Commentary 7.5: Seven and a Half Cents

Changing things up today, I thought it would be interesting to dissect the longest deleted chapter since we’re at the point in the book where it would have appeared. I’m also hoping that a baseball post will help snap the Red Sox losing streak 🙂

As I’ve said before, this was intended to set up more of the time travel rules in an interesting venue. But it really felt like it was slowing down the plot, the narrator’s baseball past was causing the story to lose focus, and the afterglow of a World Series victory made revisting past failures a little trite.

So here are some notes on what might have been, including a peek into the writing/editing process.

Other tidbits:

  • There are a number of direct Quantum Leap references scattered throughout the book, but I believe this was the only direct Back To The Future nod aside from a reference to the soundtrack.
  • Midway through writing this chapter I suddenly realized the scene may predate Busch Stadium, and research proved that to be so. The cab driver providing the real info is a nod to my near blunder.
  • After that near miss, this ended up being the most heavily researched chapter of the entire book, requiring a little more digging than the Cobain and Dylan time trips.
  • “Pseudoscientific” is a nod to a class I took in college called “Science for the 21st Century” that was commonly nicknamed “Pseudoscience 101” by my roommates and myself.
  • Dad’s charm was originally first mentioned here, but later moved (almost word for word) to the Washington motel once this chapter died.
  • The cartoon character section was also lifted verbatim and dropped into the airplane blink, along with a few other aerial musings.
  • I’m not much for flowery description of details, with the double breasted suit and trilby hat being my quick nods to the 1940s.
  • Considering whether or not his thoughts caused bad luck in the game links back to some of the bowling superstitions the narrator has, and later ties into similar feelings about his love life that prove to be true.
  • Another goal of this chapter was to expose the Pesky scapegoat story as a total myth, which is (was) supported by the history but never really brought up.
  • I only count 10 musical references in this chapter, but I probably could have easily doubled it if this chapter had gone through further rewrites prior to being scrapped.

Read “Pesky Held The Ball?” Online

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