Significant Other. I didn’t make that up. When she first appeared in the Looney Toons cartoons, she only said yes with a decided Southern accent: “Yay-yes.” But then she got more talkative. And Foghorn Leghorn began pursuing her. And she got a child, Egghead, Jr. I am happy to tell you I control my narrative better than that.
I have taken up all our time today talking about cartoons.
Okay. I think that’s enough preliminary information. Now go read Chapter 20 of TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE.
Helpful Train Hint: Ride the train today. Figure out what train leaves from a city near you. Go online to Amtrak and book a trip. I’m not kidding. The train is one of those things that may or may not be with us in the future. Experience it now. Then email me and tell me how glad you are you did.
Footnotes Miss Prissy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Prissy