Tracking Happiness: Chapter 4
This is CHAPTER 4 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, I can’t promise you it won’t be confusing, but it might be interesting too.
Ok. Chapter 4. Last we left off Lucinda Mae had made it to Yazoo City on the train.
Stop here a moment and repeat after me: “Ya-zoo City. Ya-zoo City.” NOT yah-zoo city. As a Public Service Announcement, I’ve included in the footnotes below a pronunciation guide to certain often-mispronounced Mississippi cities. I’ve chosen to offer the local pronunciation so that if you visit these cities, you won’t be walking around talking about, durn, you didn’t know Elvis was born in Two-pellow. Go read it. You’ll thank me later.
In this chapter Lucinda returns to talking about sex. There’s a lot of talk about sex in this novel because it’s a humorous novel for adults, and sex can be really funny . . . or not, but most of the time it makes us giggle. There’s also some actual sex described in this novel, which I know you’ll be reading, which will be embarrassing, but you must sacrifice for your art. The point being, if you are squeamish about sex you might want to stop following along right now so that you don’t get all involved in wondering what’s gonna happen to Lucinda, and if Erick’s gonna win the Mall of America Your Idea Can Save the World contest, and what about the poor chickens who are being abused under the new Chicken Palace Emporium fried chicken management philosophy, and then you’re put off by the sex talk and you have to give it up, forever left hanging. Better to give it up now. It’s not graphic sex. I’m not a graphic person. But sex is sex. You can’t make it anything else.
There’s also a reference in this chapter to the Chicken Dance which is a a famous polka song, which if you’ve ever been to an Octoberfest anywhere, you’ve probably seen. In case you haven’t, I’ve included a link to a couple of YouTube videos, because we’re developing a chicken dance theme in the notes. They’re thousands of these things, y’all, and I’ve curated them for you, including a disco remix. You’re welcome.
Finally, Lucinda makes a disparaging remark about the dinner she and Erick are served in the dining car on the train. This has NOT been my experience riding the train. The food I’ve gotten has always been wonderful. But, you know, that’s why a novel is called “fiction”: most of the stuff is made up.
Okay, I think that’s enough preliminary information.
Now go read Chapter 4 of TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE (I know, I know—no Helpful Train Hints or Fun Chicken Facts today. Come back later.)
NOTES for Chapter 4:
Biloxi: Bu-LUCK-see (not Bi- lox-see)
Tupelo: TWO-pah-low (not Two-PELL-o)
Lafayette County: La-FAY-ette (not La-fay-yette)
Tishomingo County: tish-a-MING-go
Yazoo City: YA-zoo (not yah-zoo) City
Monticello: Mon-ta-CELLAR (this is my grandmother’s pronunciation, you’re going to have to accept it)
Natchez: NA-chez (not Na-chaay)
New Hebron: New HEE-bron
Chicken dance, chicken novels, Tracking Happiness chickens, Tracking Happiness: A Southern Chicken Adventure
the chicken dance. Ahh, memories. Up north this is done at wedding receptions to get everyone, especially the kids involved. It’s the only dance I’ve ever mastered.
Ellen Morris Prewitt
How fun! The only time I’ve been involved in one was at the Oktoberfest in Kenner. They had a big chicken leading it. It was so funny! ?