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This is CHAPTER 25 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 arrived at the restaurant to meet Augie, and there he is on the sidewalk talking to a blond bombshell. Yep, right when you think our story is about to resolve into happily-ever-after, drama rears its ugly head. Such is the world of a novel. 

In this chapter Augie, who is from New Orleans, makes a comment to the effect that New Orleans is “the cuisine capital of the world.” An editor I paid to review the novel vociferously objected to this comment. She thought it way out of bounds, too far-fetched of a claim, even for a proud New Orleanian character. She wasn’t from New Orleans. It’s not far-fetched. Google it. You get hits. Annnnnnnnddddd. My son’s restaurant won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant IN THE COUNTRY. His restaurant is in … New Orleans. Peche. He also won Best Chef South that year. So, yeah, I left the comment in. Nobody’s gonna convince me New Orleans ain’t food-fancy. 

Also, here at the end of the novel, I will comment on a recurring theme: Lucinda is a St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan. Augie is a Chicago Cubs fan. These teams are rivals; in real life, I mean. It was a very one-sided rivalry FOREVER. The Cardinals have won 11 World Series. At the time I wrote this novel, the Cubs hadn’t won a world series in 108 years. Most people attribute their dry spell to the Billy Goat curse (which I have referenced earlier and actually included some information in a prior Footnote but we’re gonna re-include it so you don’t have to work to find it but be aware this link is written by the tavern (that’s a fancy name for bar) where the curse originated so it may be, ahem, biased.)

And on a side note for non-baseball fans: baseball fields are different sizes. I mean, they have no standard configuration. Imagine, for example, you’re playing tennis and the size of the court varies depending on where you’re playing. This is craziness, but it’s baseball. I’ve put a link explaining this in the Footnotes. We’re all about baseball in the Footnotes today, though they are flawed articles. This latter one (from NPR, no less) was written in 2005, and Yankee Stadium is no longer its original self. 

Okay. I think that’s enough preliminary information. Now go read Chapter 25 of TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE.

Fun Chicken Fact: Chickens do, in fact, take dust baths. When I was a child, I heard this and gave my dog a dust bath. Problem was, I choose to do it right after my mother had given him a proper bath. She didn’t appreciate that. But chickens use dust to cool down and clean themselves. It’s all in the perspective. 


Billy Goat Curse


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